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Species (1995)

Directed by Roger Donaldson

Species -- DNA

A cold as a fish scientist, played by Gandhi-mugger Ben Kingsley, sequences DNA of an alien race which happily turns out looking like model Natasha Henstridge, but unhappily is really a killer insect with an octopus head in this standard bug-hunter. The subtext of this scenario is pretty amusing -- neat and tidy Kingsley creates life without the benefit of a female partner but is disturbed by the form of his new creation, deciding that she is strange and dangerous. He must stop her from reproducing! It's basically "Frankenstein" with a little "Alien" thrown in for good measure. The movie also borrows one element from Tobe Hooper's "Lifeforce" by having an oft-nude Henstridge sauntering from one kiss/killing to another (no complaints here).

Lifeforce (1985) -- alien kiss

Kingsley builds an "inescapable" glass cage to contain Henstridge which she promptly escapes from. Nice going, buddy! Raging alcoholic Forest Whitaker plays a Deanna Troi-like sensitive who carries on the tradition by explaining the blindingly obvious. At one point, observing that Henstridge abandoned her car after it ran out of gas and that this upset her... then she walked away (thanks a lot, Sherlock). Michael Madsen heads up the hunting party which trails after naked Henstridge as she screws then slices and dices men in her search for the right DNA. Aren't all women alike?

Entertaining, misogynist crud. A good piece of exploitation cinema if that's what you're looking for. -- Rating: $4.50

Tom Graney -- Hollywood Outsider copyright 1997

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