Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chiller Classics present: Lifeforce (1985)

The Blu-ray release cover art
A film written by the co-writer of Alien, and directed by Tobe Hooper - the man behind The texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Poltergeist. I mean, really what is not to like about that combination. Oh, did I mention it was a ridiculously well financed film venture, and involved Life sucking space vampires? I know. Awesome meter overload.

So as you all know due to your status as Booniacs, and Buckleheads, we like to call out films from the decades past in the horror genre that for one reason, or seventeen and half reasons, we feel are worth a horror fans attention. And perhaps some love from the casual (or younger), movie lover.

The story goes... A space shuttle - Captained by Col. Tom Carlsen (played by the 80s icon Steve Railsback) - investigating Haileys Comet, discover a ship hiding within/behind it. They of course check it out, and find three attractive naked sleeping humanoids, 1 chick, 2 dicks, that they of course decide to bring back aboard their ship for further study. The space shuttle never makes it back, and after losing contact ground control sends up another shuttle to investigate. They find the ship trashed, everyone dead, and the 3 naked incased humanoids still chilling. They bring them back. The chick wakes up, sucks some peeps dry of their Lifeforce (Title shootout), and escapes the facility to wreak havoc on the world at large.
And den...
Col Tom, shows up alive in a capsule (not entirely sure how), it seems everyone is powerless to resist this alien woman and she messed up the Col's head. But dammit he's going to try to stop her from destroying the world. And Col. Colin Caine (Colin Firth), is gonna help him. It will be tricky because not only do the people she life sucks come back as life suckers, but she can jump bodies too... Ruh-roh....

But, I just want to be held... Love me... LOOOOVE ME!
Why this film is Chiller Classic worthy...
Well first you will never see another film like this. This is pretty much a fantastic summary of the height of 80s horror, and the willingness to take chances that defined the era. A nudity filled film, with a plot that to summarize as insanity seems like understating. I mean the main female alien, Mathilda May, is naked for at least half this film. And lets just say she was um... proportionately, and correctly cast. Another great point is the effects. The practical is just unreal (as evidenced by the photo above). The computer effects, though dated, thanks to the budget at the time, still get the point across. Though why there needed to sparkles... not sure. I guess it was the 80s, glitter was in. Everything about this film is big. The sets are just nuts. In one particularly enjoyable scene... in the last quarter london is under siege by life force sucking zombie vampire things - the level of destruction is just loco. And I enjoyed every moment.

The most important reason why I deemed this film worthy of Classic status; it is so freaking ridiculous. I mean it goes from vampire corpses, to basically a zombie film at the end. Patrick "Engage" Stewart himself shows up to completely sink his teeth into the role as a possessed Doctor. Watching them switch from Naked Girl, to Patrick Stewart with naked girls voice is just worth the price of admission, and sums up how nuts and yet watchable this film is.

Hot chick. Before morning makeup sesh. Dammmmmm!

Lastly. Tobe Freaking Hooper. Perhaps one of the most criminally under appreciated directors of all time. Sure he gets props for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but the man is a very, very talented dude. His skill in handling the chaos of the film is evident. For example, the little things like the zero gravity movements of the crew are handled expertly, and looked great on the just released Bluray (another bang on Job from Scream! Factory). 

I had a blast from start to finish. 
If you enjoy the glory days of perhaps the greatest decade of film exploration to date, you will not be disappointed. If you dig classic sic-fi, Boobs, extreme violence, and WTF moments... oh you have just found your Holy freaking grail....

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Horror/scifi scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

The bluray was loaded with some awesome features. So if you are a fan trust when I say the investment is worth it... Hmmm what to put on my must have BR list next...


-Chuck B. 

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