To quote my man from that movie ‘300’ in describing this film… THIS IS MADNESS!!! So if you’ve seen the front page of this little read rarely visited website you are aware of the space dedicated to something retro. I had stumbled upon a copy of Tobe Hooper’s ‘Lifeforce’ crafted back in 1985 and when discussing this film with a colleague, around the same age, oddly enough neither us remembered much about this film outside of Captain Picard having been in it and, of course, actress Mathilda May’s titties. Having seen this movie again, probably for the first time in well over twenty years, there’s a lot more to it than Mathilda May’s titties, though they are clearly the most important part of this movie. Clearly. The casting process for that particular role must’ve been a lot of fun for a lot people. Apparently when I saw this movie for the first time when I was around eighteen, I paid just enough attention to observe some titties, lost interest when the titties left the screen, only to focus again when the titties returned. I observed this very same behavior when my I took my then two-year old son to watch that horrible Barney Movie. Barney on the screen, two year old engaged. Barney off the screen, two year old ready to burn the place down. But now, as an old man of worldliness and maturity, I can focus on ‘Lifeforce’ the film experience. This time around the mature version of Christopher also observed that Mathilda May had a nice little ass on her as well. Maturity.
The United Kingdom has a space program. Who knew? The space shuttle Churchill, led by Col. Tom Carlsen, the worst space shuttle captain ever, has flown into the tip of Haley’s Comet. Carlson and a few crew members find a ship inside the comet, jump into their spacesuits and investigate. Inside the ship they find a shitload of dried up creatures that look like giant bats. Time to get the hell outta there right? Nope, let’s bag one of these giant bats and take it back to earth. Then they find three perfectly preserved naked people. That’s not normal. Time to get the hell outta there right? Nope, lets bag ‘em and take them back to earth. Do these clowns have Standard Operating Procedures? Shouldn’t it be in the manual somewhere that when finding alien life forms the LAST thing we should do is cart them back to earth? In a net? UK Space Program… Worst Space Program Ever.
Some days later the UK Space Program honks find the Churchill floating in the atmosphere, everybody dead, but those three alien bodies are still looking good, and of course the height of irresponsibility would be dragging these things back to earth so that’s exactly what they do. Eventually one of the bodies, the hot chick, wakes up and sucks the life out of some dude. Keep the marriage metaphors to yourself. She makes her way out into the world, despite a guard trying to tempt her to stand down with a tasty biscuit, and sets about her business of destroying the planet.
Sage pathologist Dr. Fallada (Frank Finlay) has determined that she’s a space vampire. Super smooth SSA operative Col. Caine (Peter Firth) has been called upon to sort through this mess and ask a bunch of really obvious or obscure questions. Also Col. Carlsen has retuned, this is after setting his ship on fire and fleeing in an escape pod. If one doubted how crappy a captain he was, there you go.
Now Caine and Carlsen need to find this smoking hot naked alien, a task which is made just a little easier by Carlsen’s psycho-sexual mental link with her that allows him to know where she is at all times. The bad news is that London has been overrun with zombie vampires. The worst news is that NATO is going to nuke London if they don’t get this mess under control. Carlsen and Caine have a couple of hours find out where the Hot Chick is hiding and do her in or else London is doomed. Ummmm… she’s ‘hiding’ in the big dome that has the big blue glowing electrified light shooting out of it. The bright blue light that’s funneling electrified blue souls to the huge spaceship hovering over this dome. That’s where she is fellas. I’m just guessing though.
Ah… ‘Lifeforce’. Is Tobe Hooper’s 1985 semi cult-classic a good movie? Oh good heavens no. If one were to actually break down ‘Lifeforce’ I believe one would have to come to the unavoidable conclusion that it’s terrible. But taking the time to breakdown ‘Lifeforce’ would be foolish and pointless. Just sit back and enjoy the magic that is ‘Lifeforce’. Enjoy Steve Railsback who took shrill, wide-eyed, lung screaming overacting to new, unprecedented heights. Ponder how a movie that has the ridiculous concept of zombie space vampires, thus not needing to make a helluva lot sense to begin with, yet still manage to find amazing ways to make no sense in the nonsensical world that it exist in. There are simple things in this film which may baffle you. For instance when driving down the street and zombie vampires are reaching in your open window to suck your life out, would it not be prudent to, oh I don’t know, roll up your window? And more on that when one these things leaves an arm behind, a severed arm that’s still trying to choke you to death, it would probably be best to throw it back out these open windows as opposed to tossing it in the back seat.
In addition to the simple things, there are complex things in this amazing film which may baffle you. You may wonder how Dr. Fallada killed one of the primary space vampires by discovering that they can only be killed by a sword encased in lead aimed below the heart, above the stomach, towards their internal; energy source. Where, exactly, did that medieval sword come from? Does Dr. Fallada, by chance, have a medieval sword collection in his office? Did Fallada use trial and error when discovering how to kill this guy? Did this alien dude just stand there patiently waiting while Dr. Fallada poked him with various objects in different parts of his body until the good doctor found the right combination? You also may observe the clearly infected profusely sweating Prime Minister call his secretary in his office and wonder why Caine and Carlsen didn’t advise this woman not to enter that office. Assholes. And my life won’t be complete until I experience a sexual power so encompassing and so complete while at the same time equally horrifying and painful. How hot would that be? Waking up from an erotic dream screaming your freaking head off because it hurts so good. Oh my.
Unrelated, I wonder how Gene Rodenberry and Rick Berman saw Patrick Stewart tonguing Steve Railsback in this movie and yet somehow came to the conclusion that this guy would still make a good captain for their yet to be cast Star Trek reboot? This is why these guys are wealthy geniuses and I’m a broke idiot because tonguing Steve Railsback would immediately remove you from casting consideration as a captain on my new show.
While this film is chock full of baffling, nonsensical, plot holes and madness, what is always clear and never confusing are Mathilda May’s titties. We know that her character is really a giant bat but were totally cool with that, and that Captain Carlsen sure knows how to dream up a proper woman. I wonder what the woman would look like that these bats extracted from the recesses of my mind?
All of this stuff slipped past me the first time I saw this movie so many years ago my friends but my growth as a human has allowed to experience this fantastically silly film on a whole new level. Some people have mentioned that this a film that could use a remake. Please… no. The person that remade this film would try to ‘fix’ this movie when it’s the ludicrousness of this film that makes it pure. ‘Lifeforce’… experience it for yourself, one more time again, and feel the magic.