Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
In the ongoing fight for supremacy between mankind and human-alien hybrids, a fatal weakness among the hybrids has given humans the advantage… until now. When Sara (Sunny Mabrey), the daughter of Eve (Natasha Henstridge, Species), is born, she develops into the most genetically perfect alien form yet! Seeking to repopulate Earth with her kind, this dangerously beautiful femme fatale heeds an overwhelming drive to mate… while a crack military team trails her in an attempt to end the war between the two species forever!
SPECIES – THE AWAKENING
When brilliant college professor Miranda Hollander (Helena Mattsson, American Horror Story) suffers a mysterious blackout and awakens amid the bloody aftermath of a mass slaughter, she turns to her uncle for answers. But when he reveals the shocking truth…that she’s only half human, a clone from a hybrid of human and alien DNA, they must flee to Mexico to locate the scientist who created her. Soon they find themselves locked in battle with a horde of rampaging, unstoppable hybrids…and time is running out before Miranda will inevitably surrender to the killer instinct that lurks inside her own body!
‘Species III’ and ‘Species: The Awakening’, the final two chapters (at least currently) in the ‘Species’ franchise make their way to Blu-ray uncut and unrated in a 2-Disc Double Feature release courtesy of Scream Factory, in addition to the Blu-ray debut of ‘Species II’ (you can read our review of that release here) which is also now available separately, allowing fans the opportunity to complete their ‘Species’ collections on Blu-ray at last.
‘Species III’ and ‘Species: The Awakening’ (both straight to video releases) each feature some familiar faces (including a cameo by Natasha Henstridge in the opening sequence of ‘Species III’) along with a number of lesser known individuals and while each contributes some sex and gore which fans of the franchise would certainly revolt if lacking in either area, neither manages to truly capture the charm and simple out of this world fun that the first two entries so easily delivered. Nonetheless there are certainly fans of the final two chapters in the franchise out there and many B-movie sci-fi and horror fans just may love these entries as well.
Many fans of the ‘Species’ franchise in general and these straight to video sequels in particular will want to make certain to pick up a copy of Scream Factory’s 2-Disc ‘Species III’ & Species: The Awakening’ Blu-ray Double Feature release to add to their collections, while those who haven’t seen these two films prior or simply weren’t fans of these entries probably won’t be as interested. The release includes the uncut and unrated version of both films, each of which is provided its own disc and delivers impressive high definition video and audio presentations in addition to some bonus content including behind the scenes Featurettes and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) likely to make this release a must own for fans of these finale two entries in the series and for those who merely want to own the entire franchise on Blu-ray.
Overall, fans of the last two straight to video entries in the ‘Species’ franchise will likely want to pick up a copy of this Double Feature Blu-ray to add to their collections, while many who weren’t as thrilled with these entries will probably want to pass. Fans of B-movie sci-fi efforts may want to give these two a whirl while others who never had much interest to begin with will be probably just fine continuing on without ever checking them out. The quality of the actuality films aside, Scream Factory’s Double Feature Blu-ray release definitely comes through with impressive high definition video and audio presentations that are certain to thrill the fans.
Scream Factory’s Double Feature Blu-ray release of ‘Species III’ & ’Species: The Awakening’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio for both films, each provided its own disc. The video presentations on both films look fantastic, providing a sharp, detailed and surprisingly impressive presentation on each film, holding up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences within the films, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are both impressive high definition video presentations with more than sufficient bitrates courtesy of each film being provided its own disc.
The Blu-Ray release includes a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack for both films. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound pretty solid as a whole and deliver crisp and clean audio presentations for both films, each utilizing all five available channels quite regularly in order to surround the viewer with the score and a number of eerie and action related auditory effects swarming throughout the speakers, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, these are both surprisingly great 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks that should easily satisfy the fans.
Scream Factory’s Double Feature Blu-ray release of ‘Species III’ & ’Species: The Awakening’ includes some supplemental material for both movies, each included on the disc designated to the specific film.
‘Species III’ includes an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Brad Turner, Writer Ben Ripley and Lead Actor Robin Dunne’. We are also treated to a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew and more, the included Featurettes are: ‘Alien Odyssey: Evolution’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length), ‘Alien Odyssey: Species DNA’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Alien Odyssey: Alien Technology’ (6 minutes), ‘Alien Odyssey: Intelligent Lifeforms’ (10 minutes), and ‘Genesis’ (9 minutes). The ‘Original Trailer’ (2 minutes) for the film is also included.
’Species: The Awakening’ includes a couple of Interviews with specific members of the cast and crew discussing their work on the film, the included Interviews/videos are: ‘Alien Awakenings: An Interview with Director Nick Lyon’ (running approximately 16 minutes), and ‘Miranda’s Memories: An Interview with Actress Helena Mattson’ (approximately 10 minutes).