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Lifeforce [VHS]

4.0 out of 5 stars 317 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Railsback, Mathilda May, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Patrick Stewart
  • Directors: Tobe Hooper
  • Writers: Colin Wilson, Dan O'Bannon, Don Jakoby, Michael Armstrong, Olaf Pooley
  • Producers: Menahem Golan, Michael J. Kagan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: June 18, 1996
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792836677
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,599 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Director Tobe Hooper was a hot property after he scored a popular hit with Poltergeist (thanks in part to producer Steven Spielberg), so his follow-up film was the most wildly ambitious of his career to date. Armed with a big budget and a special effects crew led by Star Wars pioneer John Dykstra, Hooper and Alien cowriter Dan O'Bannon whipped up a movie that must be seen to be believed. That's not really a compliment, since Lifeforce isn't much of a movie when all the sound and fury is over. But you've got to admit there's something crazily admirable about a movie that starts out as a science fiction adventure about a mission to explore Halley's comet, turns into an alien-invasion thriller featuring a beautiful naked woman (Mathilda May) who's a vampire from space, and escalates into an end-of-the-world disaster flick! It's got everything you could want from a horror movie--from zombies running amok in London to rotting corpses and energy bolts to signal the apocalypse to come! Holding it all together is Steve Railsback as the Halley mission survivor who holds the key to mankind's salvation--but what fun is saving the world when you could be seduced by a sexy naked space vampire? Check out Lifeforce to see how it all turns out. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 23, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie has a very original twist on the old standard vampire tale, with the horror Cult King director - Tobe Hooper at the helm. It is taut pace movie scripted by Dan O'Bannon (Blue Thunder) from a Colin Wilson (Max Headroom) book. The casts is a powerhouse, Frank Finlay as Dr. Hanns Fallada, Peter Firth Brit Colonel Colin Caine, the always bizarrely brilliant Steve Railsback, Mathilda May as the female Space Vampire (not many lines but she does make an "impression"), Patrick Stewart (pre Jean Luc) as Dr. Armstrong, John Hallam (The Mummy) as Lamson and Chris Jagger as a guard (Yeppers, that is the brother of Mick!). Add in some nifty Special Effects for the vampire victims and you have one really great time!
The vampire tale is rather worn, but they manage to give a fresh take on it. Instead of fangs and sucking neck, they suck the "lifeforce" from humans, leaving the body robbed of everything and looking like a "tube of toothpaste all squished out". Worse, in short order we see that it spreads like a plague with the rapidness of dominoes.
The movie opens with the return of the multi-national spaceshuttle The Church to earth. It's overdue and they anticipate something is wrong. When the board it, they find the spaceship had been set to flame, the crew supposedly all dead, and three perfect bodies in glass coffins. They haul them back, quarantine them, but they don't stay that way for long. They soon find out they are space vampires and are now a loose on earth. Enter Railsback as the US army Colonel, the only survivor from the Churchill who escaped in a pod. He tells how they found a strange spaceship hidden in Hailey's Comet. When they boarded the found the glass coffins and lots of weird dead bats-type things.
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Format: DVD
Though director Tobe Hoooper has had more downs than ups in his career, his film Lifeforce comes out being one of his best, following only Texas Chainsaw Massacre adn Poltergeist. Though initially a box-office failure, I found Lifeforce to be a refreshing story in the otherwise repetitive Science Fiction genre. That's whats sad about the genre; when filmmakers come out with somehting new and different, it flops, but if it's another ALien rip-off, box-office hit. This "vampire" story takes a new turn on the vampire myth, with aliens arriving on Earth that drain people of "lifeforce," the essence of life. I found most of the performances to be great, espiceally Peter Firth as British Agaent Kane. He makes this film totally believable. Steve Railsback is actually the weakest in the cast, but I have to hand it to him, he had a difficult role to play and he did a credible job at it. The effects are also very good for the time and the filmmakers use their fairly high budget to their addvantage. The one thing I hate about this film is that all people seem to recognize is the nudity. They forget about the story and focus on Mathilda May's body (though she I will say she does have a great body). This film goes far beyond the nudity. It drives me nuts when I ask someone if they've seen Lifeforce and they respond "is that the film with that hot naked chick?" So look beyond the nudity and find and marvel at the very creative story aided by the mesmerizing score by Henry Mancini and the London Symphony Orchestra. I found the film very good all the way through . Some seem to think the film fizzles out towards the end when London is in anarchy with zombies running around but I myself found it very exciting and the zombie scenes rivel those of even George Romero.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
1985's Lifeforce by Tobe Hooper was critically panned and didn't make a dent in that year's box-office. But the strangest thing happened in the two decades since its initial release. The film has taken on a cult-status amongst fans of science-fiction and horror films. Hooper's film melds together so many different genre conventions that it's hard to think of Lifeforce as just a horror movie or just a sci-fi film. The film is both of those fantasy genres and the end result is a darkly campy new take on the vampire story.

The premise for Lifeforce starts off heavy on the science-fiction. 1985-86 was called the Year of the Comet since Halley's Comet was making its visit after a 76 year absence. As with most events that take on cultural significance the film studios were quick to capitalize on the event by making many low-budget and even slapdash quality sci-fi and horror films about it. Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce was one of the better ones. Hooper was still on a relative high from his success on Poltergeist. Mostly know for his low-budget and exploitation classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hooper was given a much larger budget to direct a film about space vampires discovered in a gigantic alien ship hidden in the tail of Halley's Comet. The discovery of this alien spacecraft and its sleeping inhabitants is where the sci-fi part of the film shows. The special effects were well-done for that time. The horror part of the film gradually comes to the forefront as the sleeping inhabitants of the ship gets transferred over to the International Space Shuttle sent to investigate the comet. Crewmembers soon begin to die inexplicably until only one remains and escapes by way of the shuttles escape pod.
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