Movie Review: Lifeforce (1985)

Synopsis: A space shuttle crew encounters an alien vehicle while doing research on the passing Halley's Comet. The alien craft contains seemingly dead bat-like creatures as well as three well-preserved human-like beings. By the time the shuttle returns to Earth, all onboard are dead but the three preserved bodies remain intact and are recovered for research. Unfortunately, the aliens also happen to be vampires capable of sucking a person's lifeforce from their body and turn them into one of their own.

Who's in it? The movie stars Steve Railsback, Mathilda May, Frank Finlay, Patrick Stewart and Peter Firth.

Review: I had heard about the movie Lifeforce before but couldn't remember if I had ever seen it. Since we were looking for something to watch anyway and this happened to be available on Amazon Prime, my wife and I gave it a try last night. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as we hoped it would be.

This movie is a great example of a good premise that gets wasted by the filmmakers trying to do too much. Having three space vampires with the ability to suck someone's essence from their body while having a number of other powers, like being able to hypnotize people, would have been enough to make a solid film. In fact, that is the reason I picked this film.

Instead, this movie decided to add a bunch of complicated storylines, ranging from the vampires being able to inhabit other people's bodies to a zombie apocalypse and some strange mental connection between the female vampire (May) and one of the astronauts (Railsback). It was a lot to keep track of. It made the story hard to follow and it weakened the entire film as a result.

I also felt like the vampires really didn't have a whole lot to do. May barely has any lines and spends most of the movie naked. The two male vampires are blown to bits right off the bat. Movies like this are just considerably better with a memorable and interesting antagonist and I wouldn't describe any of the vampires that way. Unless you count the nudity, and even that grows old fast.

It also didn't help that the ending of the movie seemed to be a bit rushed at times and drawn out at others. Basically, you get a whole lot of people driving through London to get to the final battle only to have the final battle kept a little too easy with very little fighting and a big reveal that really should have been elaborated on. In fact, the latter was a bit of a headscratcher, and I don't know if they were planning on a sequel or what.

Final Opinion: The movie sounded like it would be entertaining and, at least for a while, it seemed like it would be. However, the confusing plot and a weak ending made this film not as good as we hoped.

My Grade: D


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