Species II

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In “Species“, Ben Kingsley’s exposition reveals that they have several embryos similar to Eve stored away, hinting at possible future experiments. The final scene, where a rat comes into contact with Sil’s remains, sets the stage for a sequel. However, “Species II” doesn’t pick up on the rat plotline. Instead, it focuses on Natasha Henstridge’s return as Eve, a clone of Sil. Despite Henstridge’s reduced screen time, the film shifts focus to Justin Lazard, who takes on a more prominent role as the new lead.

In “Species II”, astronaut Patrick Ross (Lazard) returns to Earth after a mission to Mars, unknowingly carrying alien DNA that transforms him into a deadly hybrid species. As his behavior becomes increasingly erratic and violent, government agents realize that the alien strain is designed to breed rapidly and infest the planet. With time running out, they enlist Eve, a genetically engineered human-alien hybrid, to track Patrick down and prevent him from spreading the alien infection. The hunt becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse, culminating in a dramatic confrontation that will determine the fate of humanity.

Species” stood out for its unique blend of erotic thriller and science fiction. Natasha Henstridge, who played Sil, was known for walking through most of the film either completely nude or wearing the bare minimum. It might seem a bit juvenile, but this aspect contributed to the movie’s cult classic status. In “Species II,” Henstridge’s screen time is not only significantly cut down, but there’s also just one nude scene at the very end, a stark contrast to the first film’s more provocative approach.

“Species II” continues to embrace the same steamy sci-fi vibe that made the original so memorable. This time, the story revolves around Patrick, an alien-human hybrid who is determined to impregnate as many women as possible with his extraterrestrial DNA. Like in the first movie, the speed at which the alien foetuses grow is alarmingly fast. Mere minutes after Patrick’s intimate encounters, a grotesque birth scene unfolds, with the newborn creature clawing its way out of the mother’s womb—easily one of the film’s most disturbing scenes and a clear nod to the Alien franchise, which shares its H.R. Giger-designed creature aesthetic with “Species“.

CGI Monster in Species II

Despite being a famous and attractive man, Patrick’s relentless quest for new hosts pushes him to more desperate measures. What starts with casual liaisons soon escalates to picking up prostitutes and even abducting women in broad daylight from a crowded supermarket, emphasizing his increasing recklessness and the sense of urgency in his mission.

“Species II” falls short of the impact of its predecessor, offering what feels like a gender-swapped, lower-budget rehash of the original story. When Michael Madsen tops the billing, it’s often a red flag for quality, suggesting a film that’s unlikely to break new ground. Patrick, the lead character, doesn’t have the same appeal for the typical target audience of teenage boys and young men, making it difficult for the sequel to recapture the original’s cult following.

Although there’s still a fair amount of female nudity, it doesn’t quite hit the same exploitative, boundary-pushing levels as “Species“. Despite its attempts to maintain the provocative edge, the sequel never quite reaches the same blend of steamy and creepy that made the original a cult classic. The result is a film that feels both tamer and less engaging, unable to replicate the sensationalism that made the first “Species” such a unique entry in the sci-fi genre.

The most glaring problem with the script in “Species II” is how it insults the audience’s intelligence. Patrick’s storyline revolves around him spreading his alien DNA, behaving like a deadly virus. He stashes all his offspring in a secluded barn, while the police investigate a string of brutal murders caused by Patrick’s offspring clawing their way out of the mothers’ bodies. It’s astounding that the authorities don’t immediately connect these gruesome deaths to him, even though he’s often seen publicly with these women just before they disappear.

But the most baffling plot twist occurs halfway through the movie. A key character visits Patrick at the barn, fully aware of his role in the deaths, yet somehow fails to inform the FBI or the police about this crucial location. This illogical oversight is a head-scratcher, especially since knowing about the barn would have wrapped up the movie in under an hour. The script’s blatant disregard for basic logic stretches the audience’s suspension of disbelief to the breaking point, turning a potentially thrilling story into a frustrating exercise in plot holes.

George Dzunda in Species II

Michael Madsen’s portrayal of a special agent in “Species II” is far from convincing, lacking the authority and precision you’d expect from someone in such a role. His performance comes across as too laid-back and rough around the edges, undermining the character’s credibility. Meanwhile, George Dzundza’s appearance in an army outfit borders on the comedic. His stocky frame and casual demeanor seem ill-suited for a military uniform, creating a visual incongruity that pulls you out of the scene. Together, these casting choices contribute to the movie’s overall feeling of inconsistency, where the performances don’t quite align with the serious stakes of the story.

“Species II”, like many high-concept films of the 90s, showcased some cutting-edge special effects—at least by the standards of its time. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the film suffers when it leans too heavily on CGI. The computer-generated tentacles have that telltale glossy sheen, and the animated fluid effects appear distinctly superimposed, breaking the illusion and reminding you that you’re watching a visual effect.

CGI Head reconstruction scene from Species II

The film’s standout moment, the one scene that lingered in many viewers’ minds, is the shot of a regenerating head, with the camera panning around it to reveal the slow transformation. This was the movie’s “money shot”, meant to wow the audience with its technical achievement. Yet, watching it in 2024, it’s clear that the effect has lost much of its impact. What once seemed groundbreaking now feels a bit dated, a reminder that CGI has come a long way since the late 90s. While it’s a testament to the era’s creativity, the aging effects highlight just how quickly technology evolves in the world of film.

“Species II” might offer some mild entertainment, but it falls short of the bar set by the original film. The sequel is a few notches down in terms of quality and impact, lacking the same level of suspense and originality. This decline in quality likely contributed to it being the last “Species” movie to receive a theatrical release. Following “Species II”, the franchise continued with two low-budget, straight-to-video sequels, indicating that the series had shifted from big-screen spectacle to more modest productions. These later installments failed to capture the initial excitement and ultimately confirmed that “Species II” was the beginning of the end for the franchise’s theatrical ambitions.

Natasha Henstridge nude in Species II

Species II poster
Species II poster
Species II
  • Year:
  • Director:
    • Peter Medak
  • Cast:
    • Natasha Henstridge
    • Michael Madsen
    • Marg Helgenberger
  • Genres:
    Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
  • Running time:


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