- 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: RestrictedR
- Number of tapes: 1
- Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
- VHS Release Date: June 18, 1996
- Run Time: 116 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 342 customer reviews
- ASIN: 0792836677
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,778 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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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
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Probably not for everyone. Big budget, very pyrotechnic, over the top scifi. Some great actors. You get to see "Picard" when he still had some hair for one example.
Watch a trailer/preview before you buy it.
Fun, creepy, wild.
note this set contains the US and UK releases. There are differences mainly in the soundtrack but also in the length and some gory scenes, etc.
When the 3 human bodies come to life all heck breaks loose. It seems this alien race can drain the lifeforce from other creatures creating. In doing so, however, the victim becomes a similar vampire-like creature. Colonel Colin Caine (Peter Firth) becomes involved in an effort to try and stop the naked woman (Mathilda May)that stalks innocents draining them of their lives. Carlsen, Caine and Dr. Hans Fallada (the hammy Frank Finlay who clearly recognized this would become a fun cult classic) become the last hope to stop all of London from becoming soul vampires.
Well directed by Hooper, "Lifeforce" is larger than life and writ twice as large as that. It's a bit of a cult classic with it's histronic tone. Railsback, Firth, Finlay, May and Patrick Stewart are perfect choices for the film. They all ham it up quite a bit adding to the cult allure of "Lifeforce". The visuals by John Dykstra ("Star Wars", "Spider-Man", "Spider-Man 2", "Battlestar Galactica")are pretty good considering the budget and time constraints in shooting the film. Dan O'Bannon ("Alien", "Total Recall", "Return of the Living Dead")and Dan Jacoby ("The Philadelphia Experiment", "Blue Thunder" and "John Carpenter's Vampires")both scripted the film and took Wilson's basic premise constructing an unusual screenplay to say the least
Shout! Factory has reissued this cult classic in a terrific deluxe packed edition. The Blu-ray features both the original U.S. theatrical release as well as the longer, extended edition that appeared in Europe.
The film has never looked better with a very nice, sharp (surprisingly given the many visual effects in the film)transfer. The audio sounds quite nice as well with lossless DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix of the film.
This is a region A Blu-ray and the DVD is in NTSC. The cover is reversable with new artwork for this edition and the original theatrical artwork on the flipside of the cover.
The special features just add to the quality of this release.
We get a new interview with actor Steve Railsback entitled "Carlson's Curse" discussing the challenge of the making the film and how he ended up with the lead role (he also mentions "The Tonight Show" interview where Patrick Stewart --who has a bit part--was asked what his first screen kiss was and he, stated without missing a beat, "Steve Railsback".The interview lasts around six minutes.
Tobe Hooper appears in a a new interview (outside of his audio commentary track)entitled "Space Vampires in London". Hooper discusses the genesis of the project and the advantage of working with the Cannon Group (he mentions, for example, that if you agreed to do a project it would move quickly to production). He also discusses Dan O'Bannon's involvement in the script. Hooper also shares an amusing story about Mathilda May's involvement in the film and how difficult it was to get an actress to appear nude in the film.
Actress Mathilda May (who appears nude throughout the movie)appears in a new interview called "Dangerous Beauty" discussing her work on the film. May was a ballet dancer prior to taking on the role in "Life Force" and used her training as a dancer to give her performance an eerie, otherworldly quality. May looks amazing for her age in the new interviews. She points out that today she wouldn't do the nude role but is still proud of her work in the film. She also learned her lines phoentically since she didn't speak English at the time.
We also get the previously mentioned commentary track by Hooper, original vintage featurette, theatrical trailers, TV spots and still gallery that round out the special features. We also get a DVD that includes the International, longer cut of the film.
"Life Force" ranges from camp to horror. The film is certainly an acquired taste but for those who enjoy it, this is the ultimate edition of the film.
The main attraction for guys is actress/model May who parades around nude for the length of the feature sucking the life out of everyone around. Hooper's direction sets an almost operatic tone to the proceedings complimenting Railsback's crazed performance.
Original MGM DVD:
The DVD sports a nice widescreen transfer but lacks significant extras. There's no commentary track or featurettes although that isn't a surprise given how poorly this was received both by audiences and critics. The original trailer and an eight page booklet with trivia about the film are included. Why would anyone expect anything conventional from the director of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and the co-screenwriter of "Dark Star" and "Alien"? It's not to everyone's taste but it is a guilty pleasure of mine. If you enjoyed the over-the-top style of "Excalibur" you may enjoy "Lifeforce" although, admittedly, there's nothing else quite like this movie.
Region code wasn't clearly noted on the advertisement.
When one mentions Henry Mancini, one thinks of The Pink Panther theme music or the Peter Gunn theme. The late Mancini wrote an epic, loud, sweeping music score for Lifeforce! It sounds more "Star Wars" than "Alien"! Large chunks of it have been ripped off for music in video games and TV shows! Before X-Men(2000) and TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation(1987-1994), Patrick Stewart played Dr. Armstrong in Lifeforce. Speaking of Star Trek, Star Trek First Contact(1996) and Star Trek Insurrection(1998) ripped off ideas from Lifeforce(a hauntingly beautiful femme fatale, an "energy collector", etc.)!
Visual effects master John Dykstra crafted some quality effects for the film. These VFX were state of the art in 1985.
Aside from the title, this film has no connection with the Nintendo game Lifeforce(also known as Salamander).
Lifeforce's brand of excess, gore, nudity, and camp may turn off some people, but it's entertainment value is still intact and it's more fun than some of today's movies! This movie earned its "R-rating"! I'll have to read Colin Wilson's 1976 novel to learn more about the story. Lifeforce was a critical and commercial failure, but it deserves a second chance in the afterlife of home video.
Most recent customer reviews
Movie way ahead of its time. Prequel to lots of other SC FI movies and ideas.Read more