Let me be upfront here: LIFEFORCE is a pretty goofy sci-fi/horror movie but it’s also damn original and entertaining. I was tempted to give it my “So bad it’s good” grade but that would be doing the movie a disservice. For as bonkers as it is, it deserves credit for its scope and unfaltering willingness to just go for it.
Based on the novel “THE SPACE VAMPIRES” by Colin Wilson, LIFEFORCE starts with the crew of a UK space shuttle mission finding an enormous spaceship hiding in the tail of Haley’s Comet. Inside what they think is the derelict ship, they find long dead human-sized bat-like creatures and three (naked) humans that appear to be in some kind of suspended animation.
They take one of the creatures and the three people to Earth, but something happens on the way back and all but one of the crewmembers survives. Cmd. Carlen (Steve Railsback) jettisoned from the doomed mission in an escape pod.
The three (naked) humans have also survived and they are retrieved from space. But it turns out that they are quite alive and when the female of the trio (Mathilda May) escapes after sucking the life energy from her guard, she starts infecting the greater London area like a…well…space vampire.
Oh, did I mention that she is walking around the countryside completely naked in all full-frontal nudity glory?
As the space vampires claim more and more victims it is looking like the end of the world for humanity unless Cmd. Carlsen and Inspector Caine (Peter Firth) can stop them.
Directed by Tobe Hooper after POLTERGEIST, the only way to truly describe LIFEFORCE is to compare it to one of Hammer Film’s Quatermas movies through the lens of an American 50’s sci-fi Corman flick.
If that excites you (and you like lots of nudity), then this movie will definitely be your cup of tea. If that description leaves you scratching your head or offended then maybe you should watch something a little less provocative because LIFEFORCE is “Bat-shit” crazy…Literally speaking, in this case.