ANALYSIS (from the old 2013 review I wrote on the first Scream Factory release):
LIFEFORCE is Tobe Hooper's own version of a Hammer Film in 70 mm. I could imagine Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in
this movie if it was made in the 1960s or early 1970s instead of 1984. This 1985 sci-fi cult classic starts out as a sci-fi
movie before turning into a space vampire movie before switching again to a mystery to an end of the world zombie action movie.
Director Tobe Hooper and Screenwriters Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby throw in everything in this wild very loose adaptation
of Colin Wilson's novel SPACE VAMPIRES. I love this movie even though some elements don't quite work as well as they should,
but the stuff that does work makes this a cult sci-fi horror gem. The special effects (by John Dykstra) are mostly wonderful
(with only a couple of scenes showing their age) with a tightly paced movie with some good performances even from the inexperienced
Mathilda May (who shows a gripping presence as the head space vampire despite her being naked for most of her time on screen
much to the delight of many teenage boys) and a sweeping epic score by Henry Mancini.
LIFEFORCE had a troubled production history as they started without a finished script and then the US version was cut
down to 101 minutes from Tobe Hooper's preferred 116 minute cut (which was edited down from a longer 126 minute cut) with
the theory they could fit in more showings with a shorter running time, but the cuts rush the movie too much and sometimes
it does come off as disjointed.
LIFEFORCE starts with a modified (European Space Agency) Space Shuttle (called the Churchill) that sets out to investigate
a big ancient alien spaceship in the tail of Hailey's Comet. The Churchill drifts into Earth orbit about thirty days later
as a burned out husk inside with only three nude humanoid bodies left intact. The rescue mission brings those bodies down
to earth and soon all hell breaks loose. The space vampires have let loose a life energy sucking plague on the United Kingdom
as the only survivor of the Churchill, Colonel Carlsen (Steve Railsback), shows up with a special link to the head space
vampire (Mathilda May). He teams up with SAS Colonel Colin Caine (Peter Firth) to track down the space vampires before it
is too late. With help from Dr. Fallada (Frank Finaly), they start to search for the female space vampire as they soon realize
time is running out as the space vampire spaceship inches closer to Earth. LIFEFORCE is a highly erotic piece of sci-fi horror
that you shouldn't miss if you're a fan of Hammer horror films, Tobe Hooper, Clive Barker, Quatermass, or want to see Patrick
Stewart in a different role from Captain Picard or Professor X (the moderator jokes Stewart is trying out for Professor X
on the audio commentary with Tobe Hooper).
DISC ONE has the Director's Cut in a great new 4K Scan of the movie presented on Blu-ray. It is an improvement over the
first Scream Factory Collector's Edition of LIFEFORCE. Two audio commentaries are the only extra on this disc- one with Director
Tobe Hooper as moderated by Tim Sullivan and the other track is with Make-Up Effects Designer Nick Maley
DISC TWO has the Theatrical Cut from a new 4K Scan. It is an improvement over the previous LIFEFORCE disc, but it doesn't
look as good as the Director's cut on the first disc. The extras from the first release all carry over expect a vintage
featurette which was dropped after the first release of the Collector's Edition of LIFEFORCE after a rights issue arose.
SPACE VAMPIRES IN LONDON WITH TOBE HOOPER- Tobe Hooper looks back at the making of LIFEFORCE
CARLSEN'S CURSE WITH STEVE RAILSBACK- Steve Railsback talks about his early career and how he was cast for LIFEFORCE and
how it was working with Mathilda May
DANGEROUS BEAUTY WITH MATHILDA MAY- Mathilda May talks about how she was cast, how the scene covered in blood was uncomfortable,
and how she was amazed she did the role in the nude somehow back then (she said she wouldn't do something like that now for
A TV spot, two theatrical trailers, and a still gallery are also carried over from the previous Scream Factory release
FINAL ANALYSIS: LIFEFORCE is the best sci-fi horror movie that Hammer Films wish they could have made. It is one of my
favorite gonzo sci-fi horror movies of all time. The new transfer from a 4K scan improves on what was presented on Scream
Factory's first release of the movie. Please be aware that this Steelbook is only limited to 10,000 copies and then it is
This review is (c)8-17-2018 David Blackwell and contains material from the first LIFEFORCE blu-ray review back in 2013.
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