Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus for Cannon, Easedram Limited
directed by Tobe Hooper
starring Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, Patrick Stewart, Michael Gothard, Nicholas Ball, Aubrey Morris, Nancy Paul, John Hallam, John Keegan, Chris Jagger, Bill Malin, Jerome Willis, Derek Benfield, John Woodnutt, Peter Porteous, Katherine Schofield, Owen Holder, Jamie Roberts, Russell Sommers, Patrick Connor, Sidney Kean, Paul Cooper, Chris Sullivan, Mildon Cadman, Rupert Baker, Gary Hildreth, Edward Evans, Nicholas Donnelly, Peter Lovstrom, Julian Firth, Carl Rigg, Elizabeth Morton, Geoffrey Frederick, John Forbes-Robertson
screenplay by Dan O'Bannon, Don Jakoby, based on the novel The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, music by Henry Mancini, special visual effects by John Dykstra, special effects by John Gant, prosthetic effects by Nick Maley
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The space shuttle Churchill travels to Halley's Comet (which is just
passing the earth) to examine the thing, but then they find another
spaceship - something organically built - travelling in the comet's
shadow, and on board the ship, there are three naked apparently human
bodies ... and especially the female one (Mathilda May) is a sight for
30 days later: Space shuttle Columbia takes a trip to the
Churchill, which has broken off contact weeks ago. Aboard the ship,
everybody's burnt beyond recognition, however, the three bodies from the
ship in the shadow of Halley's comet are aboard unharmed ... and thus,
they are taken to earth for examination - which is when the bodies awake
and create havoc. The two male bodies are quickly disposed of though, but
everybody seems to fall in love with the woman (and can you blame them),
and thus she manages to escape, draining people of their lifeforce left
and right - a bit like a vampire. And just like with vampires, those
drained of the lifeforce come back as lifeforce-vampires in two hours
The gouvernment quickly calls in Colonel Caine (Peter Firth) to
investigate, who soon teams up with Colonel Carlsen (Steve Railsback), who
exited the Churchill via escape pod before desaster struck, and the two
men investigate ... while London is hit by a vampire plague, plus the
alien spaceship is not only collecting the souls of those drained of their
lifeforce, it also blows up historic London landmarks left and right.
Caine soon figures that Carlsen is not telling everything he knows, and
really, Carlsen is actually the one who gave life to the vampire woman, he
is actually the one who set fire to the Churchill, and now he seems to
have an agenda of his own as well ... but ultimately, Carlsen proves to be
the good guy, just trying to get close enough to the vampire woman to
stake her.. With the head vampire dead, London is soon freed of the
vampire plague ...
With his classic Texas
Chainsaw Massacre in 1974, director Tobe Hooper made a promise he
was not able to keep with any of his subsequent movies, and about half of
his movies were utter disappointments. Lifeforce however is one of
his better post-Texas
Chainsaw Massacre-films, it features a competent cast, pretty
impressive special effects, and some atmospheric moviemaking ... too bad
then that the film's plot is so utterly silly and clichéd!
Lifeforce is nowhere near the masterpiece Texas
Chainsaw Massacre was, it's at least entertaining on a slightly
mindless level and competently handled on a technical level, and certainly
one of Hooper's better movies.