I've been so dead tired lately that I didn't have time to watch or review an all new film. I get up at around 4:30 am so please excuse my tired updates. This review was originally written after my coworkers and I watched Lifeforce at work! This film is a good one, although I don't remember it being that good when I first saw it. It's one of those films that people have "heard of" but never saw. Mainly because it isn't played on syndicated television due to the nudity, and you know what? Despite the increase in popularity of Vampires, this movie isn't recommended often or even mentioned in "top 5" or "top 10" lists.
If you remember Cannon Films, you'll most likely remember this logo. It is the original company that released this film. I recall the original logo on the vhs tape that we rented at the video store I worked at, and it was this one. It was well polished and awesome to say the least. The Cannon films were great, and usually featured more graphic violence and terror themes than any other company out there. I even have a Cannon t-shirt...but enough of that.
Lifeforce combines two genres into one hell of a classic romp. Tobe Hooper directs this intense attempt at combining vampire movies with science fiction, and fails miserably to do justice to either side of the coin. This movie is plagued from the beginning, but has a lot of nudity to suffice the fact that there is not a lot of gore to satisfy diehard fans.
I mention gore solely on the premise that Hooper did The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and part two as well). However, the nudity almost saves this film at times, and is one of the main reasons that I followed through the whole film. The film is based on a 1976 novel entitled; “The Space Vampires” by Colin Wilson.
The movie follows a group of astronauts exploring Haley’s Comet. As the team explores the comet they find a spaceship deep inside and upon entering they discover three beings in a state of suspended animation. The majority of the crew dies, but two guys survive and save these beings, and brings them to earth.
It turns out that these beings are “space vampires” and suck the water out of people, turning the victims into flesh eating zombies. They all answer to one queen bee, who answers to some synapse looking space ship right outside of earth’s orbit.
Here’s a trailer for Lifeforce:
This movie had some horrible effects, but only compared to what we have now. In 1985 these were most likely top notch. There are a lot of lightning effects. The coolest of all are the time lapse effects on the bodies, which explode into dust. These are awesome, and don’t look amateur at all, so I’d recommend this movie just for those brief instances of explosive zombie dust.
Other than that, there is a lot of topless scenes, which is most likely why this film isn’t always rotating on the Sci-Fi Channel. There are no real sex scenes, however, featuring just boobs for about half an hour, with the female vampire 90% of the time nude. However, the director really turns off the sexuality in the latter half of the film, relying on more interaction with the characters.
A major flaw that I found was definitely the short lived character played by Patrick Stewart. In a funny moment, he is paralyzed and is forced to sit in a wheelchair. (X-men) He is only in the film for about 10 minutes, and then is transformed into the female vampire…once again nude!
My personal favorite moments in this film are the exploration of the space ship early on in the film. It really looked surreal, and the astronauts floating through the dead ship was cool.
The ending of this film is horrible, and really just leaves you hanging. If you like King Arthur, you’re going to love this ending, because it’s just like slaying a dragon. It’s horrible, and Excalibur is shown piercing through the alien/vampires and well…closes off the gates.
Not before the city is over run with vampire zombie looking creatures. They die really easy…just wanted to throw that out there.
I don’t recommend Lifeforce to everyone, but it’s not half bad after you get passed the very convoluted plot, the horrible acting on the parts of most of the actors, and the hilarious lightning effects. If you like old school boobs, you’re going to love this film as the nudity is done quite well and is not “fake” as the majority of films these days have.
Oh and….I apologize to any female readers that might find this post a bit too much.
Lifeforce is available on dvd via amazon.com or your local retailer…maybe.
If you liked Lifeforce check out:
Event Horizon via Amazon.com
Aliens via Amazon.com
Re-Animator via Amazon.com
The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires via Amazon.com
As a bonus, check out the awesome international poster for Lifeforce:
As a second Bonus, here's the official Nintendo Game Lifeforce, which as no relation to the movie, except for the fact that it takes place in Space! Click image to play the ultimate game.