Movie Review: SPECIES (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

SPECIES was directed by Roger Donaldson from a screenplay by Dennis Feldman and stars Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Michelle Williams and introducing Natasha Henstridge.

When a beautiful human-alien hybrid (Henstridge) escapes from observation, scientist Xavier Fitch (Kingsley) dispatches a crew of experts to find her before she is able to fulfill her horrific purpose: to mate with unsuspecting men and produce offspring that could destroy mankind. As her deadly biological clock ticks rapidly, Fitch and his team are hurled into a desperate battle in which the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance!

A transmission from outer space is received by a government science team led by Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) who discovers it includes genetic alien DNA code. Experiments take place and it all leads them to creating “Sil” (Natasha Henstridge) – a beautiful alien-human hybrid that possesses accelerated growth and elevated strength. The young hybrid escapes the facility and begins to prowl the area looking for a suitable male to impregnate her because she’s now in heat and wanting to breed. “Sil” takes in some of the human culture and scenery as she searches for a potential baby daddy. She unfortuntely goes through a few unsuitable prospects who end up finding out the hard way that “Sil” has a another side to her.

What happens is, Fitch recruits an all-star retrieval team that includes anthropologist Dr. Arden (Alfred Molina), mind reading Dan Smithson (Forest Whitaker), biologist (Marg Helgenberger) and government assassin Preston Lennox (Michael Madsen) who are brought in to try and stop “Sil” before she causes too much damage. It doesn’t take long for the team to get hot on the trail due to the mayhem caused by the hybrid. Still, they don’t catch up with her in time because she does finally find a suitable male to impregnate her and since she possesses accelerated abilities, it doesn’t take long for her to become a mother. This is also where “Sil” becomes extremely deadly because not only is she not enjoying being chased down but now she’s become an overprotective mother determined to take out anyone who gets in her way. Needless to say, this leads to a showdown between Fitch and his team of specialists and the alien-human hybrid that he created in his lab.

Okay, there’s so much to like about this B-movie that it’s honestly one of my all-time personal favorites. The story is interesting enough and the movie features a stellar cast, so much so, the movie was probably over cast. So, the story is there and the talent is there plus the movie featured a cool new alien that was created by H.R. Giger and it’s evident that this is his creation just by looking at it. Sure, some people called Species an Alien ripoff but it’s still a fun sci-fi thriller that introduced the world to the gorgeous Natasha Henstridge who played this alien-human hybrid to near perfection. This creature was indeed a unique creation and the special effects used to create it were really impressive for their time. There’s use of practical and visual effects before CGI was the go-to FX that it is today. There’s also a good amount of blood and gore to go along with this.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the eye-catching new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the original artwork and movie credits. Each Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this pristine 4K scan of the interpositive. Another amazing job by the Scream Factory gang!

Bottom line is, I remember hitting a matinee to watch Species when it first arrived in theaters back in the summer of ’95 and afterwards I ended up owning the movie on VHS and later on DVD. Species has had its fair share of home video releases over the years that even included a few Blu-ray’s but none of them compare to what Scream Factory has delivered. Needless to say, I’ve been a fan of this sci-fi franchise from day one and to be honest it’s still one of my “go-to” sci-fi movies to this very day. I put this one in my guilty pleasure category because the critics didn’t really like it but it’s obvious that the fans did because the movie spawned three sequels. I know the movie has its flaws and it truly is nothing more than a cheesy sci-fi B-movie but it’s an exciting and entertaining one that I still get a kick out of. Species will be available on a 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set on July 11th and is definitely worth adding to your Scream Factory collection.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 108 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

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

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! This release includes an all-new 4K scan of the movie and a featurette that includes interviews with some of the crew. This is really the only new bonus material included but Scream Factory did import over the interview Natasha Henstridge did for the Species II Blu-ray release in 2016 because she talks about each movie. There’s also hours of vintage bonus material from previous home video releases so there’s plenty of extras included with this 2-disc set.

DISC ONE

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Film’s Interpositive
  • Audio Commentary With Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen And Director Roger Donaldson
  • Audio Commentary With Director Roger Donaldson, Make-up Effects Creator Steve Johnson, Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund And Producer Frank Mancuso Jr.

DISC TWO

  • NEW Afterbirth: The Evolution Of SPECIES Featuring Interviews With Director Roger Donaldson, Cinematographer Andzej Bartkowiak, Production Designer John Muto, Composer Christopher Young, Creature Designer Steve Johnson, And More (36:43)
  • From Sil To Eve – An Interview With Actress Natasha Henstridge (16:35)
  • Engineering Life (16:50)
  • H.R. Giger At Work (12:07)
  • The Making Of Species: The Origin, The Concept, The Discovery (49:05)
  • Designing A Hybrid (15:58)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:52)
  • Alternate Ending (02:11)
  • Production Design Gallery (03:22)
  • Creature Design Gallery (08:11)
  • Film Stills, Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards (08:37)

 

 

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