aka Species 4 2007 Written by Ben Ripley
Based on characters created by Dennis Feldman
Directed by Nick Lyon
The Species franchise transitioned from femme fueled Freudian nightmare to direct to video science fiction dreck so quickly that by installment number four materialized – Species: The Awakening – I had long ago put it on my lower priorities list. There, Species 4 sat, until one day I restumbled across it and decided to try it out. After all, I will get an answer to what 1902 is! (That’s the number that the camera panned to ominously at the conclusion of Species III, thus it must mean something!) Species: The Awakening continues the premise of the prior installment in stating that there are already members of the alien Species living amongst us in hiding. While in Species 3 they were all surviving offspring of Eve or the astronaut guy from Species 2, here they were created in a lab in Mexico that does the same research that created the original alien creature in the first film. Except now in a much more safe form, in that they only kill a lot of people instead of every person.
Our lead Miranda Hollander (Helena Mattsson) is one just creation of this group, a young woman who doesn’t even know she’s the product of alien DNA technology, living a quiet life as a blooming academic with a bright future ahead of her. She’s raised by her uncle Tom (Ben Cross), who unbeknownst to her but beknownst to us, helped create her before abandoning the research because of moral quandaries. But once she gets sick and begins reverting back to Species form and goes on a killing spree, he now needs to reconnect with his former partner in order to save her life. Continue reading →
SciFi Channel is worse than the monsters in the films it continues to pump out at a hypersonic rate. At least in their films, the monster dies at the end after killing off most of the cast. In reality, SciFi Channel cannot be stopped, and no matter how many of their films are taken down, the network remains strong and continues to send its armies against the good people of the world. Whenever the people are in danger, there will always be heroes who rise to the challenge to fight the monsters. Once again, the Dragon Slayers have mobilized to take on a creature sewing destruction upon the lands. In this case, that monster is Grendel, based on the epic poem Beowulf. Based on may be too kind of a word. Grendel shares some of the same character names as Beowulf, and some of the same plot. The details change, a lot. To the point that one wonders if they read the original poem, or even the Cliff Notes. Heck, had they watched the Star Trek Voyager episode about Beowulf they would have been more accurate. Instead, we have some sort of super-crossbow that fires explosive rockets.
A few brief notes on the literary wonder that is Beowulf. With events taking place in the late 5th through early 6th centuries A.D. Beowulf gives a glimpse into a period rich with battles, heroes and epic lore. One of the few surviving epics in Old English it is often referred to as, "The Oldest English Epic". Beloved by scholars it inspired Tolkien (who was an authority on the text) and many another author. It has, surprisingly seen little attention on film, the Christopher Lambert film of the name was a futuristic SciFi piece with little relation to the epic. 2005’s Beowulf & Grendel reworked the source material to tell a moralistic tale with Grendel as a misunderstood primitive. It received mixed reviews (Iain says, "I liked it for the most part"). A motion capture adaptation is to be released in 2007, this appears to be attempting to stick within the vein of epic.
TarsTarkas.NET and FantasyFilmscapes.com are doing another tag-team review. As usual, the opening segment is collaborative, after that, we will be alternating every 15 minutes of film between Tars Tarkas from here and Iain Norman from FantasyFilmscapes.com. Once you have gone through this version of the review, be sure to drop by FantasyFilmscapes.com’s version, with different pictures, different formatting, and plenty of other content on that site as well. Now let’s begin: Continue reading →