I have 479 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Lifeforce (1985)
What’s it rated? Rated R for Patrick Stewart’s melting face, rampant and unapologetic nudity and Mr. Steve Railsback.
Did people make it? Written by Colin Wilson (wrote the novel), Dan O’Bannon, Don Jakoby, Michael Armstrong (uncredited) and Olaf Pooley (uncredited). Directed by Tobe Hooper. Acted by Steve Railsback, Pete Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, Patrick Stewart, Michael Gothard and Aubrey Morris.
What’s it like in one sentence? Naked Space Vampires, who turn their victims into zombies, leave their home in the tail of Halley’s Comet to come to Earth and wreak destruction.
Why did you watch it? There were a good amount of votes for it and, since it expires on September 1st, now seemed like the time. Plus, it seems I’m pretty late to the party on this one and Chewer Eric Thomas let me know that it was about Naked Space Vampires, so…
What’s it about in one paragraph? If there’s something more you need than “Naked Space Vampires” I guess I can oblige. Steve Railsback is an astronaut who, along with his team, discovers a ship that’s 150 miles long hiding inside Halley’s Comet. When they explore the ship, they discover weird, bat-like corpses floating around, as well as three attractive naked people (2 male, 1 female) in some kind of stasis pods. When The Railsbacktronauts break contact with mission control, another group of astronauts is sent to check and see what’s going down, only to find that everyone on board the shuttle is all mummified and dead as shit and that the escape pod has been launched. The new team finds the good looking naked people pods and takes them back to Earth to get tested for why they were naked in space in a ship that was all up in Halley’s Comet’s backside. When the female naked being wakes up in London, she starts sucking the life from people around her similar to a vampire, except she sucks the essence out of your mouth instead of biting or punching through your skull. When the missing escape pod lands carrying a little thing I like to call Steve Railsback, he teams up with the British Secret Service to track down the nude chick and free Great Britain from her reign of naked tyranny once and for all.
Play or remove from my queue? I’m pretty sure I’m the last one to this party and that all of you have seen this before, but if you haven’t then I’d say give it a spin. I was pretty let down by it for the first 3\4 or so, but the last half an hour is so batshit insane that it makes the first hour and change worth watching. I’m not saying there’s nothing of value to the first bits of it, as Peter Firth and Steve Railsback are both very fun to watch and Mathilda May is also fun to watch as well, but for much different reasons. I just discovered Peter Firth while watching MI:5 for an upcoming review and I absolutely love him on it. His character, Harry Pierce, has exceeded Jack Bristow (Victor Garber in Alias) as my all time favorite televisual spy master. I should save all this for the MI:5 review. Anyway, he’s great and I hope he has a long and ridiculously successful career. Railsback doesn’t really do anything different than you’ve seen before (other than be the lead and sport a pretty wicked uni-brow), but any Railsback is better than no Railsback. Shit, he could read Twilight from beginning to end while screaming every fourth word and I’d watch him with glee in my heart. Mathilda May is really perfectly shaped to the point where it makes me sad I didn’t see this when I was 12 or 13 and could have really appreciated Ms. May in the spirit she was intended. She would have been my Phoebe Cates, I just know it. BTW, do you guys realize that Phoebe Cates hasn’t been in a movie since 2001? And that she’s 48? Anyone else feeling old. I’m really not writing about Lifeforce very much.
So…yeah, there’s this hot naked vampire chick and she walks around really slowly and sucks the blue beam of energy out of your soul and you basically wilt and become a zombie for two hours until you burst into dust. I felt like the first entire hour of the movie was people explaining that over and over again, but then the last half an hour, with Firth and Railsback running through London as it’s falling apart, is so badass it makes up for some of the slow, ’80’s shit. Firth goes to a church where Space Girl is hanging out, receiving everyone’s souls, and there are so many bodies on the ground and in the pews that the scope of the film finally hits you and you start to giggle. I think if the film had that scope from the start it might have worked a little better for me. I mean, it worked for me, but not as much as I wanted it to. When I saw the name Dan O’Bannon as one of the writers, I unrealistically started hoping that I was going to get another Return of the Living Dead. but nothing can touch that movie and I don’t know why I was dumb enough to think anything could. Seriously, RotLD is my Citizen Kane.
I’m glad this movie exists because I don’t think anything like it would get made these days. It’s so bizarre and at times off putting with the pacing and some of the directorial choices (although, the design of the interior of the alien spacecraft was balls to the walls amazing) and Steve Railsback starring in a movie not called The Stunt Man must have been a gamble at that time, for sure. I’m not sure if this led to the demise of Tobe Hooper’s career, because he still had Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Invaders From Mars after this and I’m pretty sure both those movies are still classics (even though I haven’t seen them in a decade). After those movies he toiled in TV dreck for the second half of the ’80’s and all of the ’90’s (sorry, The Mangler and Night Terrors were still TV dreck even though they were theatrically released). I liked his Toolbox Massacre remake, though. So he’s got that going for him. I’m glad he made Lifeforce because there’s not many ’80’s sci-fi\horror movies left that I haven’t seen and it was one of them.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? Poor Mathilda May is embarrassed about her participation in the film and doesn’t list it as one of her credits anymore. I wonder if the script said she’d be a fully clothed Space Girl and then when she showed up to wardrobe it was just an empty rack of hangers.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Alien Visitor (can’t be good, can it? Just look at that box cover), Breeders (never even heard of this), Invasion of the Pod People (produced by The Asylum?), Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (What the fuck are you talking about?) and Phantasm 2 (because it’s the best).
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? Femalien. You’re welcome.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 2.5
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 3.0
Can you link to the movie? I sure can!
Any last thoughts? It’s a good way to spend almost 2 hours. It’s a little long. It’s fun, though. And there’s boobies.
Did you watch anything else this week? I watched Rango finally (which I loved), Insidious (which I liked), Drive Angry (which I hated so much I loved) and REC2 (which scared the shit out of other people that were in close relation to me that sensed how scared I was. Seriously, that’s how you make a fucking horror movie).
Next Week? Terrorvision, bitches!