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Thread: Lifeforce

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    In the history of the cinema Hollywood has ransacked the works of art and literature from the world and turned it into entertainment primarily for the enjoyment of the US moviegoing public. What is much rarer is for an American director and American screenwriters to come to the UK and make a film so totally British that it failed dismally in the US while doing pretty good business in the UK and internationally.



    Lifeforce is a rarity and a golden one. It's a huge spectacular movie encompassing British horror/science fiction trends from Quatermass to Hammer vampire movies. It's a dry dry pisstake. It's a quasi mystical but downbeat work in which nobody really knows whether the course of action they have plumped for will work.



    A colony of space vampires are located in Halley's Comet and brought to Earth. What follows is a trail of vampirism, zombies, psychic links, shape shifting, messages about the origin of humanity and psycho-sexual cynicism. Leads Steve Railsback, Peter Firth and Frank Finlay play each line with only the mildest hint of irony (a good reason for its failure in the US) while all the other players including Aubrey Woods, Patrick Stewart and Michael Gothard extract every ounce of wit from Dan O Bannon and Don Jakoby's close to perfect screenplay. All the while the naked Mathilda May will wreak her havoc upon London and bright blue-light souls will go zipping through Chancery Lane underground station. It's always nice to see your home town reduced to chaotic rubble. London is only rarely visited by the likes of Godzilla or flying saucer invasions so Lifeforce is a treat and a half.



    Jago.

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    In the history of the cinema Hollywood has ransacked the works of art and literature from the world and turned it into entertainment primarily for the enjoyment of the US moviegoing public. What is much rarer is for an American director and American screenwriters to come to the UK and make a film so totally British that it failed dismally in the US while doing pretty good business in the UK and internationally.



    Lifeforce is a rarity and a golden one. It's a huge spectacular movie encompassing British horror/science fiction trends from Quatermass to Hammer vampire movies. It's a dry dry pisstake. It's a quasi mystical but downbeat work in which nobody really knows whether the course of action they have plumped for will work.



    A colony of space vampires are located in Halley's Comet and brought to Earth. What follows is a trail of vampirism, zombies, psychic links, shape shifting, messages about the origin of humanity and psycho-sexual cynicism. Leads Steve Railsback, Peter Firth and Frank Finlay play each line with only the mildest hint of irony (a good reason for its failure in the US) while all the other players including Aubrey Woods, Patrick Stewart and Michael Gothard extract every ounce of wit from Dan O Bannon and Don Jakoby's close to perfect screenplay. All the while the naked Mathilda May will wreak her havoc upon London and bright blue-light souls will go zipping through Chancery Lane underground station. It's always nice to see your home town reduced to chaotic rubble. London is only rarely visited by the likes of Godzilla or flying saucer invasions so Lifeforce is a treat and a half.





    Sorry, I can't agree with you about this movie...



    I actually paid good money to watch this PoS movie. I had two things going for it and they were firmly attached to a certain French actress in the opening scenes.



    Peter Firth as a hard nut SAS colonel ....was the casting directer on drugs or what?



    It doesn't know if it's a comedy or a camp horror movie in the style of Hammer - it actually ends up looking more like Carry on Screaming without the jokes.

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    In the history of the cinema Hollywood has ransacked the works of art and literature from the world and turned it into entertainment primarily for the enjoyment of the US moviegoing public. What is much rarer is for an American director and American screenwriters to come to the UK and make a film so totally British that it failed dismally in the US while doing pretty good business in the UK and internationally.



    Lifeforce is a rarity and a golden one. It's a huge spectacular movie encompassing British horror/science fiction trends from Quatermass to Hammer vampire movies. It's a dry dry pisstake. It's a quasi mystical but downbeat work in which nobody really knows whether the course of action they have plumped for will work.



    A colony of space vampires are located in Halley's Comet and brought to Earth. What follows is a trail of vampirism, zombies, psychic links, shape shifting, messages about the origin of humanity and psycho-sexual cynicism. Leads Steve Railsback, Peter Firth and Frank Finlay play each line with only the mildest hint of irony (a good reason for its failure in the US) while all the other players including Aubrey Woods, Patrick Stewart and Michael Gothard extract every ounce of wit from Dan O Bannon and Don Jakoby's close to perfect screenplay. All the while the naked Mathilda May will wreak her havoc upon London and bright blue-light souls will go zipping through Chancery Lane underground station. It's always nice to see your home town reduced to chaotic rubble. London is only rarely visited by the likes of Godzilla or flying saucer invasions so Lifeforce is a treat and a half.



    Jago.
    I love this movie. It has it all, vampires, flying saucers, zombies. I am surprised more people don't like it, it is a camp classic and a really over-looked oddity of a movie.

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    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    I love this movie. It has it all, vampires, flying saucers, zombies. I am surprised more people don't like it, it is a camp classic and a really over-looked oddity of a movie.
    There's been a bit of Lifeforce related chat recently.

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    There's been a bit of Lifeforce related chat recently
    I thank you, I checked it out...



    There is a naked Vampire/Alien woman in there everybody.

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    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    I thought I would start a thread on one of my favourite films, Lifeforce. Here is a clip from the film. Frank Finlay and Patrick Connor both make appearences and both have birthdays today, although sadly Patrick isn't with us anymore. Does anyone else love this film?



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_SaL...?v=H_SaLP9aly4


    wec

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    Not seen this in ages, was good from memory. Wonder if it holds up?

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    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    It was nicknamed Lifefarce in its day by the crits but I quite liked it. The dialogue was a bit naff and Railsback was feeble IIRC but it was compelling enough. Felt it had a Nigel Kneale quality about it and was surprised that his name isn't connected.

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    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Lifeforce is brilliant entertainment. It may not be a 'classic' but who cares, any film that features space vampires, James Hazell, Charles Manson, Dominick Hyde and a naked Matilda May gets a thumbs up from me.

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    Lifeforce is brilliant entertainment. It may not be a 'classic' but who cares, any film that features space vampires, James Hazell, Charles Manson, Dominick Hyde and a naked Matilda May gets a thumbs up from me.
    There is an Extended version out somewhere,probably the dvd that was released not checked my copy in ages so not sure.

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    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    A cheesy guilty pleasure with a remarkable cast.

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    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    There is an Extended version out somewhere,probably the dvd that was released not checked my copy in ages so not sure.


    The European version is the extended version and is far superior to the American version IMO.



    wec

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    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    Lifeforce is brilliant entertainment. It may not be a 'classic' but who cares, any film that features space vampires and a naked Matilda May gets a thumbs up from me.


    Yes I totally agree, especially about the Mathilda May bit!



    wec

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    Lifeforce is one of my favrate films I injoyed the concept of energy vampires. And I must admit to being rather parshell to Patrick Stewert xx

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    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I was hugely disappointed by Lifeforce despite it featuring Peter Firth and Frank Finlay, two usually reliable performers. Somehow it dragged and was just too ridiculous - however, I'm quite prepared to give it another go at some point.

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    Bloody hell. Lifeforce. Quite a film really. Yeah - a colossal waste of resources and missed opportunities, or a camp classic to be cynically enjoyed then dismissed? It's quite a hard film to gauge really. There's an obvious love of the reference material, but at the same time, there's a tangible lack of confidence on the filmmakers behalf. I personally enjoy the film, with its abundance of Kneal and Hammer quotes, its essentially British fear of unbridled sexuality, outrageous dialogue, and the fact that London is reduced to a smoldering ruin populated by marauding Zombies. Oh, and Mathilda May.

    That said, one of these days I really would like to a see a serious, well handled, intelligent British based sci-fi movie that combines the cerebral with the spectacle, just as Hammer's 'Pit' did...

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    I'm afraid I was hugely disappointed by Lifeforce despite it featuring Peter Firth and Frank Finlay, two usually reliable performers. Somehow it dragged and was just too ridiculous - however, I'm quite prepared to give it another go at some point.


    anyone know if Tobe Hooper was the first choice for this? Much as I respect his work, I can't think its a natural fit

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    Senior Member Country: UK A Pemberton's Avatar
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    Ill admit to be a fan of Lifeforce too, as mentioned before its got a Quatermass/Dr Who element thrown in with zombies, sex ,violence in short a Friday night boys back from the pub stick a video on feel,and it doesnt profess to be anything else,(I hope not).Railsback was wrong for the lead but the support cast is top notch British talent and they carry it home.It was probably the best of the worst to come from the awful ill fated Golan Globus Cannon films stable and believe me they cetainly knew how to roll out the dross, Death Wish 3 and the remake of The Wicked Lady come to mind............... Delta Force,Missing in Action and it gets worse............

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    Ill admit to be a fan of Lifeforce too, as mentioned before its got a Quatermass/Dr Who element thrown in with zombies, sex ,violence in short a Friday night boys back from the pub stick a video on feel,and it doesnt profess to be anything else,(I hope not).Railsback was wrong for the lead but the support cast is top notch British talent and they carry it home.It was probably the best of the worst to come from the awful ill fated Golan Globus Cannon films stable and believe me they cetainly knew how to roll out the dross, Death Wish 3 and the remake of The Wicked Lady come to mind............... Delta Force,Missing in Action and it gets worse............
    Yeah! This was the first of Tobe Hooper's three picture deal with Canon. Not the best of the three though - that easily has to go to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. Hooper's Invaders from Mars remake wasn't all that bad either. I'm not sure about cuts of Lifeforce (Hooper wanted to call it Space Vampires after the books original title I remember)but the US DVD features the extended version with the original score - when it was initially released on video it had a clunky cheesy soundtrack added - never got to hear it myself but if you grew up watching that version I'm sure that would be the preferred one, purely for nostalgia's sake...

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    Another big fan of this one here. Great cheesy fun!

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