Review of Lifeforce
I`d never heard of this film before a friend lent it to me. "The alien is a bit of a looker" was his basic description, so despite knowing better after having seen Species in the past, I watched it anyway.
The basic plot involves vampires from space sucking the Lifeforce from poor little earthlings, choosing England and more specifically London as their main point of attack. Don`t these aliens know that you do this stuff to the US? Nobody is stupid enough to try taking over Blighty now surely?
They are clearly abundant in the dosy department, however luckily for them the only thing which stands in their way is a government body, army and police force who all still think they live in the 60`s. Yes, this is a very bad UK post Doctor Who TV movie quality SciFi script desperately trying to be a big film.
But that`s enough slagging off in this section, lets move into slagging off in another.
Some of the live action effects are very good considering this is the mid eighties, even if they do look a bit mechanical. Aged they have, but a valiant effort even so. The same cannot be said for the space effects, which are very reminiscent of Space 1999. The image of Halley`s Comet is just bloody awful, surely a blind artists rendition as nobody with sight could think a comet looked like that even in 1985.
Quality of the transfer isn`t wonderful, its pretty soft and not anamorphic. However for once I don`t care, with the exception of the nude scenes the more out of focus and blurry the image the more I`d have been happier to sit through it.
Ooh, its 5.1, well actually more like 4.1 as the rears are mono but hey. The sound isn`t bad considering this dates back from the mid eighties, the chopper effects are interesting. Can`t quite remember much else in the way of sound effects, probably still trying to block the whole experience out from my mind. Maybe some regression hypnosis may reveal more but its rather expensive round my way.
The music is bizarrely unfitting for a SciFi epic, or is that SciFi joke in this case? It would work far better alongside a Dick Turpin story or something else involving horses.
The main menu is kind of funky, plus the chapter selection includes those lovely moving thumbnail clips which help identify a scene easily. As to why anybody would want to identify any particular scene in such a dreadful movie is open for debate.
Oh you do get the trailer, which had I payed much attention to I might have realised this wasn`t going to be the best thing since sliced bread.
Susan Granger of WMCA Radio, and yes at this point I am wondering who she could possibly be and what on earth is WMCA when it`s at home, describes this as "Absolutely first class! The most frightening flick since Alien!" I am left pondering as to whether she had a stake in this films success, or lacked any sense of reality whatsoever. How anyone can watch Lifeforce and declare it as first class really ought to be committed on sight. It was however very, very frightening in the sense that such an awful script and terrible collection of actors could unleash such a pile of drivel on us all.
It is interesting that, with the exception of Patrick Stewart who has a small appearance, nobody else in this feature went on to do anything significant. We can be thankful that Tobe Hooper chose to grant so many extras lead roles in one film, rather than make us suffer them individually in many others. At least it gets their careers out of the way as quickly as possible, so much easier to steer clear of one movie than many.
Very rarely is there a film that I would stop watching half way through, in fact I can`t remember ever doing so and late night dire SciFi channel fodder is my 3rd favourite past-time. If it wasn`t for the fact I was reviewing this disc, I`d have pressed stop after the first 45 minutes. But for the good of mankind I carried on, if only to warn the rest to steer clear.
I cannot believe that the same man who directed Poltergiest, followed it with this as his next movie. It just doesn`t make sense to me, its as confusing as David Fincher being able to follow such a pathetic flick as Alien 3 with the classy Se7en.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go have my memory erased. Quite a coincidence considering one of the writers of Lifeforce also wrote the story for Total Recall. He also penned the plot in Alien, luckily for both those films they never let him work on the actual script.