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Species 3

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
2004
Studio: 
MGM
Genre: 
SF/Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.78:1
Directed by: 
Brad Turner
Cast: 
Robert Knepper
Robin Dunne
Sunny Mabrey
Movie: 
2
Extras: 
3
Bottom Line: 
2

 I never really dug the whole Species franchise too much. I mean, I have nothing against hot chicks running around and killing guys who didn't please them sexually-in fact, I'm pretty sure there's one lurking in my bushes right now. It's just that the original Species did nothing for me. Sure it had some nifty special effects. Sure the creatures were designed by H.R. Geiger. But, for all of its bells and whistles, Species was still little more than "Alien Does Dallas". The sequel? I haven't a clue as I've never even bothered to watch it. This is why I am actually surprised by how much I enjoyed Species 3.
 
Which is to say, I didn't hate it.
 
This Unrated edition of Species 3 opens with an ambulance convoy taking the body of "Eve" (Natasha Henstridge in a cameo) for a final autopsy/disposal after the events of the last film. However, the driver is actually a virologist named Dr. Almond (Knepper), whose friends were killed while working with the alien DNA. Almond hijacks the vehicle in hopes of taking some of the Eve specimen's DNA for his own studies, but a stowaway half-breed throws a wrench in those plans, killing Eve, but not before she gives birth. Almond flees with the alien spawn, and raises her as Sara (Mabrey), but it's not long before the half-breeds catch up to them. It seems that the half-breeds are dying of an immune deficiency, and that the only hope of saving their kind lies within the pure specimen that is Sara. Meanwhile, Dr. Almond has his own plans for Sara, and recruits Dean (Dunne), a university student whose scholarship is on the line, to assist him in his studies. Dean grows attached to Sara, and feels guilty about the experiments he and Dr. Almond are performing on her. However, the clock is ticking as not only is Sara searching for a suitable mate, but the half-breeds and the government are closing in fast.
 
Species 3 is a fun and fairly fast-paced flick, chock full o' gorgeous gals parading around in their birthday suits amongst a virtual sea of viscera. This is a very bloody flick, and the special effects aren't half-bad, even if the production values aren't much better than a made-for-television film. I would venture to say that, with the exception of a couple of prolonged nude scenes, the main reason this particular version of the film is unrated is it's gore quotient. Head's explode, bodies are torn in half, chests are ripped wide open revealing all sorts of squirmy, sticky, alien guttyworks. This is definitely not one for the squeamish.
 
The performances by Dunne and Knepper are serviceable, and newcomer Sunny Mabrey is stunningly gorgeous (as is Emilia Cooke, who plays the sexy "evil" half-breed Amelia). While I can't comment on the science of it all, the script is smart and full of sharp and witty dialogue, and the story, while loosely dependent on its predecessors, doesn't require much of a knowledge of the previous films to get the gist of things (and anything we do need to know is conveniently explained via flashback and "This is what we know so far..." narrative). It's all really quite silly, and, to an extent, derivative of the original film, but I did find it charming in its own way.
 
My only major gripe is the film's senselessly "happy" ending. It's entirely unnecessary as the film ends properly enough five minutes earlier, yet, for obvious reasons, the filmmakers decided to tack on a contrived finale that shows us Sara's "human" side, as well as sets up a potential sequel.
 
The DVD from MGM features a quintet of lengthy making-of featurettes, as well as commentary, photo gallery, trailers, and more.
 
While I can't give the film a whole-hearted endorsement, I will say that I was entertained by it, at least until the aforementioned tacked-on conclusion ruined it for me. It's fairly slick, definitely sexy, and one heck of a gory flick. Species fans will no doubt love it, but, even non-fans (like myself) will have a hard time looking away, especially perverts (also like myself), as the copious amount of female eye candy on display here is reason enough to tune in. 
 

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