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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley's Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made
Danny Boyle was not the first person to realise that zombies can run like the clappers. That honour belongs to Lifeforce, which is, of course, the greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley's Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made. Tobe Hooper may have made a lot of crap, but for this deliriously demented epic sci-fi horror he deserves a place...
Published on 15 Dec 2007 by Trevor Willsmer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lifeforce
When three perfect humanoids are brought back to earth the consequences are chilling. These futuristic vampires, our perfect fantasies come true, walk among us, can we bear to see them annihilated? Peter Firth The Vampire Slayer sets out to destroy them but these perfect monsters are a force to be reckoned with. A good watch!
Published on 14 May 2004


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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley's Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made, 15 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Danny Boyle was not the first person to realise that zombies can run like the clappers. That honour belongs to Lifeforce, which is, of course, the greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley's Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made. Tobe Hooper may have made a lot of crap, but for this deliriously demented epic sci-fi horror he deserves a place among the immortals. Plus it offers space vampire Mathilda May, the best thing to come out of France since Simone Simon, spending the entire movie naked. Which she does very, very well. Just bear in mind that while she is the most overwhelmingly feminine presence anyone on Earth has ever encountered, she's also "totally alien to this planet and our life form and totally dangerous." It's a pitch meeting I'd have loved to have sat in on: Astronauts from the British space program find three naked humanoid alien life forms inside a giant 150-mile long artichoke/umbrella shaped spaceship hidden in the tail of Halley's Comet filled with giant desiccated bats and bring them back to Earth with near apocalyptic results as they proceed to drain the population of London of their lifeforce amid much nudity, whirlpools of thunder and spit your coffee across the room direlogue ("I've been in space for six months, and she looks perfect to me." "Assume we know nothing, which is understating the matter." "Don't worry, a naked woman is not going to get out of this complex."). Oh, and we'll get the writers of Alien and Blue Thunder to write it with uncredited rewrites by the writer of Mark of the Devil, The Sex Thief and Eskimo Nell and the director of The Jonestown Monster. Sounds like a winner, here's $22m - have fun. And they do, they do.

True, there's enough promise in the raw material to have made something genuinely creepy and thought-provoking (at a time when AIDS hysteria was approaching its height, a sexually transmitted 'plague' offers ample opportunity for allegory), but in the hands of the Go-Go boys at Cannon, what could have been another Quatermass and the Pit quickly turns instead to be more Plan 10 From Outer Space. It's full-to-bursting with delirious inanity, be it Frank Finlay's hilarious death scene ("Here I go!"), Peter Firth's grand entrance ("I'm Colonel Caine." "From the SAS?" discreetly shouts Michael Gothard across a room full of reporters: "Gentlemen, that last remark was not for publication. This is a D-Notice situation" he replies to the surprisingly obliging pressmen), the security guards offering Mathilda May's naked space vampire a nice biscuit to stop her escaping, reanimated bodies exploding into dust all over people, the sweaty Prime Minister sucking the life out of his secretary ("Miss Haversham! Miss Haversham!") and London filling up with zombie nuns, stockbrokers and joggers as the city gets its most comprehensive on screen trashing since Mrs Gorgo lost junior at Battersea Funfair and went on the rampage. And that's not mentioning the "This woman is a masochist! An extreme masochist!" scene or the great stereophonic echo effect on the male vampire's "It'll be a lot less terrifying if you just come to me" line while a lead-stake wielding Peter Firth adopts his best Action Man voice to reply "I'll do just that!" In one scene alone you have a possessed Patrick Stewart embodying the female in our deeply confused astronaut hero's mind, Steve "I-never-got-over-playing-Charlie-Manson" Railsback and his amazing dancing eyebrows in full-on "Helta-Skelta!" mode trying to resist the temptation to kiss him, the inimitable Aubrey Morris (the only man who makes Freddie Jones look restrained) playing the Home Secretary Sir Percy Heseltine as a kind of demented Brian Rix, Peter Firth (one of those actors who always looks like he must have been a Doctor Who around the time no-one was watching it anymore) hamming up the blasé public school macho in the hope that no-one will ever see it and the peerless reaction shots of John Hallam as the male nurse who keeps on opening the door mid-psychic-tornado to bring in more drugs. As if they needed any more in this film. It's just a shame that Frank Finlay's mad-haired scientist who isn't qualified to certify death on alien life forms (a role originally intended for Klaus Kinski) missed out on the action in that one.

No matter how mad you think the film is, it still manages to get madder still, whether it be a zombie pathologist ("He too needs feeding") exploding all over the Home Secretary's suit, Patrick Stewart's blood and entrails forming a naked Mathilda May or the space vampires turning St Paul's Cathedral into the world's biggest laser-show to transport human souls from the London Underground to their geostationary mother ship. I loved every gloriously insane moment. In it's own truly unique way, this might be the greatest film ever made.

While the DVD offers a non-anamorphic transfer of the 116-minute version with a trailer the only extra, both Shout Factory's US Region A-locked Blu-ray and Arrow's region B Blu-ray offer both the original 116-minute version that opened in the UK and the heavily edited 101-minute US version, which loses most of the spectacular opening and a lot of entertaining inanity in its misguided desire to up the pace. The longer version not only offers much more hilarity for your dollar, but also fully restores Henry Mancini's score to its original glory (the US version covered a lot of the gaps with additional cues by Michael Kamen and James Guthrie). Although a somewhat surprising choice at first sight, Mancini cut his teeth on many of the classic Universal sci-fi horrors of the 50s and his score is quite superb, with a terrific driving main title that offers a rare reminder of just how interesting he could be away from Blake Edwards.

There are some subtle differences between the transfers on the two pressings - the UK edition is spread over two discs (with the extras all on the same disc as the long version) while the US edition crams both versions of the film and the extras onto a single disc, with some resulting minor compression issues. The grading on the US edition has also been slightly tweaked by Hooper to make Ms May's flesh tones look colder, the UK edition following the original grading.

Both versions share new interviews with Mathilda May, Tobe Hooper and Steve Railsback, two audio commentaries and trailers, but each has unique extras as well - the US release the original making of documentary, the British one an additional commentary by the VFX artist and, best of all, a terrific new 70-minute documentary with Hooper, Nicholas Ball, serial overactor Aubrey Morris, script doctor Michael armstrong and various members of the crew recounting an endless shoot (long enough for May to learn perfect English) with a director described as a demonic dwarf with impeccable manners fuelled by caffeine, cigars and other substances and doesn't stint on the problems of, er, downstairs grooming for its leading lady.

Let joy be unconfined!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's got nudity in it and everything!, 9 July 2010
By 
Matthew Norton (Wolverhampton, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
"Lifeforce" boasts a rousing, thunderous score by Henry Mancini, it boasts some hilariously straight-faced acting, some very proficient visual effects and a generous helping of most agreeable soft porn. You could do much, much worse than check out this movie. Is it a bad movie? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on your poison. But it is unquestionably an enjoyable movie. One of those pesky, interfering space missions goes and brings a trio of "space vampires" back to Earth, one of them being a uniformly nude Mathilda May, who has a bit of a thing going on with one of the astronauts, Colonel Carlsen (a delightfully earnest Steve Railsbeck), in between feasting on the "lifeforce" (as opposed to the blood) of various extras and minor roles, reducing them to hideous, dessicated, shrieking, mindless husks that in turn seek out the "lifeforce" of other people. That is where the glorious destruction of London comes in, later on in the proceedings and very well handled for a film that endures a reputation for being amongst the worst ever made. There is imagery within those sequences that is up there with the blockbusters. "Lifeforce" has a perfectly creditable cast, including a pre "Spooks" Peter Firth as SAS Colonel Caine, Frank "Bouquet Of Barbed Wire" Finlay as one of the boffins and Patrick Stewart gobbing out a lot of blood from his mouth. The fact that they play this trash so seriously is one of the fun aspects. Oh, come on - it's trash. But it is glorious trash. It is proud trash. Trash is sometimes good, and here you have an example. "Lifeforce", the celluloid Big Mac - of no nutritional value whatsoever, but very, VERY enjoyable. Tuck in.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Review, 19 Oct 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Lifeforce has always divided it's audience since it's release. Indeed anyone trying to create a film of Colin Wilson's "philosophical" novel "The Space Vampires" was going to be in for a tough time - let alone Tobe Hooper whose reputation was built on schlock horror. That said, the film certainly has its followers and if you are one of them this new blu ray will delight you. If you are not - well - however good the transfer, this rather dated tale of "sexy" "vampires" on the loose in London won't appeal!

So what I'm reviewing is the quality of the blu ray on offer, here is my take on the technical spec. of the new disc.

Arrow offers a fine AVC encoded 1080p transfer in an expansive 2.35:1. format in which Hooper oversaw both the restoration and transfer. The results far exceed the old SD version and is even an improvement on the Shout (Scream Factory) US release as it puts both versions ( ie the Theatrical and International versions) on their own separate disc and have cleaned up the prints even more thoroughly than the impressive American edition.

The colour, definition and contrast are all massively improved from the old DVD, particularly in the final part of the film which is shot in darkness. There is no evidence of digital messing around either so that clear, but unobtrusive, grain remains. Any softness - and there is some - I'm sure comes from the source material.

There is a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and a 2.0 track. The 5.1 track provides some stunning immersive effects and does full justice to both the dialogue and Henry Mancini's (very untypical) score.

Of the two versions the International works best for me as at 116 minutes ( not 106 as is said on the insert material) it has more clarity and logic and you get to hear the complete Mancini score without the orchestral interpolations from another hand you have on the general release print.

Undoubtedly both spectacular and sexually explicit, this horror romp - vaguely reminiscent of Nigel Kneal meets Paul Raymond - won't please everyone, but few can disagree over the excellent quality of these two new transfers and the extensive and impressive extras on offer too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Sci-fi that most people have never heard of, 28 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
As a Sci-fi fan born in the early 90s I know the charms of Silent Running, the influential magnitude of Mertroplis and I even know how Soylent Green is made. These are great science fiction films that even if you weren't born when they were released all sci-fi fans know of them because they are cult classics and will always have an active fanbase. So how come so many people including myself have never heard of Lifeforce. Perhaps it's the crappy title (though it's an improvement over the original source called Space Vampires) which sounds like a Yoga instruction video but this film is a classic. It's well made with some astounding practical special effects which I would say are as good as Carpenter's 'The Thing' (and that is very high praise indeed). It is simply so much fun, it starts off like Alien with the investigation of a derelict space craft, then turns into a hunt for the killer alien on Earth before turning all apocalyptic with panic on the streets of London and the end of the world insight. The alien woman is naked all the time and although it sounds exploitative it's actually a very clever part of the plot and the lack of shame at being nude and stared at makes it feel even more alien. This film is on quite a large scale for it's time and it's interesting seeing such an epic story filled with British actors and settings. This British-ness combined with the nudity and horror special effects create the feeling of the most epic Hammer Horror production ever. This is a great film which deserves to be viewed by a modern audience, it's well made, well acted and it is fun to see a film that is British but has no restraint, it is aiming to be as epic as possible and it achieves this in a really great opening and climax.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie, 20 Mar 2008
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lifeforce [DVD] (DVD)
Gentleman, disregard that last remark, this is a B Movie situation.
Sorry I just had to say that, it's a B+ or A- movie in my eyes. This movie has it all, science fiction, horror, space vampires, zombies and an alien woman who has not quite grasped the need to wear clothes.
Based on Colin Wilson's "The Space Vampires", a massive alien ship is found hidden inside the tail of Halley's comet, the surviving humanoid inhabitants are brought back to Earth and mayhem ensues.
This is a great movie, the effects are superb (bear in mind it is over 20 years old now), the scenes in London at the end are well done, but why drive through a zombie infested city with the windows open? Sure there are lots of cliches like that and plenty of macho behaviour here but on the whole it works for me. I especially love the creature's transformation at the end.
This movie has had more than its fair share of bad reviews but there are many people who appreciate it. Thanks for the re-issue as my VHS version was showing its age.
Presented in widescreen so you miss none of the action, the only negative point in my view is the lack of any extras.
Possibly the only place you will hear the words "Mission Control Great Britain" uttered.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, 27 Nov 2006
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This review is from: Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
i originally watched this film maybe 15 years ago and enjoyed it, so thought i'd purchase it to see if it was still as good as i remember it. And it is! this is particulary good as don't you find yourself usually changing your mind about films you saw years earlier?

It's a whole different take on the subject of vampires, it starts off a bit 2001-a space odyssey (which is no bad thing) with the crew of a shuttle finding an alien craft lurking about Haley's Comet, they investigate and bring back 3 live specimens. I won't go into the story further other than to say the rest of the film is set in London.

The leading lady is a bit of a babe (bonus), the special effects arn't what you'd call brilliant, but then how long ago was this film made...

What makes the film good is the acting from the (predominately) English actors, and the scripting, everythings gels.

I loved it, and for a few quid, so can you.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Campy and hilarious, 6 Feb 2004
By 
I Am Tyler Durden (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
This is brilliant fun set in some weird Americanised sterotype version of London. The special FX are really great and so are the creature FX particularly the shrivelling up when the vampires drain you. Tobe Hooper films are often hard to pin down, I can never make up my mind if the campiness in this was intentional or just down to plain incompetance. The best line is when a couple of vampires have been blown to bits and someone says "Collect up the pieces and WATCH THEM!!". You've seen shots inside NASA mission control, all those people? Europe mission control in this is like one guy with a radio! Priceless beer and popcorn entertainment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest sci-fi/horror b:movie flick OF ALL TIME, 18 Nov 2002
By 
V. K. Manglaveras (thessaloniki, greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Lifeforce is the greatest and scarrier sci-fi/horror film of all time.

A Great combination of alien mixed with zombies and the result is superb.

It's one of the few horror flicks which i saw so many times and still it makes me scared everytime i see it.

Together with "night of the living dead", "alien", "Friday the 13th" and "horror express" (to name a few) is the best of it's genre.

P.S

When i first watched the movie i fell in love with the female space-vampire. (No comment).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked zombie classic, 15 Jun 2007
This review is from: Lifeforce [DVD] (DVD)
An intriguing mix of Sci-fi and Horror film, Lifeforce starts slow paced but soon picks up speed reminiscent of a good zombie flick. The second half in particular has some great scenes of london in turmoil the likes of which you wish they had shown in 28 days later. The plot is a little goofy but then the whole situation is a little... unusual. Gets a star just for being a presentable London zombie film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Enjoyable Sci-Fi Romp about a Very Beautiful Naked Space Vampire, 8 Oct 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
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This is one of those sci-fi horror films, which, like Species and Splice, is very silly, but hugely watchable and enjoyable ( Species [Blu-ray] Splice [Blu-ray] ). Hailey's Comet is approaching Earth, and a combined Anglo-American space mission is tasked to investigate. The spacemen touch down, and discover three naked, humanoid, life forms, one female and two male, entombed in what looks like a crystalline substance.
The astronauts take the life forms on-board their spacecraft and set out to return to Earth. Something happens to their craft, we don't know what, because a docking crew boards the ship whilst it's in the Earth's orbit and find the craft gutted by fire, with only the three humanoid forms still alive.
They return to Earth and the aliens are quarantined at a research base in London. The aliens are actually space vampires, who don't suck blood out of humans, but basically suck out everything else, so that the remaining cadaver is just a husk, they basically end up looking like the skinless human cadavers which Gunther Von Hagen takes around the world on his live shows. The focus is then on the extremely beautiful female vampire, played by Mathilda May, who escapes, naked of course, and then wanders about nude for quite a long time, placing victims in a trance (she certainly had me in a trance), before feasting on their souls and bodies.
The victims, as is usually the case with vampires, then become monsters themselves. What follows then is basically a chase film, as the authorities including the police go on the hunt for the vampires. Peter Firth plays one of the detectives leading the chase for the nubile lady vampire and very good he is too. Patrick Stewart (of Captain Jean Luc Picard fame) has a small role, perhaps most notable for the fact that he kisses another man.
There are perhaps half a dozen or so, well staged set pieces in Lifeforce, which I think succeed stunningly well in terms of shock-effect. The CGI is strong, bearing in mind that this film is thirty odd years old. The effects used for the vampire's victims are good, certainly on a par with the effects used in An American Werewolf in London.
As a plague of vampirism spreads across London, the movie does become quite mad, but in a highly enjoyable fashion. There's no doubting that this film must have had a pretty impressive budget. When I first saw this movie, on general release at the cinema, I thought that the film would do for Mathilda May's career, what Barbarella did for Jane Fonda. It didn't though, and it appears that Mathilda's film career then sank without trace - a great pity because she was stunningly beautiful.
This film now thoroughly deserves a modern remake. With modern CGI and somebody like Scarlett Johannson as the lady vampire, and directed by, say Luc Besson or Sam Raimi, a reboot could be a monster hit at the cinema. Scarlett has no qualms about disrobing (as she shows in her brilliant recent sci-fi movie Under The Skin, which I review elsewhere - Under The Skin [Blu-ray] [2014] ), and having just watched her play an alien in Under The Skin, I'm sure that she could carry off the role of the space vampire to magnificent effect.
Finally, if you don't want to incur the significant cost of this special steel-book version of the film, it's a good buy on ordinary DVD. Highly recommended, especially if you're into quirky and slightly silly sci-fi horror. If you like this film, I can highly recommend both Species and Splice as well.
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Lifeforce [1985] [DVD]
Lifeforce [1985] [DVD] by Tobe Hooper (DVD - 2002)
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