The ‘90s were a huge time for straight to video action/sci-fi/horror films. They were also a huge time for knock-off films of which the film DNA (1997) is guilty of. The film stars Mark Dacascos (star of many ‘90s and ‘00s low budget action/sci-fi/horror films) as Dr. Ash Mattley, a jungle doctor who must do battle with an alien creature who was crafted in a lab using some of his knowledge unknowingly. Jurgen Prochnow (also known for his association in low budget action/sci-fi/horror films) stars as a rival scientist Dr. Carl Wessinger, who has used Mattley’s technology to create an alien monster clone from the DNA of a skeleton (remnants of Jurassic Park).
Years later Mattley and Wessinger cross paths again when Wessinger’s alien clone gets loose and starts killing people. An agent by the name of Claire Sommers (Robin McKee) is sent in to clean up Wessinger’s mess and Mattley joins her on this mission. Now in order for Sommers and Mattley to get to Wessinger they must also battle an alien clone whose only mission is a killing one as it will kill anything and everything that gets in its way and soon Mattley will become the hunted (remnants of Predator) and only one will survive.
Now, for those looking for anything original and ground breaking, this is definitely not the film for them as there is not an original bone in the film’s entire make-up and in fact it borrows most of the third act wholesale from the more well-known first Predator film. Despite this, the film is entertaining. Writer Nick Davis and director William Mesa have crafted a film that hits all the required marks of a low budget indie film designed to entertain on a grand scale. Dacascos has never been an actor that had a huge breakout hit but he does know how to carry a movie which is why his career lasted as long as it did and his talents shine in the third act of this film where he must face the alien clone one-on-one.
The film also scores points for the villainous Prochnow who has made it a business of being a villain in low budget action/sci-fi/horror films. If he didn’t relish playing villains so much we wouldn’t enjoy the films he’s in as much as we do. DNA will never get points for being an original film by any means but it is one of those ‘90s entertainment extravaganzas.