Species III – Unrated Edition

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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Robin Dunne as Dean
Sunny Mabrey as Sara
Robert Knepper as Prof. Abbott
Amelia Cooke as Amelia
John Paul Pitoc as Hastings
Michael Warren
Christopher Neame as Dr. Nicholas Turner
Patricia Bethune as Colleen
Joel Stoffer as Portus
James Leo Ryan as Yosef
Savanna Fields as Young Sara
Natasha Henstridge as Eve
Reed Frerichs as ISD Staffer
Marc D. Wilson as Crew Chief
Matthew Yang King as Specialist

Special Features:
Commentary by director Brad Turner, writer Ben Ripley, and Robin Dunne

Alien Odyssey: Evolution featurette

Alien Odyssey: Species DNA featurette

Alien Odyssey: Alien Technology featurette

Alien Odyssey: Alien Lifeforms featurette

Behind-the-scenes photo gallery

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.75:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“The war between two species heats up in this thrilling third installment of the Species franchise . . . and this exclusive Unrated Edition boasts additional footage that’s likely to cause a meltdown! Featuring a sexy young cast led by newcomer Sunny Mabrey, this riveting film is the most jarring, action-packed chapter in the sci-fi series yet!

In the ongoing fight for supremacy between mankind and human-alien hybrids, a fatal hybrid weakness has given humans the advantage. Until now, when Sara (Mabrey), the daughter of Eve (Natasha Henstridge), is born, she develops into he most genetically perfect alien form yet! Seeking to repopulate Earth with her kind, this dangerously beautiful femme fatale heeds an overwhelming drive to mate . . . while a crack military team trails in an attempt to end the war between the two species forever!”

This version of Species III is unrated, but the regular version is rated R for violence/gore, sexual content and some language

The Movie:
Typically when a movie goes straight to video, it is a sign that it stinks. In this case that holds true. I saw the first Species film and only bits and pieces of the sequel, but I can say that Species III doesn’t compare to its predecessors. Let’s be honest – the Species movies are nothing more than an excuse to combine sci-fi, action, horror, and naked chicks. This sequel even bungles that. There’s very little action, there’s more gore than horror, and there’s more dialogue than action. About the only part of the original formula that they stick with is the naked chicks part and if that’s all you’re interested in then that’s not good enough reason to view Species III.

The story this time around is just plain bad. I guess I didn’t see enough of Species II, but for some reason there are hybrid human/aliens running around everywhere. Then you have a college professor helping them so he can win a Nobel Prize. It seems to me that if you help wipe out the human race, the Nobel Prize isn’t going to mean a whole lot. There’s also a lot of long, boring dialogue between the professor and the Dean character as well as Hollywood biomedical science. For some reason these graduate students have mastered the art of genetic science beyond anything seen today. Logic in the movie also fails on every level. For example, Sara is unable to run after a train in the film, but she’s able to leap several stories in the air at the end. Another example is that the aliens seem to be susceptible to choking and gunshot wounds, yet it takes an explosion in a power plant to rid the planet of one of the them at the end. They never seem to be consistent in showing their powers.

The acting isn’t much to speak of either. Robert Knepper is way over the top as Prof. Abbott. He acts so weirdly as a professor teaching a class that you have a hard time buying him in the role. His rationalization for helping the aliens doesn’t even seem that logical even for a crazy man. Robin Dunne is the hero as Dean, but he’s not a likable or even intelligent character. It’s hard to believe that he would help the Professor or the aliens, yet he does anyway. Finally Sunny Mabrey plays Sara, the naked alien. She doesn’t have much to do in the movie besides appearing topless and showing her bare butt. I should also mention that Natasha Henstridge makes a brief cameo, but it’s only to have a nasty quick pregnancy and to die…again.

The special effects also reflect the low budget of this sequel. The aliens look like people in rubber suits (which they are). There’s a little bit of CG here and there, but it is used sparingly. There are also a lot of disgusting effects where aliens have pus running out of sores on their faces. It’s just gross. The music doesn’t help things much since it is simply TV show caliber.

Overall I’d have to recommend passing on Species III. It just doesn’t compare to its predecessors and it is bad all the way around. I should also add that I don’t know how this unrated version compares to the R rated version. I didn’t see anything here that wouldn’t be in a regular R rated feature. It’s probably a marketing gimmick.

The Extras:
There are a fair number of bonus features included on the DVD. Here are the highlights of what you’ll find:

Commentary by director Brad Turner, writer Ben Ripley, and Robin Dunne – This commentary is a bit dry. They get heavy into the mechanics of the making of the movie instead of what’s going on. When they do talk about the acting and the plot, it’s funny to hear them discuss it with such depth and seriousness. It’s good to take pride in your work, but the final product is hardly Shakespeare.

Alien Odyssey: Evolution featurette – This is your standard “making of” feature. They talk about how the project came about, how they cast the film, where they shot it, the budget constraints, and more. It’s an interesting look at low budget filmmaking, but again they talk about the characters and performances as if they are so complex and deep that it becomes silly.

Alien Odyssey: Species DNA featurette – The title of this one doesn’t match the subject matter. They talk about the sets in this feature.

Alien Odyssey: Alien Technology featurette – This featurette discusses the alien effects in the film. They talk about the rubber suits, the animatronic robots, and more.

Alien Odyssey: Alien Lifeforms featurette – This feature discusses the redesign of the aliens and how they depart from those in the original film.

The Bottom Line:
Species III suffers from a weak plot, bad acting, and low budget effects. It lives up to the bad “straight to video” reputation.

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