‘I’m talking about the nun … you know, the one with the tentacles.’
The series continues its slide into dtDVD/cable oblivion, dropping the numerals (it’s Species IV), adding a meaningless subtitle (per comparable franchises, it could as easily have been ‘Evolution’, ‘The Ascent’ or ‘The New Breed’) and not even securing Natasha Henstridge for a cameo (she was briefly in Species III). This time, hot blonde professor Miranda (Helena Mattsson) is the alien-human hybrid, raised in ignorance of her origins by her scientist uncle (Ben Cross) – whose character name is ‘Tom Hollander’ which, a) makes him ‘Uncle Tom’ and b) is likely to be confused with the well-known character actor from Pirates of the Caribbean (and recently of ‘the Fucker is in the building’ fame). Uncle Tom has been keeping Miranda unscaly and non-lethal by injecting ‘human hormones’ (‘I’ve been administering them to you while you slept — just two or three times a year to keep the alien side of your biology from surfacing’) but she has a relapse/fugue and turns into a chunkier version of the sleek Giger-design creature from Species and kills a bunch of researchers with her deadly pentrating whip-penis tongue. Tom reacts by taking Miranda down to Mexico, where weird Australian scientist Forbes Maguire (Dominic Keating), who is a kind of low-rent Dr Moreau, has bred a whole bunch of hybrids, including a taxi-driver and sex-slave killer nun Azura (Marlene Farvela).
Reels pass by on time-wastage as Miranda (Mattson, one of the robo-people from Surrogates, is reasonably appealing) tries not to turn into a monster and Maguire tempts Tom (Cross just picks up the cheque) over to the dark side by suggesting she can be helped with an operation which will be fatal to some donor – and the town is full of folks who ought to be killed. So, they abduct a tough chick who tries to rob Tom and perform a full-body gentic test thingie which not only doesn’t help Miranda but changes her personality so she becomes an omnisexual mean bitch-slut whose first request is that she be allowed to fuck Azura (oddly, this never happens – so you don’t get the tentacular alien lesbian sex scene which might elevate this out of its blah rut). Miranda goes on a sex-kill rampage, offing a bunch of blokes with her stabby tentacle tongue and, as in Species III, the finale is a knock-down drag-out fight inside a disused industrial building between the two alien hybrid babes: there’s one tiny surprise as an alien morphs back into human shape to reveal that she isn’t the woman we thought she was, but this also emphasises the cheapness whereby the same alien CGI is used for both creatures. Trudging away from a tipped-in explosion, it’s probable there will be more. If there needs to be a crossover, how about Species vs Decoys, so the alien-tongue-tentacle-killer hybrid chicks can clash with the alien-tummy-tentacle-killer babes? Species vs Critters? Species vs Leprechaun vs Mimic? Written by Ben Ripley (in a twofer-one deal with Species III); directed by Nick Lyon (Grendel, Annihilation Earth).