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"No one ever asked me to find anything they didn't want dead."
Preston Lennox
Species (1995)
Title: Species
Genres: Sci-fi
Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Written by: Dennis Feldman
Produced by: David Streit; Frank Mancuso, Jr.; Dennis Feldman; Mark Egerton
Music by: Christopher Young
Cinematography: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Edited by: Conrad Buff
Distributed by: MGM
Released: July 7th, 1995
Rating: R
Running time: 108 min.
Country: USA
Language: English
Budget: $35,000,000
Gross: $60,054,449 (US)
Next: Species II (1998)

Species is an American horror film of the science fiction subgenre. It was directed by Roger Donaldson and written by Dennis Feldman. The film was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and released theatrically in the United States on July 7th, 1995. The film stars several notable actors including Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger and lastly, Natasha Henstridge, making her film debut as the alien/human hybrid Sil. The premise of the movie centers around the US government's attempts to communicate with alien life by splicing extraterrestrial DNA with that of a human being. In the hopes of creating a controllable being, they genetically develop their new life form as a young girl. However, the girl, named Sil, rapidly develops into adulthood and enters her mating period in which she seduces men in order to reproduce and then kills them.

Plot Edit

Sil's chamber

Sil's chamber.

Earth's scientists sent out transmissions with information about Earth and its inhabitants, DNA structure, etc., in hopes of finding life beyond Earth. They then receive transmissions from an alien source on how to create endless fuel effortlessly. Therefore, the scientists assume that this is a friendly alien species. But from a second alien transmission, the scientists receive information about an alien DNA along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. A government team led by Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) goes forward with the genetic experiment hoping to induce a female with "more docile and controllable" traits. The alien is the result of the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) program. One of the hundred experimental ova produces a girl named Sil, who looks like a normal human but develops into a 12-year old in 3 months.

Sil's violent outbursts during sleep make the scientists consider her a threat. They try to kill her using cyanide gas but instead she breaks out of her containment cell and escapes. The government assembles a team composed of anthropologist Dr. Stephen Arden (Alfred Molina), molecular biologist Dr. Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger), empath Dan Smithson (Forest Whitaker) and mercenary Preston "Press" Lennox (Michael Madsen) to track and destroy Sil. Sil matures rapidly into an adult (Natasha Henstridge) in her early twenties and makes her way to Los Angeles. This makes tracking her extremely difficult. She is incredibly strong and intelligent with amazing regenerative powers. The scientists fear she may mate with human males and produce offspring that could eliminate the human race. Sil lacks inhibitions when it comes to killing people who get in her way and wants to produce offspring as soon as possible. She frequently morphs into her alien form, a bipedal creature with tentacles on her shoulders and back.

Sil tries first to mate with a man she meets at a night club, but after sensing that he is diabetic, rejects and kills him by puncturing his skull with her tongue. She then tries to mate with a man she meets after a car accident. They swim in the man's pool where Sil forces the man to open his swimming trunks in order to mate, but the man refuses. This is interrupted by Press and Laura. She kills the man and flees naked into a forest without being seen by the team. She pretends to be a rape victim, and then proceeds to kidnap a woman. She fakes her death by crashing the woman's car into a tree during a high-speed chase.

After cutting and dyeing her hair, she takes an attraction to Press and attempts to seduce him. She eventually copulates with Arden; then kills him when he realizes who she is and what he has done. The rest of the team then follow her into the sewers where Fitch is subsequently killed and the area where she and her offspring are destroyed. Press uses a grenade launcher on Sil, blowing her head off. The trio leaves the area. The last scene shows a rat chewing on one of Sil's severed tentacles; it starts to mutate into a vicious beast and attacks another rat. [1]

Cast Edit

Ben Kingsley Xavier Fitch
Michael Madsen Preston Lennox
Alfred Molina Doctor Stephen Arden
Forest Whitaker Dan Smithson
Marg Helgenberger Doctor Laura Baker
Natasha Henstridge Sil
Michelle Williams Young Sil
Jordan Lund Aide
Don Fischer Aide
Scott McKenna Train hobo
Virginia Morris Mother
Jayne Luke Snack shop clerk
David K. Schroeder German tourist
David Jensen Conductor
Esther Scott Female conductor
Shirley Prestia Victoria Roth, Ph.D
William Utay Colleague
David Selburg Government man
Herta Ware Mrs. Morris
Melissa Bickerton Fitch's secretary
Lucy Rodriguez Wedding dress saleswoman
Scott Sproule Team driver
Stogie Kenyatta Cop
Gary Bullock Motel clerk
Susan Hauser Lab worker
William Bumiller Club bouncer
Caroline Barclay Drunken girl
Matthew Ashford Guy in club
Anthony Guidera Robbie, guy picking up Sil
Sarah S. Leese Screaming woman
Whip Hubley John Carey
Patricia Belcher Hospital admittance clerk
Richard Fancy Hospital doctor
Leslie Ishii Hospital nurse
Marliese K. Schneider Abducted woman
Robert Mendelson Homeless man
Pam Cook Commercial model
Lisa Liberati Bathroom bimbo
Ed Stone Waiter
Dendrie Taylor Marie
Kurtis Burow Baby boy
Dana Hee Creature performer
Frank Welker Alien Sil
Jellybean Benitez Club DJ
Jimmy Chunga Commando
James Ent Lieutenant Steele
Christopher Ivins Soldier
Zak Knutson Club doorman
Chauntal Lewis Young Sil
Coati Mundi Conga player

Notes Edit

Production Edit

  • The movie was shot primarily in Los Angeles, California. Notable points of interest include Union Station at 800 North Alameda Street, the University of Southern California and the Biltmore Hotel at 506 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Other scenes were filmed in Santa Monica, California, including the Santa Monica Pier, as well as Brigham, Utah and the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Home Video Edit

  • Species was first released to home video in VHS and Laserdisc format in 1996 by MGM/United Artists Home Entertainment.
  • It was released to DVD by MGM on March 26th, 1997. Special features included an 8-page booklet with trivia, production notes and a revealing look into the making of the movie.
  • The film has also been included on the five-disc The Species Collection, which was released by MGM on September 9th, 2008 (which is also the same day as actress Michelle Williams' birthday).

Fun Facts Edit

  • Natasha Henstridge lampooned her character of Sil from Species in the "Tom's Rhinoplasty" episode of the animated comedy South Park.

Quotes Edit

  • Xavier Fitch: We decided to make it female so it would be more docile and controllable.
  • Preston Lennox: More docile and controllable, eh? You guys don't get out much.



  • Laura Baker: I got his machine. Should I leave a message?
  • Preston Lennox: Yeah. Tell him he's about to copulate with a creature from outer space.



  • Dan Smithson: I thought I was dead.
  • Preston Lennox: I thought you'd drank your last Long Island Iced Tea there, Dan.
  • Laura Baker: Yeah, I thought we all had. Hey, you okay?
  • Dan Smithson: Yeah, I'm okay. My pants are a little messed up, but I'm okay.
  • Laura Baker: She was half us, half something else. I wonder which was the predatory half.
  • Preston Lennox: The dead half. Let's get the hell out of here.

Recommendations Edit

Sci-fi/horror films

External Links Edit

References Edit

Keywords Edit

Characters: Dan Smithson; Laura Baker; Preston Lennox; Xavier Fitch
Locations: California; Los Angeles; Los Angeles County
Occupations: Doctor; Doorman; Federal agent; Mercenary; Secretary; Scientist
Miscellaneous: 1990s; 1995; Empath; Genetics; Lieutenant