Species: Collector's Edition Roger Donaldson


One of the most memorable sci-fi outings of the last 12 years, this 1995 film showcased a gorgeous Natasha Henstridge as a half alien/half human hybrid named "Sil” who’s grown on Earth by the government after a message is received from an alien species. Sil’s mission is to find an appropriate mate to impregnate her and those who get in her way meet a grisly fate. Ben Kingsley plays the scientist who created her and who hires a team of specialists to track down Sil and eliminate her. The terrific supporting cast transforms what could have been a conventional splatter-fest into a superior, well-crafted film. Michael Madsen plays a government hit man, a young Forest Whitaker is a psychic medium who can see events, while the terrific Alfred Molina and the mediocre Marg Helgenberger are scientists who use "techno babble” to explain the science to the audience. Kingsley shedding a single tear as "Sil” is about to be gassed carries a dignity and emotion that only an actor of his calibre can pull off. Madsen is there for the manly sex appeal and dry wit. Whitaker shines as a man always feeling other people’s emotions but who has no time to sort out his own. Molina in those days was just a solid British character actor who had not yet achieved success. One of the best aspects of the film is the alien special effects — Sil was created by renowned artist H.R. Giger (Alien). The film however, wouldn’t be as effective if Canuck actress Natasha Henstridge wasn’t in the lead. She is probably one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the screen, and even when she is killing people in the most gruesome ways she remains incredibly sexy. The film revels in its over the top combination of sex and death, delivering exactly what it promises. Unlike most "Collector’s Edition” DVDs, these two discs have interesting and well-made featurettes. "Engineering Life” interviews experts about the science behind genetics and whether or not combining human and alien DNA could be feasible. Avoid both the alternate ending and the trailer for the upcoming direct-to-DVD Species 4. While both the commentary tracks — one with Henstridge, Madsen and the director and one with the filmmakers — provide interesting insights into the film’s creation. (MGM)