Twenty years ago today saw the release of the absolutely hilarious film Species, a movie in which Natasha Henstridge plays an alien seductress who has sex with guys and then kills them. It birthed two sequels, both of which Henstridge signed on for, so she probably has some affection for her first starring role. Neither of them are terribly good—though Species 2 improves upon the original by casting Richard Belzer as President of the United States—but they did contribute essential works to the mighty canon of films in which alien women fuck and/or kill people. And so, as a birthday honorific for the so-bad-it’s-mostly-still-bad trilogy, we present to you this sampling of alien women, fucking and/or killing people, in the grand tradition of Species.
Marvel’s Black Widow plays an actual black widow of sorts in Brian Glazer’s hypnotic film about a mysterious alien that lures men back to her weird underwater preservation lair, where they are then seemingly consumed by something otherworldly. The rare movie that makes you realize this subgenre actually includes legitimately great art.
Laura Harris’ Marybeth Louise Hutchinson doesn’t have sex with anyone before she kills them, though it’s not out of any desire to avoid it. Indeed, her voracious alien invader is up for pretty much anything, and seems on the verge of hooking up with Josh Hartnett’s bad boy before they get rudely interrupted by plot machinations. Ultimately, she ends up barely killing anyone. Pretty weak, Marybeth.
A relatively dumb sequel gets a villain to match. Sarleena is no great shakes in the brains department, but when it comes to eating human men who annoy her, she can digest dudes with the best of them.
Here we have the classic “appeal to dumb guy in order to gain access to a secure location” tactic, combined with the benefit of getting to watch the alien bite off Martin Short’s finger. A tried and true alien move.
In the opposite vein, we have the good-hearted alien, who comes to Earth in order to investigate but ends up falling in love. Basinger’s Celeste gets a quick tutorial on sex and then applies it to her night with Dan Aykroyd’s Steven Mills. Needless to say, Steven has a better encounter with an alien than pretty much anyone else on this list.
The 1985 film Lifeforce, directed by Poltergeist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre helmer Tobe Hooper, is pretty out there, but its Space Girl is more or less a screwing-and-killing machine. Essentially a vampire of sorts, she is ultimately stopped in the film’s climax (shown above), although the guy has to kill himself as well to save the day. So, call it a mixed blessing.