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Species: The Awakening (DVD only)


Stars: Ben Cross, Helena Mattson, Dominic Keating, Marlene Farvela, Meagen Fay

Director: Nick Lyon

Every bit as nasty as any fan of the Species series could wish, this fourth batch of deadly alien females has an understandably worried-looking Cross as Tom Hollander (another case of a fictitious character being given the name of a real actor), a scientist who, in the true tradition of beastly horror films down the ages, has meddled in Things Best Left Alone.

In partnership with mad Australian Forbes McGuire (Keating), Hollander has used alien DNA (goodness knows where they got it from) combined with human strands to 'experiment with a new kind of life'. What it got Hollander is a 'niece', Miranda (Mattson), who's blonde, built and bright (too bright, in fact, for comfort).

One night her alien DNA starts to surface and she soon dispatches most of the staff at the local hospital with her deadly prehensile tongue, like a chameleon spearing flies (not sure where all that tongue is stored, but no matter). Fleeing to Mexico to get help from Forbes, Hollander and Miranda find alien species rampant there, a sure sign Forbes is around and at work.

He's created his own brunette bimbo (Farvela) for carnal purposes, but, as any horror fan will know, things soon start to go predictably, horribly wrong, as Miranda, her lifespan running out, rushes to reproduce the species.

The acting here is pretty basic (in Keating's case less than that), but that's not what fans will buy this for and director Lyon caters accordingly, with gore galore, shapely nude girls, decent special effects - although that tongue makes this virtually a one-trick film - and a fair ration of action. You might be surprised, too, at who survives in the end

David Quinlan

USA/Mexico 2007. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by FotoKem.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 30 May 2008