pecies III" -- the sequel to a movie most
known for introducing the beautiful Natasha Henstridge, in all her nude
glory, to the world -- is terribly slow, unfathomably uninspired,
illogically long, dubiously illogical, and worst of all, inexcusably dull.
To make a long story short (which, if you're keeping score, is what the
filmmakers should have done with this almost 2-hour movie), "Species
III" had so little going for it that it decided to rely on gratuitous
gore (mostly buckets of oozing pus) and forgetting to give its leading lady
clothes to wear to somewhat please its gullible viewership.
Taking place (supposedly) after
the events of "Species
II" (and I say "supposedly" because my memory of the
sequel is minimal at best), "Species III" opens with Eve (Natasha
Henstridge, doing a 1-minute cameo, probably because she signed a contract
way back in 1995 when the original came out that she had to do at least 2
sequels) being transported somewhere after having been "killed".
Although this is supposed to be a Super Duper Military Secret, one of the
paramedics driving Eve to wherever the Guv'ment keeps dead aliens it had to
hunt down after creating them in Illegal Secret Experiments Gone Awry (man,
that place must be filled to the rafters!), one of the
"paramedics" turn out to be a do-gooder college professor in
Before you can say, "Wait a minute, how did a
do-gooder college professor manage to not only pose as a military
paramedic, but get assigned to carry something as valuable as the carcass
of a dead alien?", another alien has somehow entered the back of
the truck while it was en route. The alien (in the guise of a chubby fat
kid, no less), kills the real paramedic, then snaps Eve's neck like a
twig. (Don't tell me Henstridge didn't demand they kill off her
character so she wouldn't have to come back.) The professor (whose name I
swear I don't remember), escapes with the baby alien Eve sort of just, er,
squirted out before the chubby kid snapped her neck.
Cut to days later, where the Professor is seen
teaching class. One of his students is junior Einstein Dean (Robin Dunne),
one of those "movie geeks" who happen to have the body of Dean
Cain (i.e. he's a fake movie nerd, since as we all know real nerds are
genetically incapable of being gym rats). The Professor, you see, has
"grown" the baby alien in his basement, having developed the
grandiose idea to extract the alien's pure genes and make the perfect
super being that will be resistant to viruses and such. All of this
doesn't necessarily preclude me from wondering how this guy ended up
posing as a military paramedic just in time to pick up a supposedly dead
alien, but I digress.
By a series of convoluted plotlines, the Professor
convinces Dean to work with him on the Professor's Ultimate Plan to Save
Humankind. By now the alien child has grown up into the blonde Sunny
Mabrey, whose character Sara looks a bit like a young Natasha Henstridge
(which may explain her casting), except I believe the lovely Miss
Henstridge had real breasts, and Ms. Mabrey's breasts, exposed in all
their full glory for much of the film's second half, are
strangely...misshapen? If those aren't the product of a poor man's
surgical procedure, Ms. Mabrey should have a long talk with her parents,
because something went wrong somewhere and someone needs to get sued.
Ahem. In any case, since the Guv'ment doesn't seem
particularly concern about, you know, a deadly and murderous alien species
running around in the world, they send a bored black fellow in a
trenchcoat after it. Yes, just that one guy. I kid you not. The guy is so
bored, in fact, he doesn't even bother to do much of anything until the
movie is almost over. Man, saving the world just doesn't have the priority
it used to, but then again if bad sci-fi movies have taught me anything,
it's that the Guv'ment lets loose so many of these Illegal Secret
Experiments Gone Awry that they're probably all "blah" about it.
What a bunch of slackers.
Meanwhile, as Dean and the Professor are doing
experiments in the basement, Sara is running around the college campus
looking for potential mates, and Sunny Mabrey is proving to the world that
Natasha Henstridge is actually a pretty good actor after all. And oh yes,
it seems a group of aliens, helpfully nicknamed by the Professor as
"half-breeds", are after Sara to mate with. You see, their alien
gene is impure, and they need Sara's mostly pure genes to save them.
Without her, the half-breeds are literally falling apart and shooting pus
out of every pore. It's all quite disgusting, really.
Running at almost 2 hours, "Species III"
makes the forgotten "Species II" look like a science fiction
masterpiece by comparison. I kid you not when I say the film plods along
at an unforgivable pace, barely able to summon even the smitten of energy
or ability to enthuse the audience. Even the random spurts of alien action
are lousy, especially considering that director Brad Turner has directed
hundreds of action-adventure TV episodes. One would think that kind of
experience would come in handy in action scenes, but one would be terribly
For those who care, "Species III" is being
offered in "unrated" and "rated" form. I do not
suggest either version, especially since, according to Amazon.com, the
"unrated" version possesses a walloping 1 extra minute of
footage. That minute, I believe, doesn't involve Ms. Mabrey shedding any
more articles of clothing (since, as mentioned, she barely wears any to
begin with), but rather for some deliberately gross sequences, such as a
security guard getting cleaved in half and all those pus spraying. Really,
folks, spraying pus is quite disgusting.
Despite everything, I have awarded "Species
III" an extra half star for Amelia Cooke, who shows up about an hour
and a half into the film. The actress, whose character's name I don't
remember ever having been mentioned in the movie (as you have probably
guessed, one's mind tends to wander when watching unfathomably crappy
movies; although IMDB.com credits her as "Amelia"), is a
stunner, and had she been in the film longer than a measly 20 minutes or
so, that extra half star would have been a full star. Oh, how I wish she
and Mabrey had switched roles...