Lifeforce (1985)

R   |    |  Action, Horror, Mystery


Lifeforce (1985) Poster

A race of space vampires arrives in London and infects the populace, beginning an apocalyptic descent into chaos.


6.1/10
20,539

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  • Tobe Hooper in Lifeforce (1985)
  • Lifeforce (1985)
  • Peter Firth and Steve Railsback in Lifeforce (1985)
  • Mathilda May and Steve Railsback in Lifeforce (1985)
  • Lifeforce (1985)
  • Peter Firth and Bill Malin in Lifeforce (1985)

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24 December 2018 | AlsExGal
6
| 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.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the one hour and fifty-six minute version, Peter Firth turns up twenty-five minutes in.


Quotes

Colonel Tom Carlsen: She's resisting. I'm going to have to force her to tell me. Despite appearances, this women is a masochist. An extreme masochist. She wants me to force the name out of her. She wants me to hurt her. I can see the images in her mind. You want to stay...


Goofs

It is stated that the continuous acceleration from the engines created artificial gravity. If they had been continually accelerating then when they went do dock with the alien ship they would need to spend hours, if not days, slowing down.


Alternate Versions

Scenes cut from 101 min but in 116 min version.

  • Voiceover describing the Churchill's mission and the Nerva device.
  • Derebridge has a conversation with the Radar Technicians about the object in the comet and it being 150 miles long.
  • The opening line of Carlsen about what is 150 miles long Astronauts going into the comet has remarks from Derebridge about the state of the craft.
  • The Spacecraft opening up has bits and pieces removed.
  • Dr. Bukovsky being told by a RAF officer about the state of Churchill's orbit and it had not changed since leaving the comet.
  • Bukovsky and a NASA official agreeing that the Columbia should be sent into space to investigate.
  • Scenes with the Columbia rescue party trimmed in particular talk about fate of the crew and obtaining the video tapes.
  • A whole scene is removed which introduces Fallanda and The Pathologist which sets up Fallanda's character.
  • A Cabinet Minister discussing the crystal cases with Fallanda, Bukovsky the pathologist and a Metallurgist.
  • The Minister is inquiring whether X Rays have been done and their results -- blurred images. The metallurgist is very puzzled by the cases. Plus comments about are the bodies being alive.
  • After being shown the Guard's body, Colonel Caine is interrogating Bukovsky and Fallanda about the Space Girl (Matilda May). Being told about the Churchill's escape Pod being missing, the fire and the cases. After this Fallanda's conversation with Caine about is there life after death is trimmed.
  • The Hyde Park scene is trimmed; the Police Inspector (Nicholas Donnelly) has three lines in 116 version but in the 101 min version he has one line.
  • Bukovsky on the phone about Carlsen being in a Walter Reed Army Hospital, he demands Carlsen is brought to London.
  • Carlsen's debriefing in 116 version also includes Bukovsky introducing Colonel Caine of the SAS remarking about we all thought You were dead plus the comments about a pretty nurse, the Churchill flashback is trimmed.
  • Just before Carlsen's nightmare a scene where Bukovsky informs Caine that NASA have tracked a strange object leaving the comet which is heading for Earth in two days time also there is to be a meeting at Downing Street (The Prime Minister and his Cabinet meet at the PM's home for non UK readers).
  • After the hypnotizing of Carlsen's comments made by Bukosvsky about the vampires of legend taking their Earth with them ( The majority of comments about vampires in 116 version are missing from 101 version explains why the title was changed from Space Vampires to Lifeforce).
  • The scene with Ellen(Nancy Paul) is cut slightly.
  • The attack on Dr.Armstrong(Patrick Stewart) is shortened.
  • The Kiss between Armstrong and Carlsen is removed.
  • After the deaths of Sir Percy(Aubrey Morris) and Armstrong, the Churchill flashback the love scene between Carlsen and the Space Girl is cut to the bone. Likewise the scene with the Infected PM (Peter Porteous) and his Secretary, Miss Haversham(Katherine Schofield) has had huge chunks cut out e.g. the PM being told of The Home Secretary's demise. Plus there are lines reactions closeups omitted here where and everywhere. The 101 Min version had some more zombie mayhem.


Soundtracks

The Lifeforce Theme
Written by
Michael Kamen and Henry Mancini
Performed by Henry Mancini

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Horror | Mystery | Romance | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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