Earth sends out transmissions with information about Earth and its inhabitants, in a search for extra-terrestrial life. We receive transmissions on how to create unlimited fuel. Then there is a transmission about alien DNA and how to splice it with human DNA. Government scientist Xavier Finch (Ben Kingsley) and his team go ahead and do this. What could go wrong? On the assumption that females are docile, they create a female named Sil (Michelle Williams), who looks normal but develops into a 12-year-old in three months.

Frightened by the outbursts in her sleep, they decide to kill her with cyanide gas, but she breaks out of containment and escapes. The government assembles a team consisting of anthropologist Dr. Stephen Arden (Alfred Molina), molecular biologist Dr. Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger), empath Dan Smithson (Forest Whitaker), and mercenary Press Lennox (Michael Madsen) to track her down. She has become an adult by this time (Natasha Henstridge)—gorgeous, but possessed of body strength, regenerative abilities, and native intelligence. They fear rightly that she may mate with human males and produce offspring that could threaten the human race. She kills people just to get their clothing.

She tries to mate with Robbie (Anthony Guidera) but senses his diabetes and rejects him. When he forces himself on her, she kills him. Then she tries to mate with John Carey (Whip Hubley). Preston and Laura catch them in the hot tub, whereupon she turns into a bipedal mutant with tentacles and flees naked into a forest. She kidnaps a woman (Marliese K. Schneider) and assumes her identity. She reads Fitch’s lips and learns the team’s plans. After a chase, she fakes her death in a car crash. The team thinks her victim is her and congratulate themselves.

She cuts and dies her hair, takes a shine to Preston and stalks the team, unrecognized. Is everybody in this movie an idiot? Arden finds her in his hotel room, and they have sex. She is immediately impregnated and kills him. Dan senses her presence and alerts the team. They trail her into the sewers, where Fitch is killed. She gives birth and the child morphs into alien form. It is incinerated. Sil is killed and the team leaves. A rat chews on one of Sil’s severed tentacles and morphs into an alien rat.

The film was directed by Roger Donaldson and written by Dennis Feldman. It was Natasha Henstridge’s first role. You can tell because she has no clothes on. With the help of Richard Edlund’s Boss Film Studios, Sil was largely created by H.R. Giger, who created Alien. It got mixed reviews, but spawned (appropriate word) three films, a novel, and two Dark Horse comics. The idea for Species began in 1987, when Dennis Feldman read an article by Arthur C. Clarke on the difficulties an alien would face trying to visit Earth, and he postulated them sending their DNA in coded information and adapting to Earth conditions by breeding with humans.

MGM decided to save money by eliminating the terrifying nightmare train sequence, and H.R. Giger spent 100,000 dollars of his own to fund it. The train set was built upside down and Natasha Henstridge, naked and covered with KY Jelly, was pushed out through the cocoon. The alien’s planet is nine light-years from Earth and is orbiting either Sirius or Luyten 726-8A. Michelle Williams was subject to bullying in school after appearing in the movie. The scene in which Sil kills Robbie with a horrific kiss with her barbed tongue received the award for Best Kiss at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards.