Lifeforce is one of those movies you hear about for the same reason, the naked woman who was in it. Kinda like how Total Recall is remembered largely for the three breasted hooker. I finally got around to seeing Lifeforce and realized the talent that was involved in this movie which gets overlooked. John Dykstra who pioneered special effects for Star Wars was involved in this, Dan O' Bannon who wrote and came up with the idea for Alien wrote the script, Henry Mancini did the music and the director of Poltergeist is the director! Patrick Stewart and Steve Railsback are stars in this not to mention Mathilda May is the gorgous and naked alien woman. This can't be all bad right? No, in fact it isn't that bad, keep in mind that doesn't mean it's going to knock your socks off either.
In the future, a joint US and English space exploration comes across a derelict ship in the tail of Halley's Comet. Astronauts are sent to investigate and after poking around they come across a room full of dead bat like creatures and even further probing finds a capsule with three nude human's, two males and a female. Taking the humans back on board we cut to Earth where the shuttle that was exploring is found adrift near Earth and another shuttle finds the interior burned and the inhabitants onboard are dead, say the three capsuled humans. The humans once awoke back on Earth begin absorbing the energy of those around them for nourishment and begin moving they're conscience from one body to another all over England. The SAS and scientists involved come to a conclusion...the alien humans are some kind of space vampire and the ship they came from is to start collecting all the human's on Earth energy.
Lifeforce did have some nice touches, paricularily with the actors like Patrick Stewart as the Doctor at an insane asylum, Steve Railsback as the commander of the shuttle mission who we see go nuts even the SAS head played by Peter Firth has a professional and disciplined attitude that doesn't begin to start flaunting his weight around like you think he would. Mathilda May as the "Space Woman" doesn't do much in the way of acting, it's her job to be mysterious and nude. She does that well at least with only a few lines given to her.
Sadly the movie does have a couple if issues and they are small. The big one is that Dan O' Bannon and the creators doesn't quite know what he wants the story to be outside of the obvious opening of the film being very similar to O' Bannon's most famous work, Alien. Seriously, the first 10 minutes of this film is the first 50 or so of Alien truncated and sped up mostly. After the mystery with the shuttle it gets sexual and scary with the Space Woman, then back to a mystery while the SAS and scientists try to find the woman and her two male cohorts, then it gets gory with corpses and monsters and by the end we see zombie apocalypse as the space vampires and they're ilk start to spread among the London inhabitants. If they stuck to cool and mysterious it would have been better to me anyway and leave only a little bit of the monsters in. I wouldn't mind the film's slow pace either if the scares were a little better and not all shock-see them coming a mile away scares.
I was interested in seeing Lifeforce even inspite of it's world's oldest word of mouth that it has. It's not bad and it easily could have delved far worse into complete schlock territory so tt's a good thing the talent involved keeps things above that level. The slow paces and uneven tone though made me feel that my Lifeforce was running dry at times.
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