6.1/10
16,376
190 user 163 critic

Lifeforce (1985)

A race of space vampires arrive in London and infect the populace.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,796 ( 603)

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at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nicholas Ball ...
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Nancy Paul ...
Ellen Donaldson
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Lamson
John Keegan ...
Guard
Chris Jagger ...
First Vampire (as Christopher Jagger)
Bill Malin ...
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Pathologist
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Physician
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Storyline

The space shuttle Churchill is assigned to observe the Halley's Comet under the command of Col. Tom Carlsen. They see a strange form attached to the comet and Carlsen goes with a team to investigate. They find three humanoid life forms in caskets and they bring them to the Churchill. However, Earth loses contact with the shuttle and the Space Research Center sends another spacecraft to search the Churchill. They find the crew dead and the shuttle burnt and one rescue pod missing. They bring the humanoids to Earth and soon Dr. Hans Fallada and his team discover that the Space Girl is a sort of vampire and drains the life force from people transforming them into zombies. When the authorities find that Col. Tom Carlsen has survived, they summon him to explain what happened in the Churchill. Carlsen tells an incredible story about the three aliens and he teams up with Col. Colin Caine trying to save mankind from the evil vampires from the space. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the blink of an eye, the terror begins. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Space Intruders  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Peppard was attached to star in this project at one time. See more »

Goofs

John Forbes-Robertson who plays the Minister is mistakenly credited as James Forbes-Robertson in error See more »

Quotes

Colonel Colin Caine: Now she has clothes.
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Connections

Featured in Carlsen's Curse with Steve Railsback (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lifeforce Theme
Written by Michael Kamen and Henry Mancini
Performed by Henry Mancini
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
***an underrated gem
3 February 2004 | by (washington, d.c.) – See all my reviews

Like several other reviewers here, I'm surprised to see many negative reviews on this film. Dan O'Bannon's previous effort was the groundbreaking 'Alien' of 1979. Because it and 'Star Wars' introduced the stylistic approach of 'Used' or 'Dirty Space' in art-direction for these kinds of features doesn't mean that this was the only way to produce them.

Rather than dismiss 'Lifeforce' out-of-hand as a sort of schlock and primitive exploitation feature, it's important to recognize that the film draws upon the 'esteemed' traditions of British horror and science-fiction - specifically Hammer and American International features like Quatermass (specifically 'Quatermass and the Pit', 1967), Doctor Who and 'The Day of the Triffids' (1963), if not the works of Gerry Anderson ('UFO', 'Space:1999' and 'Thunderbirds'). But none of these influences would be a surprise if other reviewers recognized writer O'Bannon's genre-scholarly appreciation for 'Queen of Blood'(1966) and 'It! The Terror from Beyond Space'(1958) - the immediate sources for 'Alien' (1979).

Granted this film has some 'legacy' elements, but perhaps it's worth comparing this film to its more immediate peers - 1981's 'An American Werewolf in London' and 'The Company of Wolves' (1984) - other 80's films that share a 'looking-back' while they adapt those stories to the 80's zeitgeist. All three films drew on earlier incarnations of the same, but substantially sexed-up their themes (because they could), and, at the same time they recognized the tongue-in-cheek, humorous aspects of their projects.

Neil Jordan's 'Wolves' played to many of the psychoanalytic memes floating around at the during the '80's, while 'American Werewolf' curdled its theme as a 'coming-of-age' film. It's called artistic license, and the adaptations of these three films are no less valid than the latter-day dramedy inherent in the 'Scream' franchise, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and 'Final Destination'. But these teen-targeted, films seem to be part of a box-office trend, whereas the 80's films like 'Lifeforce' belong a canon of British sci-fi - even if this one was written by an American.

In many ways this film holds up much better than latter-day disaster and alien-invasion flicks ('Independence Day', 'Armageddon', 'Deep Impact') in that the 'solutions' don't reside in gun-battles, weaponized payloads and testosterone. At the opposite end of the pole, it is unfortunate that Steven Soderbergh and James Cameron didn't examine Tarkowski and Lem more closely before they remade 'Solaris'...

The goal of this film was fun, not ponderousness or stupidity.

7/10


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