Dangerous DNA

Main Cast: Natasha Henstridge, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger

Director: Roger Donaldson

Plot Summary: Sil, an experimental mix between human and alien DNA, escapes a government lab and finds herself cruising in LA. Driven by powerful urges to mate and no morals against killing, she searches for a suitable subject while the government scientists search for her.

Not too horrible as these things go, but certainly filled with bone-headed decisions of certain hapless humans. There is a scene in a train where a conductor goes in to check on the young Sil (she’s a girl at this point in the movie) but finds a weird, pulsating sac stuck to the far wall of the cabin. Rather than legging it quickly in the other direction (which I sure the heck would do), she stands there agape… and even walks forward! When that happened I thought a) the character deserved what she got and b) this was going to be another movie where the characters are driven by the plot and not vice versa.

Well, I was right. But the story (barely) redeems such low-level thinking. And Natasha Henstridge, as the beautiful human/alien Sil, saves the movie. Sure, she walks around naked most of the time. But this is the reason for the movie… let’s be honest. And gore. There’s nothing like an evil alien shooting out tentacles or other claws to burst someone’s chest (or head) into a blood-splattered heap on the ground. In the 1950s, independent film companies churned out hundreds of B-grade (and C-, D- and F-) flicks that had bug-eyed monsters terrorizing screaming females in swimsuits or underwear. It’s kinda nice to see the tables turned and have a swim suited female doing the terrorizing.

Okay, the plot… Sil escapes and goes on a mating spree, finding and rejecting many different males before settling on the guy hired to find her (Madsen). But he’s partial to the babe scientist (Helgenberger): what a bummer for the alien. The scientists chase Sil around LA, finally trapping her deep underground in some caverns. She does get the ax, but things are left open for a sequel (as it turns out, there are 2 more so far).

As I said, this isn’t too bad. But the plot is king, and characters sometimes do stupid things. But the alien is very nice to look at (while human), and things do get blown up real good, so I can’t really expect too much more. Except maybe a good story… nah. Not with an alien babe looking to mate. That sort of story demands the very B-movie best, and this delivers on that score.

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