29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Expect some entertainment, nothing more,
This review is from: Lifeforce [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Lifeforce begins interestingly enough with a joint British-American team on board a shuttle who discover a spacecraft hidden inside Halley's Comet. From this point (actually at the very beginning) this movie grabbed my attention. The first 45 minutes were quite engrossing, as the details about what the astronauts found on board the shuttle began to unfold.
The three "humans" (two male, one extremely sexy female) they found encased in the space shuttle and were brought back are actually space vampires that constantly absorb people's lifeforce, turning them into zombies who must also take other people's lifeforce to become normal again, at least temporarily.
After all this, I felt I was in for a real treat. Well, the film's not a classic but it's far from boring. You see, Lifeforce gets a little too hokey for its own good when Steve Railsback and Patrick Stewart appear. The next 45 minutes are quite bad, not really dull, just ridiculous. Railsback really overacts his part in this duration and I almost laughed a couple of times. It isn't until the last half hour that the movie manages to gain some momentum again, as the climax features a wide destruction of London, and all at the center of it is one vampiress.
Despite a running time of just about 2 hours, Lifeforce felt rushed (particularly in the 45 minute sequence I mentioned I didn't like). Some of the sequences just go by too quickly. This aspect really doesn't help create a fast pace. It only makes the movie look clumsy.
Well, acting wise it's overall okay, surprisingly enough. So Railsback may be easy to laugh at, but Peter Firth and Frank Finlay hold their own and more. Of course, the real scene stealer would have to be Mathilda May, who plays the lead vampiress. There's not a single review below that doesn't mention her and it's for a good reason. She's simply the most beautiful foreign actress (she's French) I've ever seen. Heck, she might be the most good-looking actress on film. Her performance is actually decent. She portrays evil well enough and is actually rather creepy and seductive. And yes, she is naked for just about the entire movie, something of an added bonus.
The single most unintentionally funny scene in the movie must be when May is escaping the complex and the guards inform each other through the radio about having to look for a naked girl. The discussion they have is utterly hilarious and the British accent on the guy over the radio sounds like the guy on the top of the castle in the beginning of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
There's actually something for anybody to appreciate about this movie. There are the fine special effects, the gigantic set designs, a pace that is rather fast, and some decent performances. I have nothing really good to say about the script or the direction, but Lifeforce is entertaining enough to be worth a rental.