Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Species: The Awakening (2007)

I'm a big fan of DTV-franchises, the less-loved, the better. Give me yet another Hellraiser-cheapie, or a Children of the Corn! I'm not gonna say no! Species, from 1995 and it's sequel 1998, are both over-the-top, gory and silly sci-fi horrors with a lot of classy actors slumming around in something their agents probably forced them to not say not to because of the paycheck. And there it could have ended, if not some cunning producer realized that this could be a great direct to video franchise for the gore and sex-starved idiots out there - and Species III was made and some years later, the final chapter in the silliest saga on earth (except the bible of course!): Species: The Awakening!

Helena Mattsson (the swedish starlet who's a quite big semi-star nowadays) plays Miranda, who until right now in the storyline thought she was just an ordinary young woman. But when her dear uncle Tom (Ben Cross) reveals that her whole live is just an illusion, she's really a cloned alien/human, the shit hits the fan. After a disastrous hospital visit they both travel to Mexico to find Forbes (Dominic Keating), Tom's former colleague, who might help them to reverse the alien-DNA and save Miranda. But Forbes has been a bit too experimental-happy in his own private lab and there's several alien-hybrids on the loose in the area - and everyone wants to kill, Kill, KILL!!!

Sure, it's not Species or Species II, or even Species III, but Species: The Awakening is still a pretty ambitious and - maybe mostly - a very good-looking cheapie. The Mexico setting is a nice touch to the story and experienced and competent actors like Cross and Keating makes their best from quite shallow characters. Mattsson isn't bad either, even her role mostly is to look sex and having weird make-up on her breasts. I can't proof it of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if the script is a different horror script rewritten to fit the Species franchise (just like Hellraiser part 5-8). It could well have been a story about werewolves or vampires, but the bites replaced by killer-tongues and boob-scenes.

Much of the charm with the Species movies has been the gore and slime, and this one kinda delivers on that. Not as much as the earlier ones and here we mostly have the above mentioned tongues going in and out of heads, but also a very cool transformation scene where a guy in a car squeezes a monster out from his mouth. It's a nice combination between CG and practical effects. But I still miss the spinal-pulling, exploding heads and bellies-ripped-up-from-the-inside-by-tentacles from the earlier movies. But hey, you can't have it all. I can live with that fact. At least they did what they could here with a very small budget.

Species: The Awakening is a still a nice little addition to the DTV collection of every man and woman out there. Hardly original, but a step above some of the other shite movies being produced every hour of the day from the bigwigs in Borywood.


Anonymous said...

To be hoenst I always prefer part 3 & 4 in this franchise.....they were more serious and had lots of interesting angles.

Both films were written by the same screenwriter, Ben Ripley and they are very similar in story, characters etc.

But yes they were cheaply made, but featured gore/nudity in right amount. Oddly Helena Mattson was pretty good here...I had expected worse acting from her but she surprised me.

Good review Ninja.

forestofthedead said...

Great review friend. Thank you for promoting this film series.
I have seen all 4 films and was not disappointed by any.

Ninja Dixon said...

Thank you Mr P :)

Ninja Dixon said...

And you to Mr A :)