Specimen

Your standard tale of a young man who discovers the daddy he never met was an alien, SPECIMEN is an adequate sci-fi thriller with a serviceable plot that borrows heavily from THE TERMINATOR (1984). Following a clue to the identity of the father that his mother (who died when he was eight) always refused to talk about, minor league ballplayer Mike Hillary...read more

Rating:

Your standard tale of a young man who discovers the daddy he never met was an alien, SPECIMEN is an adequate sci-fi thriller with a serviceable plot that borrows heavily from THE TERMINATOR (1984).

Following a clue to the identity of the father that his mother (who died when he was eight) always refused to talk about, minor league ballplayer Mike Hillary (Mark Paul Gosselaar) visits an old friend of his mother, small-town Sheriff Masterson (David Herman). Although he can't tell him anything,

Masterson recommends Mike for a coaching job at the town's community center. Mike's ability to connect with troubled kids wins him the attention of fellow instructor Jessica (Ingrid Kalevaars). When they are attacked by Jessica's bullying ex-boyfriend Blaine (Mark Lutz), Mike's anger erupts as it

always does--literally, in a burst of fire.

Alien bounty hunter Eleven (Doug O'Keeffe) arrives to capture Mike, killing everyone in his way. Troubled by Mike's fiery disposition, Masterson tells him his mother's secret: she believed that she had been impregnated by an alien. Eleven tracks Mike to the community center, where he is stopped by

another alien visitor, Sixty-Six (Andrew Jackson). Sixty-Six tells the still doubting Mike that he is his father, and has come to Earth to rescue him from the alien forces that have been conducting crossbreeding experiments. Both are chased into the woods by Eleven, who is defeated by Mike's newly

discovered powers. Sixty-Six dies of exposure to Earth's atmosphere, and Mike burns his body so that it won't become the subject of experimentation. He and Jessica leave the area, leaving behind at least one other young human-alien hybrid at the community center.

Given the limitless range of powers a writer could give to alien beings, one is rather disappointed that the four scribes who concocted SPECIMEN couldn't come up with anything more intriguing for these beings than the ability to create fire at will. By the end of this feature, the viewer may feel

like he or she has spent the last hour and a half staring into a roaring campfire. One can't fault the producers of this film for taking advantage of a story with which the public seems to have an endless fascination, though one could have hoped they might do something more interesting with it. In

its favor, it must be said that SPECIMEN (which was shot in 1995 and released to home video in 1997) is a model of low-budget film production; it makes good use of small- town locations, doesn't ask its cast to do more than they are capable of, and moves at a sure clip (at least after an opening

fire scene that seems interminable). (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)

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