Reviewed By: JM
I am a huge fan of the Species franchise. This admission surely brings shame to my brother, Billy… who as far as I know has never watched one of these movies but just hates them on principle. The principle, though, is unclear.
All farmhands are aware of our credo at Tower Farm: SEQUELS ARE ALWAYS BETTER THAT THE ORIGINAL. From the Blair Witch movies, to the Wrong Turn trilogy, to anything with a Kevin Tenney imprint, this truth has been proven again and again. Species is no exception. I have watched that first movie a million times and absolutely love it. However, there is no denying that part 2 is more enjoyable. And part 3… well, it has one of the best prolonged bare butt sequences ever put to celluloid.
The fourth installment, Species: The Awakening, is, in a word, ridiculous. And wonderful. Okay, in two words, this movie is ridiculous and wonderful. Of course, as with the other entries in the franchise, it is produced by Frank Mancuso Jr.- the same guy that brought us I Know Who Killed Me. And THAT means quality!
Let’s just look with our movie’s heroine, Miranda Hollander, played by Helena Mattsson. This shot, taken at about one and a half minutes into the feature, is how we are introduced to our young college professor. Is it just me, or does this look like the first shot of every Penthouse pictorial spread ever taken (“This teacher earns bonus points when she gives her top student a lesson in humility…”)?
By the way, let’s take a look what she is teaching:
What in the hell is that?!
Anyway, as I am sure every viewer guessed by the end of the second minute of the movie, Miranda Hollander is part alien. I really have nothing more to say on that subject.
The big star of this movie is Ben Cross, who plays Miranda’s uncle, Tom. Ben Cross, of course, is best known (by only Billy and me) as the vampire Barnabas Collins in the very short-lived 1990’s television series Dark Shadows. A remake of the 1960s gothic soap opera created by Dan Curtis, the 1990s version was incredible in its ability to infuse long, prodding, boring story sequences with moments on monumental overacting. To watch Ben Cross raise his cane to the sky and yell “Willie!!” at the top of his lungs as though he was cursing God, himself, was spectacular. Of course, we loved it.
So, I am always happy to see Ben Cross get work… even if it gets him an unintentional chuckle every time his Miranda refers to him as “Uncle Tom”.
Anyway, early in the movie, Miranda informs Uncle Tom that she is going out on a date. It must have been this young woman’s first date or something, though because the moment she was aroused, she killed her suitor, ended up in a hospital and killed much of the hospital’s staff.
Of course, at this point Uncle Tom shows up with a needle, injects Miranda, puts her in his car, then the two are on a road trip to Mexico. Um, okay.
As it turns out, Mexico is where Forbes, a scientist and former student of Uncle Tom’s, lives. We learn that Forbes and Tom made Miranda in a Mexican lab, like meth. A lot of people would probably take this pretty hard. Miranda, though, just kind gets a pouty face…
… and by the end of the scene she and Tom are hugging. I guess aliens are a lot more stoic than your average human.
Anyway, a fair amount of time is padded as Miranda and Uncle Tom drive around Mexico looking for hotel rooms. Finally Tom announces that he is going to look for Forbes. Then, he runs into this awesome nun:
Although Sally Field was something of a novelty in America, it turns out that flying nuns are pretty common in Mexico, where no one bats an eye as this one flutters around the city.
Finally, Forbes is found. Unsurprisingly, Tom and Miranda walk in on him while he is humping an alien/human hybrid. Isn’t that always the way? On the other hand, Forbes may have been asking for trouble the moment he put a satiny bed in the loft overlooking his laboratory. It is that sort of decision making that makes these office gatherings so uncomfortable:
Unfortunately, a lot more time is padded as the scientists try to out bore each other in the lab.
The scientists end up kidnapping a hooker, injecting her with something, and using the needle to try to cure Miranda. Miranda ends up hatching in the lab.
Well, this only makes her more sexually aggressive, stronger, and increases her hunger to kill. I have to say, the moment she ended up in a cocoon during her treatment, I pretty much saw this coming. Those scientists were really asleep at the wheel, in my opinion.
Well, I had to do some fast forwarding at this point. But, I can tell you that two aliens fight each other toward the end of the movie, there is an explosion, and Uncle Tom looks tired, but relieved, while walking away from the flames.
Lots of nudity and decent special effects… So, even though the story kind of dragged, I am going to give this one:
Two and a half fingers!
On to a different topic- I want to thank my brother Billy for keeping things going here at the farm. With one perfect review after another, Billy kept the land from drying up.
You see, a little over a month ago, my daughter was born. So, I am now a father and Billy is an uncle… though probably not as good an uncle as Tom (from this review... or the guy with the cabin... whichever).
I use the name “JM” on these reviews as a reference to the dorky kid from the movie Valentine. “Billy” comes from the dorky kid in Halloween 5. Our dad occasionally comments around here under the name “Ralph Merrye” (Spider Baby). If I need to refer to my daughter, what should I call her?
Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Let me know if you have any suggestions!