24 December 2018 | AlsExGal
The parts are greater than the sum...
...because the screenplay, taken in total, is incomprehensible. This is supposed to be an adaptation of Collin Wilson's novel "The Space Vampires". A crew on a mission to track Haley's comet encounters a huge abandoned spaceship. The ship contains the remains of huge bat like creatures and three nude beautiful humanoids. But then mission control loses contact with "The Churchill". The rescue mission finds The Churchill damaged, but the bodies of the nude humanoids remain intact and are returned to earth - bad idea. Meanwhile an escape pod with surviving astronaut Col. Tom Carlsen is found in Texas. He is flown to London (why?), where he tells first one tale of what happened on the ship, then another, then still another. The bottom line is that the three naked humanoids from space are the original vampires, they threaten earth with all of their "soul sucking", and Carlsen has a psychic link to the beautiful female with whom he seems to be in love.
The story is hard to piece together because it shape-shifts more than the vampires themselves. The first half is investigative in nature - why are these vampires here?, what do they want? , where have they gone?, how can they be defeated?. That morphs into the space vampires running rampant in London, harvesting human souls and turning their victims into zombies - why?. Other than producing great special effects, that is never clear.
It seemed like a wasted opportunity overall, but scene by scene it is beautiful to look at, and like the female space vampire herself, creepy yet attractive. As the end credits rolled I wondered what happened here. You have well known director Tobe Hooper and a good supporting cast including Patrick Stewart and Peter Firth. But then I saw that it was produced by the Cannon Group at a time when they had received an infusion of cash by Michael Milken. This caused them to go on a spending spree for special effects and big names and neglect screenplay, ultimately imploding about five years after this film was made.
I'd say that it would be easy for this to become a guilty pleasure of mine and I would recommend it just on the weirdness factor alone.