Lifeforce, 1985, directed by Tobe Hooper
...full review posted at http://www.rambles.net/lifeforce85.html
Mathilda May is a hottie. That's about all 1985's science
fiction/horror dud Lifeforce has going for it.
The plot, loosely based on Colin Wilson's The Space Vampires, is a
muddled, incomprehensible mess, with a setup borrowed heavily from
Alien and married to your basic vampire/zombie shriek fest.
The film begins with a shuttle expedition to study Halley's Comet.
The mission is derailed when the crew finds a 150-mile-long space
needle trailing in the comet's wake -- populated by thousands of dead
bat-like aliens and three perfectly formed human specimens.
Cut to Earth, where the shuttle arrives a month later with a dead
crew, erased records, massive internal fire damage and those same
three specimens. The shuttle's addled captain, Col. Tom Carlsen
(Steve Railsback), arrives a few days later in the shuttle's escape
The female space vampire (May) soon awakens and starts sucking the
life force out of everyone she can touch. It proves devastatingly
easy for her to beguile male victims, since she spends the majority
of the time naked (see "hottie" note above). And each victim she
drains turns into a shriveled zombie also seeking life forces, and
soon London is overrun by the recently dead. (The male vampires also
wake up, but they don't get much screen time, presumably because they
lack May's most obvious attributes.)
Col. Colin Caine (Peter Firth) tries to stave the invasion with the
help of Carlsen, Prof. Hans Fallads (Frank Finlay), Dr. Bukovsky
(Michael Gothard), Sir Percy Hazeltine (Aubrey Morris) and Dr.
Armstrong (Patrick Stewart), whose brief appearance doesn't warrant
the prominent pre-Star Trek billing he received. Meanwhile, the souls
of countless dead Londoners are funneling skyward from the city in a
bright blue beam. How and why these souls are being collected by the
needle-like alien spaceship, now in Earth's orbit, remains a mystery.
The plot has numerous holes and inconsistencies, while the acting
ranges widely from maniacal to wooden without ever finding a happy
medium. The special effects by John Dykstra are good without being
exceptional, although the animatronic zombies are fairly convincing.
All in all, Lifeforce should appeal only to SF and horror fanatics
who adore B-level flops, plus anyone with a hankering to ogle
Mathilda May nude. (Genre buffs no doubt are aware that a very
similar storyline was used 10 years later in Species, starring
Natasha Henstridge's breasts.)