Lifeforce (1985)

This movie is about beautiful space vampires that suck the life out of you. In short, yes, it is about your ex.

The story of Lifeforce involves a British space mission to study Halley’s Comet but discovers an enormous spacecraft hiding in its tail. The astronauts investigate and discover long dead bat creatures and three beautiful people held in suspended animation, two men and one woman. They bring the three bodies aboard, but the ship crashes to Earth. The three from the ship are recovered in perfect condition, while one astronaut survives in an escape pod which lands in Texas.

Unfortunately for everybody, the three bodies wake up, and we discover they’re a race of body-hopping vampires that drain living energy. Worse yet, anyone they drain completely then experiences a wild and violent urge to drain the life from other people every two hours or disintegrate into powder. The woman vampire escapes into the countryside and hops across bodies, and the astronaut and an SAS officer search for her; too bad they didn’t pay attention to London, which goes down the drain in an energy sucking frenzy faster than you can say, “This is what Brexit looks like.” Yes, I made a Brexit joke. Deal with it, England.

In the meantime the astronaut discovers the vampire lady inside Patrick Stewart and makes out with him after discovering she’s the perfect embodiment of femininity in his mind. Ok, maybe not make out, but it apparently was Stewart’s first on-screen kiss. Then the astronaut and the SAS finally get back to London to discover the hellhole it’s become. The astronaut finds the lady vampire in a cathedral while the SAS guy finds out how to kill the space vampires. The astronaut engages in intercourse on a tomb and then kills himself and the lady vampire, and the world is saved as the space vampire ship flies away from Earth.

This film is about what it’s like being a vampire’s thrall, and it’s worth noting that it’s based on Colin Wilson’s novel The Space Vampires. Wilson hated the movie but praised the amount of full frontal nudity, and…well…yeah, there’s a lot of female nudity from Mathilda May, the female space vampire literally called Space Girl. In fact, there was so much of her on display that shadows were added in post-production to prevent an X-rating. The guys vampires? Nope, there’s a lot of well-placed equipment to stop you from seeing that, so don’t expect anything there if that’s what you’re looking for. Admittedly, they also don’t even get called something as interesting as Space Girl; they’re stuck being known as First Vampire and Second Vampire.

The space vampires are also inconsistent in their powers. For example, the guys can possess other people’s bodies in their entirety, while the woman vampire leaves her body hidden when she possesses others. Killing the body that one guy possesses kills him. Meanwhile, the other guy turns into a giant bat critter when he dies, but neither of the other space vampires do. The guys also don’t take thralls, but the lady vampire had taken one to feed on and learn about humanity, so I guess they just weren’t hungry? Yeah, nope, I got no idea what’s going on here, but I can at least accept Mathilda May being the ‘feminine ideal’ in some lonely astronaut’s mind.

Lifeforce is a crazy mess. I like it, but it is ridiculous and full-on weird. I have no idea what the hell I’m seeing, but watching sucked-out husk zombies get run over in the burning streets of London does certainly provide its own form of entertainment.

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