Director: Peter Medak
Cast: Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray March 8, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Having just returned from a mission to Mars, Commander Ross (Justin Lazard) isn’t exactly himself. He’s slowly becoming a terrifying alien entity with a one-track mind – to procreate with human women!
When countless women suffer gruesome deaths after bearing half-alien offspring, scientist Laura Baker and hired assassin Press Lennox (Michael Madsen) use Eve (Natasha Henstridge, Species), a more tempered alien clone, to find Ross and his virulent brood. But they underestimate Eve’s maternal drive, and before long she escapes to mate with Ross in order to create a purer and unstoppable race that could spell doom for mankind.
As time is running out, the ultimate battle takes place in a chilling climax that puts Darwin’s theory to the ultimate test… only the strongest species will survive.
The anticipated sequel to the sci-fi cult classic, ‘Species II’ makes its way to Blu-ray for the first time thanks to Scream Factory, along with a 2-Disc Blu-ray Double Feature release of the third and fourth entries in the series also available separately (keep your eyes peeled for our review of that release coming this week as well). The second entry in the Species franchise and arguably the best sequel fittingly accentuates the gore and the action and while not quite on par with its predecessor in many aspects, is nonetheless quite the fun film. Directed by Peter Medak (TV’s The Twilight Zone) this time around from a script by Chris Brancato (TV’s Narcos), ‘Species II’ also includes a fairly solid cast featuring many returning cast members from the original paired with a number of newcomers including Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger, Mykelti Williamson, Justin Lazard and James Cromwell among others.
Fans of ‘Species II’ as well as this popular science fiction franchise in general will almost surely want to make certain to pick up a copy of Scream Factory’s ‘Species II’ Blu-ray release to add to their collection. Marking the first time the film has ever been made available on Blu-ray, the release delivers solid high definition video and audio presentations in addition to a fairly impressive collection of bonus content including a number of brand new Interviews created specifically for this release and much more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) sure to easily make this release a must own for many.
Overall, fans of the ‘Species’ franchise as a whole and fans of this particular entry alone will likely want to pick up a copy of Scream Factory’s ‘Species II’ Blu-ray release which marks the first time the anticipated sequel has been released on Blu-ray, and with plenty of great extras included to boot. Those who may have enjoyed the first film but never had the pleasure of the sequels will also want to give this one a whirl, for those willing to make a blind purchase or attempt to find a location to rent the title, I can’t imagine a better way to experience this fun sequel for the first time than with this solid Blu-ray release.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Species II’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole, delivering a sharp, detailed and clean presentation throughout, with the exception of some brief pops and other miscellaneous debris courtesy of the film source, yet nothing that negatively affects the overall viewing experience in the slightest. The presentation holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation complimented by a more than adequate bitrate that should easily please fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds fantastic and provides a consistently clean, crisp and aggressive presentation, utilizing all five available channels on a regular basis in order to surround the viewer with plenty of gunfire, debris, helicopters, along with the films score and much more making their way throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fairly impressive and incredibly fun 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should not disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Species II’ includes a healthy collection of bonus content including a number of brand new features created specifically for this release. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Peter Medak’, along with a number of behind the scenes Featurettes and Interviews both old and new to this release, they include: ‘From Sil To Eve: Interview with Actress Natasha Henstridge’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), ‘Creature Creations: Interviews with Creature & Special Make-up Effects Creator Steve Johnson, Supervising Cosmetic Designer Leonard MacDonald and more’ (approximately 29 minutes), ‘Alien Evolutions: Interview with Screenwriter Chris Brancato’ (19 minutes), and ‘Species II: Eve of Destruction Featurette’ (12 minutes). We are also treated to ‘Special Effects Outtakes and Behind the Scenes Footage’ (14 minutes), ‘Uncut Footage Not Shown in Theaters’ (8 minutes), plus the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes), a ‘Special Makeup Effects Gallery’ and a general ‘Still Gallery’ which includes promotional art and behind the scenes photos.