Blu-ray Review: SPECIES II

species 2 blu

SPECIES II was directed by Peter Medak and stars Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger, Mykelti Williamson, and Justin Lazard.

The opening scene of this 1998 sequel sets everything up as we watch this Mars crew leave the red planet and return home after their successful mission. What they don’t realize is that they are unknowingly carrying this black goo that causes all kinds of problems once they arrive back on Earth. The movie focuses on Commander Patrick Ross (Justin Lazard) who comes in contact with the mysterious goo during their trip home and it ends up infecting and mutating him into this new half-breed that is in constant heat and always on the prowl for the ladies. All this guy has on his mind is reproducing. He has sex with several females partners and this leaves them all dead after they give instantaneous birth to his batch of half-alien offspring.

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Scientist Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger) and hired assassin Press Lennox (Michael Madsen) make their return from the first movie and use Eve (Natasha Henstridge), a more tempered alien clone, to hunt down Patrick and put an end to his reproductive destruction and chaos. They all underestimate Eve’s maternal drive, and before long she escapes to mate with Patrick in order to create a pure, unstoppable race that could spell doom for mankind. Ultimately, it’s Eve’s human side that takes charge and allows her to help the team stop Patrick and his alienated killer sex drive. In the end Eve wins but Patrick has left his tracks all over and a batch of half-breeds that will eventually show up in the next movie. The final scene with Eve is tragic but it also sets things up for more stories.

First of all Species was a cool and fairly original sci-fi movie that introduced the world to this new alien threat that was something we hadn’t seen since the original Alien. This sequel ended up being a good one that expanded this alien half-breed universe. The movie introduced Patrick which is the male version of this alien hybrid that is even more menacing and deadly than Sil or Eve. The story was good and all of the characters were really interesting. It’s always good to see familiar faces return for a sequel and this one offered a number of vets who returned for round two. Especially Natasha Henstridge! As far as the special effects go, they all looked amazing. The movie is loaded with some fantastic practical effects including these fantastic looking creatures. This sequel also took the blood and gore to the next level and all of this looked crazy cool as well. The special effects played a very important part in this movie and helped make it such a fun watch.

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The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. The movie includes certain lighting tricks and special effects that ended up looking so much better in high-def.

Bottom line is, Species II ended up being a fun sequel to the 1995 sci-fi classic that continued the story about genetics and this alien DNA that mixes with human DNA that forms these sex crazed half-breed aliens. I don’t guess we had gotten a sci-fi franchise with a cool alien like this since the Alien franchise launched back in the late 70’s. The first Species was something cool and special and this second one here was a great follow up that continued the story. Natasha Henstridge did so much for this franchise and it honestly wouldn’t be the same without her. She not only gave this movie its sex appeal but she can act and made this character her own. This character Eve has this innocence about her but she is also extremely deadly when it comes to her alien sex drive and nobody needs to get in these alien hybrid’s way when they’re horny! I love the alien designs and even still own the action figures to this day. Yes, I just confessed that. Even H.R. Giger was brought in to design these cool looking aliens and you can see the influence. This Blu-ray releases on March 8th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s close to two hours of special features here. The Blu-ray disc includes all kinds of all-new interviews and featurettes and some imported extras from previous releases. This isn’t even a Collector’s Edition or Special Edition but it might as well be because it is loaded with some amazing extras!

  • NEW From Sil To Eve – An interview With Actress Natasha Henstridge (16:21)
  • NEW Creature Creations – Interviews With Creature & Special Make-up Effects Creator Steve Johnson, Supervising Cosmetic Designer Leonard MacDonald, Transformation Supervisor Joel Harlow, And Chrysalis Effects Supervisor William Bryan (28:48)
  • NEW Alien Evolutions – An Interview With Screenwriter Chris Brancato (19:00)
  • NEW Special Effects Outtakes & Behind-The-Scenes Footage (13:32)
  • Audio Commentary With Director Peter Medak (1:33:02)
  • Scenes From The Film Featuring Uncut Footage Not Shown In Theatres (08:02)
  • Species II: Eve Of Destruction Featurette (11:53)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:15)
  • Still Galleries – Posters, Lobby Cards, Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Special Effects Behind-The-Scenes Photos And H.R. Giger Sketches (07:24) (06:19)
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