Lifeforce (1985)
December 11, 2015 1:22 PM - Subscribe

A race of space vampires arrive in London and infect the populace.

This is a selection of MeFi Horror Club, details of which can be found here.
posted by Artw (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't believe this is the first Tobe Hooper film we've discussed here. That can't be right, can it?
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on December 11, 2015


How Did This Get Made just did an episode on this as well. Enjoy.
posted by Fizz at 2:01 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Related to that: Lifeforce oral history - though I'd take issue with it being "so bad they it is amazing" - it is amazing in it's special way.
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, man, this movie. Seen it a couple of times, and it's always so much fun. I don't believe I've seen anything quite like it.

I also caught an interview with Patrick Stewart where it came up, and IIRC, he explained that he'd just broken a window, got a call for the movie, they were offering what it would cost to replace the window... thus, he was in. (Hope I am not misremembering the details, this was years ago.)
posted by mordax at 5:41 PM on December 11, 2015


Yes, this movie definitely isn't "so bad it's amazing." It's not,"an absolute mess of a movie," [Caution: Nudity] either. It's just amazing. It's so unlike anything else that comparisons are hard. It's a vampire movie, and a sci-fi movie, and a fantasy all at the same time. It's got a little action. It's got magic swords. It's got sex. It's a horror movie where people mostly don't act like idiots! When's the last time you've ever seen one of those?

Peter Firth is excellent as Col. Caine. He's thoughtful, but a man of action. (Also a natural voyeur.) This isn't really a quotable movie, but he gets one of the few. After Caine decides to go into hell-razed London, he commandeers a car. The sent-over-from-central-casting British sergeant major tells him, "You don't want to go in there." He quips back, "I know I don't," and tears off while the sergeant salutes.

Frank Finlay as Dr. Fallada also shines. His final scene is one of the more memorable deaths in a movie chock-a-block with them. Steve Railsback turns in a great performance as well.

Then there's Mathilda May. I mean, this is a movie about Mathilda May's character, and we never even learn her name. She's credited as "Space Girl." She spends a lot of time naked in this movie. It just makes her all the more terrifying though.

The commentary track says they tried waxing her because they thought it would make her seem "less nude." This did not work. In that same commentary Hooper is asked what the first thing to come to mind when someone mentions Lifeforce is. He answers, "Mathilda May."
posted by ob1quixote at 8:08 PM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I first saw this edited for commercial TV. Let me tell you, I was quite surprised when I later saw it on VHS.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:13 PM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


I can imagine. For one thing, it went from thirty minutes to two hours...
posted by happyroach at 9:44 PM on December 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


. It's a vampire movie, and a sci-fi movie, and a fantasy all at the same time. It's got a little action. It's got magic swords. It's got sex.

I think I counted up something like at least eight genres and sub-genres crammed in there the last time I watched it. And yet somehow it works, deliriously.

I remember reading way back in the day that Hooper could think of no logical reason why the space vampires would have clothes so had to be in the nude. Of course.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:24 AM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Obvious, really.
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


One of the points when I realized I was getting... well, at least less immature... was turning on Lifeforce when it appeared on the cable and all I could think about was that the poor thing must have been freezing the whole time, and what a brutally awkward shoot that must have been.

It's a vampire movie, and a sci-fi movie, and a fantasy all at the same time. It's got a little action. It's got magic swords. It's got sex.

It's got exploding zombie-mummies!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:44 AM on December 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh man I have to watch this and compare it to my memory. I was a teenager who loved garbage slasher movies, and this was the very first movie that I left complaining how bad it was. That is to say, I paid to see this in the theater, and I had no idea there was so much scholarship about it.
posted by rhizome at 3:21 PM on December 14, 2015


It's a movie where a beautiful woman is naked the whole time and Patrick Stewart is the best part
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:13 AM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


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