Wednesday, March 24, 2010


In the early 80’s Tobe Hooper was killing it in Hollywood. This no-name from Austin was making one successful horror flick after another. For only $70k, he made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (arguably one of the top horror movies of all time). He followed this with other successes like Salem’s Lot and Poltergeist. Cannon Pictures offered him a three picture deal and everyone wanted to work with him. Then, Lifeforce changed his filmmaking career. Why, you ask? Because it was so awful that, despite his track record and influence (after all, his last movie was a co-production with Steven Spielberg), no one wanted anything to do with it or, it seemed, him. He never again gained the prominence in the industry he so briefly enjoyed.
You may know why after I sum up the plot in three simple words: Vampires…in Space. You heard me. Lifeforce is about a crew of British astronauts (why British I will never know) who come upon a space ship in Haley’s Comet that is 150 miles long. Yeah, you heard me again. Inside they find the drained bodies of several odd, alien-like creatures and three perfectly preserved nude humans inside force fields. Sheesh. Well, these humans turn out not to be humans but space vampires and the world may well be screwed because they’re coming a courting in London town.
This movie has alot of great ingredients, a fantastic director, the writer of Alien, Aliens and Dune, and an Academy Award winning special effects artist, but it is so bad that the female lead, Mathilda May, filed to have it officially taken off her filmography. Patrick Stewart publicly denounced his support of the film (he has a small part). And the movie lost tons of money. Lifeforce is proof that all the right ingredients won’t make up for uber crappy execution. Everything about this movie is bad. I could go into individual examples, but just think in your head of an element of a movie and I can guarantee you that Lifeforce’s version of that element is terrible. Just trust me. It's not even campy bad, it's simply bad.

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