Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lifeforce (1985)

When you happen upon a going-out-of-business sale at a local movie rental store, and it's chock full of VHS tapes, and the sci-fi section is so bangin' that your head is spinning around, and even after you pick up so many clearly essential additions to your already stocked collection, when a movie still on the shelf boasts the director of Poltergeist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the special effects director of Star Wars, you buy that frickin' movie. It doesn't matter how many other tapes you have falling out of your hands, you buy that frickin' movie. And so I did. The cover seemed a little on the serious side (clearly not the cover featured on the left...), so it's been sadly sitting on my shelf for almost a year now. But fate finally brought it out, and I couldn't be more satisfied. This movie is bad-ass. Like seriously bad-ass. We're talking naked, sexualized aliens AKA space vampires, giant bat mummies, hypnosis, piles of corpses, Patrick Stewart, and what I would generally consider to be a zombie apocalypse. Oh, did I mention that Dan O'Bannon helped write the screenplay (although some rumors actually suggest that his version was cut and/or that the addition of Haley's comet made him disavow the film...)?
 The movie is definitely walking that delicate but beautiful line of sex and sci-fi horror, and walking it well. Lines like,
"She's using a different body.
-What is she doing?
She's looking for a man.
-What man?
Any man, a healthy man." certainly paint a romantic picture. There's also the slightly rapey interrogation scene where Steve Railsback goes to that asylum for the clinically insane and exorcises the alien from that lady with his tongue. Sassy. And all the while Patrick Stewart is sitting in the corner, saying, "I'm a natural voyeur." Extra sassy. Believe it or not, a full 16 minutes of erotic footage was edited out of the US version of this film. Fucking prudes - I can't believe it. I am already searching the internet for an original UK director's cut, trust me. I need those 16 minutes.

But don't let me misrepresent - this movie isn't all about the sex appeal. There is also a substantial amount of blood and violence. Just the perfect amount if I may say so myself. The effects are supremo, right on the money creature feature; and yes, the desiccation is superb (licking fingers). All the over-the-top, blood gushing, living blood blob moments are timed at just the right moments.
Let's see...what else....

Leather bomber jackets over white turtlenecks, grenades thrown at naked vampires, hand-painted sci-fi comet backdrops, reflation, double-dosing, a thermonuclear device, and did I mention Patrick fucking Stewart?

If that doesn't convince you, maybe this quote menagerie will do the trick:

"I am the feminine in your mind Carlson."

"Where are you? Where's your body? Let me go!!!!"

"She took some of my energy and she game me some of her energy."

"She'll destroy you. She's destroyed worlds."

"All those blue lights going up to the clouds. They're human souls."

How can anyone say no? It's irresistible. It's undeniable. I just can't.....Yes, yes, you can take my lifeforce....I give it to you willingly. I give it all.

Final judgement: As usual, the film says it best...:"What are these feelings? Why do I feel so close to you?"/Truly epic, a crucial edition to my movie repertoire/Patrick Stewart's talents know no bounds.