Saturday, February 28, 2015

Species II (1998)

The first Species movie was already about as bad as you could get short of putting in scatological porn, Tyler Durden style, in the split second takes between reels. I really had no idea what to expect for this second one. What more could they do? They already ticked off every box of terrible filmmaking. It's kind of the movie equivalent of winning every race and then having nowhere else to go. But Species never wins anything, except maybe most disappointed family members of everyone involved.

Director: Peter Medak
Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen

Co-written with The Observer.

But really, even though they had nowhere else to go, they tried anyway. God bless these plucky underdogs, coming back for one more round!

We start this sequel off with a ten minute dirge of a bunch of boring astronauts hangin' out in space, colonizing Mars or something.

"Wait, what do you mean we have to live up here forever? NOOOOO, WHY DIDN'T I READ THE CONTRACT BEFORE AGREEING TO GO ALL THE WAY TO MARS?!?"

I'm just amazed this movie had the attention span to actually stick to something this long with no boobs or violence shown, which is kind of made moot by the fact that this opening sequence is incredibly fucking boring. Also, what, did they just invent super light-speed space travel in the mid-90s that allowed them to get to and from Mars that fast? I mean, I am an expert on this. I've seen Interstellar; I know how tough space travel can be!

The Mars landing really important to all the people in this bar. Verdict's still out on whether or not they're actually cheering for the sports game on the other TV though.

What they don't show you is that this one bar was the only place anyone on Earth was watching, or caring at all, about the Mars mission. So sad, the decline of interest in things that matter...

There's this weird primordial alien ooze that sneaks into the ship and starts slowly creeping toward them – I love how fucking long this thing takes to get to them, like there's any suspense over what could possibly happen in this horror movie with primordial alien ooze in it. Ooh, maybe they'll get away! Oh wait, no, shit, it got them. If you’ve never seen a science fiction movie before, like Alien perhaps, or The Thing, well, I’ll spell it out—the alien is inside them now.

The astronauts actually black out for a minute, but never seem to question that at all. They have this whole process when they get back of having this doctor check them out, but he pretty much just gives them a clean bill of health. Even though they know they blacked out, the doctor just hand-waves that boring-ass shit away and tells them they're fine.

No quarantines? Not even gonna bother testing them a bit to make sure? Man, either that alien is just really good at hiding traces of itself, or the doctor was just waiting for an excuse to raise up the curtains and show the dozens of horny astronaut fangirls waiting for all of them, wanting to live vicariously because no doctor ever gets an entourage like that.

"I'll just pretend all of you are here to see me, like every other time a hot woman enters my office. Man my life is sad!" Also, I sure hope some of those chicks are lesbians and there to see the one lady astronaut. Otherwise that's massively unfair.

Either way, the “doctor” is so bad at his job, he was probably just some whackjob pervert off the streets and the real doctor is probably dead in the alley behind the building. Somebody go check!

Then we see a science lab where experiments are performed on a clone of the alien Sil from the last movie, though this time her name is Eve. I'm almost positive this had to be someone's fetish. I mean, look at this shit:

I wonder how that conversation went in the planning stages for this experiment...

“Hey, can we do experiments where we shower acid gas on her and see if the boils heal afterward?”

“Sure, why the fuck not?”

“Oh, and one other thing...”


“Can we also have her naked and strapped into a chair with leather bondage stuff?”

“Why would that be important? Isn't she pretty much already under our control and won't escape or anything? Couldn't we just do this to one part of like, her hand or something? Does she have to be naked?”

“Woah, woah, woah! Don't question me!”

At this banquet thing for the astronauts as they come back, the one guy goes upstairs to find two women waiting to have sex with him. He complies, but not really in the way you usually do things when you have two women who want to have sex with you – he just fucks them one at a time. Which seems kinda like a waste of potential, you ask me, but then again, I'm not an alien possessing an extremely attractive man. So really what do I know?

But it does allow them to show off some grisly pregnancy type gore when his alien STD infects them...

This just goes back to what I was saying about that doctor – he couldn't tell there was something wrong with those astronauts? Really? It's one thing to make a small mistake at your job, and another thing entirely to make a mistake that results in people exploding from the inside out. Pretty sure something about that was detectable, guys!

And, hey, the way the woman astronaut dies while having sex is kind of like what I imagine Phil Robertson thinks happens every time people fuck.

For some reason, the black guy astronaut doesn't have the alien inside him, which they find out after they send half a dozen secret service guys to ambush him having sex with this woman on a boat.

"We just like to watch random people fuck! It's not weird!" 

How did they not notice the secret service guys standing there even while they were undressing and talking to each other? Are they deaf and dumb, or do the secret service guys just know how to tip-toe around really well? Eh, probably a bit of both.

We get several scenes in between these ones of Eve being tested in that research facility. My favorite scene is when she's just sitting there watching a baseball game on TV and she starts to get psychic visions or something from the deaths the other aliens are causing, and starts convulsing like she's overdosing on crack cocaine. This one woman scientist goes “I didn't know she liked baseball that much!”

That's the face of someone who really likes baseball.

Yes – you're clearly scientist of the year. I also love the completely random experimental priority these scientists have. One day, they're stripping her naked and showering her in acid. The next day, just hook wires to her head and let her watch TV. Makes sense to me!

I guess the plot is that the alien inside that guy wants to fuck as many women as possible, which immediately makes a child alien pop out of them. He’s trying to, I don’t know, make an army or something. I can’t even imagine the money he has to spend on diapers for all these kids though.

"Aw man, I woke up next to an eviscerated woman and then another 10-year-old boy popped up. What guy can't relate to this problem?"

The situation gets so bad that they have to bring in the only true expert, Michael Madsen. He spends his time defusing hostage situations now, or something like that, because Michael Madsen is the guy I'd go to for that.

Everyone else: "Wait, who is this asshole again?"

I especially love the way this government military guy gets him to come join the mission – he grabs Madsen's car keys and refuses to give them back. Because if you still had any doubts that this movie was stuck in 4th grade, well, I think they're quelled now! The idea of a high ranking military official pulling that stunt, like something your annoying older brother would try when you were kids, is just incomprehensibly hilarious to me.

"Dammit, I didn't really want to be in this movie."
"I know, but we all gotta make sacrifices in this economy."

He gets paired up with that black astronaut, because Lethal Weapon, and because I guess going up to space means the government can force you to participate in citizen manhunts for dangerous aliens. Why don't they have a team of professional military guys handle this? Oh right, because it's a dumb action movie, so we need to throw in a bunch of loose cannons.

I guess you could make the argument that these people know the alien because Madsen and the lab scientist lady fought her in the first movie. But that level of knowledge doesn't get them far, because even though they have experience and know what they're doing, the Big Bad Military Guy shoots everything they say down, because RRRARRRRR MILITARY! That's good storytelling!

"Look for me next month on Ancient Aliens! Isn't my crazy eye so cool?"

They hook up Eve to this machine that will allow her to see through the eyes of the other alien, but the downside is, it also makes her hormones and anger through the roof – why? Fuck it, we just need a way to move this ridiculous story forward! Don't ask questions. It's just a very weirdly specifically made machine with side effects that somehow align directly with the way this story was supposed to go.

"This was really just another excuse to have a really hot chick tied to a table!"

Madsen and the black guy chase the alien down to a grocery store, where he has kidnapped some woman to go rape inside of a stereotypical big black van, which I'm sure wasn't suspicious to anyone at all – and, apparently, despite my sarcasm, it wasn't. Nobody noticed it.

"Eh, we see that every day in redneck-ass Ohio."

Madsen and the other guy, clearly sensing the urgency of the situation, run after them like fat worn-out mall cops after too many donuts – yeah, guys, no pressure to actually catch them. They find a black van and bust out the window and point their guns inside, only to discover it's actually some completely random couple that decided to have sex in a creepy black van in the middle of the day in a grocery store parking lot. You know, like you do. What a coincidence!

"We're really taking this seriously! Honestly!"
"It's the danger that really turns us on. We do this in different parking lots every weekend. Think of it as the Mile High Club for poor people."

But Jesus, what do the Walmarts in this world look like if the random grocery store parking lots are prime locations for mid-day fucking in vans? They must be even more rampant with vans with people fucking inside. Let's take a look, shall we?

Yup, just what I thought. Gross.

The alien escapes, and Madsen reacts with all the candor and personal attachment of a guy who's had, really, a pretty good day at work – he looks fairly satisfied actually.

"All in a day's good work. Now that we're done handling important things, we can focus on the other identical black van that somehow ended up in the exact same parking lot!"

The alien makes his way back to the lab and stares at Eve through the glass, which I guess is supposed to signify that they've “found” each other – I suppose what they have in common is the fact that they were both directed to act like coma patients on Xanax in this movie. Which is really the only kind of bond, if you think about it.

"Neither of us have any character...I'M HORNY FOR YOU NOW!"

Eve breaks out, and of course despite having God knows how many military guys around with guns, she escapes relatively easily. Then it's up to Madsen and his motley crew to go hunt her down in the only style they know how – half-jogging like he forgot his kid's toy in the car at Golden Corral on a Sunday afternoon. Again, no need to hurry! Not like anything important is going on.

In the middle of all of this nonsense, the alien-astronaut-guy's father learns about the murders his son has committed, in the same room we've seen him in all throughout this movie – because I guess he never leaves.

"These are the crimes your son committed."
"Meh, I've done way worse in my time!"

Then the father goes and finds the son at the cabin where he's been keeping all his alien-spawn children that do nothing in this movie. He and his son hug and then the father dies, I guess, I dunno. This would have been a great dramatic scene in a movie without dumb alien sex spawn and goofy Michael Madsen moments, and overall a movie that wasn't this one.

Madsen and the gang get to the cabin too and have a showdown, which mostly involves a lot more weird alien sex and Predator rip offs.

This is what Predators jerk off to at age 13 - and yes, I did just ruin that franchise for you.

After it's all over and our main characters have very regrettably survived, the black guy gets put in an ambulance with this hot black woman, and they immediately get together without any conversation or doubt, because black people are automatically attracted to one another no matter what – it doesn't even matter what her life dreams, goals or aspirations are and his tastes and preferences don't mean jack shit. They have the same skin color, so they're perfect. Racism is fun.

Hooray for shallow attraction based on physical attributes! WOOHOO!

Well, that was Species 2. It was pretty stupid, nonsensical and plotless, but what did you really expect? I set my standards low for this and really, it wasn't any worse than the first one. Neither of these movies were good! If you want some pretty hilarious, unrepentant bullshit, this should suffice...I mean, it's so dumb it's honestly hard to hate. This movie knows it's awful, and for that, I don't really see a point in wasting my hatred on it. So really, if you just need to laugh...there are a lot better places you could get that, but I'll be honest - Species II isn't the worst place you could turn.

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