Unrated Edition DVD cover
|Directed by||Brad Turner|
|Produced by||David Dwiggins|
|Written by||Ben Ripley|
John Paul Pitoc
|Running time||111 minutes|
Species III is a 2004 science fiction film. Directed by Brad Turner, it is the third installment of the Species series and stars Robert Knepper, Sunny Mabrey, Robin Dunne, Amelia Cooke, and John Paul Pitoc. Natasha Henstridge, who was contracted to a trilogy commencing with the first Species film, briefly reprises the role of Eve in the opening scene.
Its American broadcast premiere was on the Sci Fi Channel. It was then released to video in both a standard and an unrated version. The film was shot in high-definition video.
The film begins immediately where Species II left off. Hours after the events of the previous film, the medical van transporting the lifeless Eve has lost its way but when the co-driver tries to radio their superiors, the driver stops and holds him at gun-point. Both are surprised by the alien child (now called "half-breed") appearing in the back window and killing the co-driver with his tongue. In the back the driver finds the half-breed and a reviving Eve, who goes into labor and gives birth to a newborn alien. While the half-breed strangles Eve with his tongue, the driver wraps the newborn into his jacket and runs off through the forest as a military helicopter finds the deserted van. Government agent Wasach orders an autopsy and afterwards the burning of Eve's body.
The driver is revealed as Dr. Abbot, teaching biochemistry at university who believes it is wrong to decide whether a species should live or die. In his home, he keeps Eve's offspring who within a few months has grown into a young girl named Sara. The half-breed that killed Eve, also aged, visits Dr. Abbot in his office, asking to see "it" (Eve's offspring) but then partly decays and dies in his chair. The shocked Doctor asks Dean, a student whose funding is in jeopardy, to assist him in his research to create a perfect alien DNA, promising him funding and future awards.
In Abbot's absence, Sara undergoes a metamorphosis similar to Sil's that envelopes her into a cocoon, destroying her clothes but transforming her into a blonde young woman. When Dr. Turner, a fellow professor, arrives at Abbot's house, he comes across Sara, who tries to seduce him, but rejects him when she detects that his genes are imperfect. Dr. Turner annoyed at his lost opportunity, implies his raping intentions, and is then killed by Sara. Looking for prospective breeding partners, Sara strolls onto campus (fully clothed), and finally makes contact with another half-breed. The two begin to mate but then Sara rejects him when she discovers that he suffers from diseases. Later on, at Abbot's house, the half-breed attacks Sara and tries to impregnate her. Abbot sprays hydrochloric gas over the lab, killing the half-breed, but is killed by the latter. Left in charge, Dean ponders whether he should continue alone. Sara urges him to save her species. Later, Dean follows Sara to his campus where he stops in a classroom where she tries to mate with him but he sees her in her alien form so he resents and stops her.
Meanwhile, Dean's campus roommate, Hastings, contacted a website, on which a woman called Amelia wants to date biochemists, feeding her data from Dean's notes. Amelia, the leader of the half-breeds responds to it and begins to arrive at his campus. On her way she stops at a gas station where she allows a gas station attendant to rape her before she kills him. She then arrives at the campus and is looking for Eve's offspring, meets with him, she senses Sara's presence and kidnaps Hastings. At Abbot's house, Amelia and Sara pressure Hastings into creating the perfect species so that both can have mates.
Dean is picked up by agent Wasach, who also monitored the Amelia website and observed some connection to the disbanded project Athena. The two interrupt creating the proceedings at Abbot's house and then take Sara's harvested eggs. The three humans flee to a nearby experimental power plant, followed by Amelia and Sara. Dean attempts to trap Sara and Amelia in the plant's core. When Sara's eggs fall into the core, Amelia attempts to kill Dean but is stopped by Sara, who throws Amelia into the core. Dean manages to close the shaft to the core just in time to prevent a nuclear disaster, but not before Sara also falls down the shaft.
Later, when Hastings drops by Abbot's house he finds Sara alive. Dean explains that he pulled her to safety and created the perfect mate for her, using the salvageable parts of the half-breed DNA so that Sara wouldn't be alone. Dean asks Sara why she saved him, since with her eggs gone there was no reason to, Sara doesn't answer, but its indicated that she's grown to care for Dean. After Sara and her mate have departed, Dean reveals to Hastings that he ensured the mate would be sterile, thereby preventing any offspring.
- Natasha Henstridge as Eve
- Robert Knepper as Dr. Abbot
- Robin Dunne as Dean
- Sunny Mabrey as Sara
- Amelia Cooke as Amelia
- John Paul Pitoc as Hastings
- Michael Warren as Agent Wasach
- Christopher Neame as Dr. Nicholas Turner
- Patricia Bethune as Colleen
- Joel Stoffer as Portus
- James Leo Ryan as Yosef
- Savanna Fields as Young Sara
- Reed Frerichs as ISD Staffer
- Marc D. Wilson as Crew Chief
- Matthew Yang King as Specialist Robert Kelley
- Jason Sarcinelli as Male Alien (uncredited)
Executive producer Frank Mancuso Jr., who also worked on the previous Species films, wanted the sequel to be aimed more at young adults, so the characters were written to be younger than what was originally planned. Also, Mancuso wanted the creatures to look slightly different from H.R. Giger's original concept. The alien species was then redesigned by Rob Hinderstien.
Species III received mixed but mostly negative reviews, holding a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 6 reviews. It did however receive better reviews than Species II, and received 2.5 out of 5 stars with positive reviews stating "while the script is fairly underdeveloped, it is decent enough to watch and for a straight to video film was a hell of a lot better than Species II, this film is for fans who enjoyed the first two films, there is enough gore and nudity to make it into a film that is enjoyable enough to watch, the acting and the special effects were also decent enough to make this into an entertaining sequel".
With negative reviews stating "this film is underdeveloped with an absurd plot and bad special effects, this film just reuses old ideas and is not worth your time, it is a pointless sequel that lacks an effective story to make it a watchable film, it is just camouflaged by nudity", many fans were disappointed with the surprise death of the character Eve (Natasha Henstridge) and reacted negatively to her simple cameo.
A fourth film, Species – The Awakening was released directly to DVD in 2007. While it does continue the Species series, it was a mostly stand-alone film, not a direct follow-up to the previous film (it does, however, mention the project from the first Species movie).