Sunday Cult film Corner: “Lifeforce (1985)”

12 Jun

Damn it’s still really difficult to type, but a decent mix of beer and painkillers took care of that. Iceland today has been basking i a warm summers glare with people starting to wilt under the heady temperatures of 12 Celsius!! Phew what a scorcher!

And today yours truly was witness to a well know icelandic custom at this time of year where the locals indoctrinate its youth into the loving arms of the national church, otherwise known as the confirmation. At least there was a beer and some food at the end of it all.

And while i was sitting there wondering what the hell was going on, my wandered as i thought to myself “you know what i really want to watch right now? No brain, not the handball. What i want to watch is a crazy Sci Fi space vampire zombie apocalypse movie that’s based in the UK”. “Don’t be silly” said my brain. “there’s no film like that in the world!” Oh yeah? Well ladies and gentlemen (and my brain), for tonight’s Sunday Cult film, i give you the completely outlandish classic LIFEFORCE.

The plot is rather simple. A spaceship, the Churchill, is in deep space investigating Haleys Comet, when they find a spaceship hidden by said comet. They find the spaceship deserted except for three humanoid aliens (1 female, 2 male) in suspended animation. On their way back, they lose contact with earth. A subsequent rescue mission finds only one survivor as well as the 3 aliens. The aliens and the survivor are taken back to earth for closer examination. A big mistake, as it appears that they seem to be space vampires who feed not on your blood, but your lifeforce. Oh and once drained, the victim turns into a zombie that also craves human lifeforce! Can a mix of scientists, a kick ass SAS guy and the shuttle survivor stop the aliens in time, before the earth is destroyed?

Lifeforce was directed by Tobe Hopper, 3 years after he directed Poltergeist. This was a film with a very big budget for its time (approx $25 million) with the idea of creating a major sci-fi blockbuster. alas it performed really badly at the box-office and Hooper never really recovered his career after wards. As a film, Lifeforce is certainly sleek with decent special effect. But it still clings to a B-movie/exploitation ethos, especially as the female lead vampire alien is almost completely naked the whole time in the film. Casting wise it has the usual Brit acting talent on display (Patrick Stewart, Frank Findlay) as well as my favourite, Peter Firth, as the dashing but equally direct and brutal SAS officer Colin Caine (Peter Firth would go on to be better known to UK  fans as the imperious Harry Pearce from BBC spy drama “Spooks”).  Plus it was aliens, vampires AND zombies! I mean, who can really go wrong with that??

So while i go off to an illegal party (apparently it is illegal to have an official party during a christian holiday), you sit back and watch the OTT sci-fi madness…

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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Film


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