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Lifeforce (1985)

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A race of space vampires arrives in London and infects the populace, beginning an apocalyptic descent into chaos.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Colin Wilson (novel), Dan O'Bannon (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,331 ( 188)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Railsback ... Col. Tom Carlsen
Peter Firth ... Col. Colin Caine
Frank Finlay ... Dr. Hans Fallada
Mathilda May ... Space Girl
Patrick Stewart ... Dr. Armstrong
Michael Gothard ... Dr. Bukovsky
Nicholas Ball ... Roger Derebridge
Aubrey Morris ... Sir Percy Heseltine
Nancy Paul Nancy Paul ... Ellen Donaldson
John Hallam ... Lamson
John Keegan John Keegan ... Guard
Chris Jagger ... First Vampire (as Christopher Jagger)
Bill Malin Bill Malin ... Second Vampire
Jerome Willis ... Pathologist
Derek Benfield ... Physician
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Storyline

The space shuttle Churchill is assigned to observe Halley's Comet under the command of Colonel 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 Colonel 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 Colonel Colin Caine trying to save mankind from the evil vampires from space. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

With an insatiable hunger, they are coming...Mankind is their prey [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Space Intruders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,209,136, 23 June 1985

Gross USA:

$11,603,545
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?


Goofs

When the soldiers are shooting at the male vampires, they are supposed to be naked but are clearly seen wearing patches from the waist down. See more »

Quotes

Sir Percy Heseltine, Home Secretary: Um... how do you know she's still inside Armstrong? What's to prevent her from moving to someone else?
Colonel Tom Carlsen: She's trapped. I can feel that.
Colonel Colin Caine: Are you sure?
Colonel Tom Carlsen: No.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Scenes cut from 101 min but in 116 min version.
  • Voiceover describing the Churchill's mission and the Nerva device.
  • Derebridge has a conversation with the Radar Technicians about the object in the comet and it being 150 miles long.
  • The opening line of Carlsen about what is 150 miles long Astronauts going into the comet has remarks from Derebridge about the state of the craft.
  • The Spacecraft opening up has bits and pieces removed.
  • Dr. Bukovsky being told by a RAF officer about the state of Churchill's orbit and it had not changed since leaving the comet.
  • Bukovsky and a NASA official agreeing that the Columbia should be sent into space to investigate.
  • Scenes with the Columbia rescue party trimmed in particular talk about fate of the crew and obtaining the video tapes.
  • A whole scene is removed which introduces Fallanda and The Pathologist which sets up Fallanda's character.
  • A Cabinet Minister discussing the crystal cases with Fallanda, Bukovsky the pathologist and a Metallurgist.
  • The Minister is inquiring whether X Rays have been done and their results -- blurred images. The metallurgist is very puzzled by the cases. Plus comments about are the bodies being alive.
  • After being shown the Guard's body, Colonel Caine is interrogating Bukovsky and Fallanda about the Space Girl (Matilda May). Being told about the Churchill's escape Pod being missing, the fire and the cases. After this Fallanda's conversation with Caine about is there life after death is trimmed.
  • The Hyde Park scene is trimmed; the Police Inspector (Nicholas Donnelly) has three lines in 116 version but in the 101 min version he has one line.
  • Bukovsky on the phone about Carlsen being in a Walter Reed Army Hospital, he demands Carlsen is brought to London.
  • Carlsen's debriefing in 116 version also includes Bukovsky introducing Colonel Caine of the SAS remarking about we all thought You were dead plus the comments about a pretty nurse, the Churchill flashback is trimmed.
  • Just before Carlsen's nightmare a scene where Bukovsky informs Caine that NASA have tracked a strange object leaving the comet which is heading for Earth in two days time also there is to be a meeting at Downing Street (The Prime Minister and his Cabinet meet at the PM's home for non UK readers).
  • After the hypnotizing of Carlsen's comments made by Bukosvsky about the vampires of legend taking their Earth with them ( The majority of comments about vampires in 116 version are missing from 101 version explains why the title was changed from Space Vampires to Lifeforce).
  • The scene with Ellen(Nancy Paul) is cut slightly.
  • The attack on Dr.Armstrong(Patrick Stewart) is shortened.
  • The Kiss between Armstrong and Carlsen is removed.
  • After the deaths of Sir Percy(Aubrey Morris) and Armstrong, the Churchill flashback the love scene between Carlsen and the Space Girl is cut to the bone. Likewise the scene with the Infected PM (Peter Porteous) and his Secretary, Miss Haversham(Katherine Schofield) has had huge chunks cut out e.g. the PM being told of The Home Secretary's demise. Plus there are lines reactions closeups omitted here where and everywhere. The 101 Min version had some more zombie mayhem.
See more »

Connections

References Female Vampire (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lifeforce Theme
Written by Michael Kamen and Henry Mancini
Performed by Henry Mancini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Glorious, demented, insane, has to be seen to be believed. Humankind's greatest achievement?
9 December 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

Did director Tobe Hooper, writers Dan O'Bannon ("Alien", "Return of the Living Dead") and Don Jakoby ("Blue Thunder"), in addition to some uncredited writers who presumably did rewrites of the original script, or any of the cast actually think they were making a good movie during the production of "Lifeforce"? The movie gets progressively wackier, more disturbingly bizarre, hilarious, over-the-top, and greater by the minute. When you think that the movie couldn't possibly become more demented, that it was already as nutty as anything could possibly be it outdoes itself. I really don't know if this was at any point supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, if anybody involved thought it was genuinely creepy or effective, or if they were just too distracted by Mathilda May's exquisite breasts and rear end to care, but the end result is quite simply one of the greatest films ever made.

Here are some reasons why "Lifeforce" is perhaps humankind's greatest achievement to date (and probably impossible to surpass):

  • Mathilda May is nude for the entirety of the film, and she is "the most overwhelmingly feminine presence" you will ever see. Yes, that is a quote from the film.


  • Steve Railsback gives one of the most gloriously, hilariously over-the-top performances in the history of film.


  • It is, to quote a fellow IMDb member, 'the greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley's Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made'. Yes, that is actually the plot.


  • Frank Finlay, Peter Firth, and Patrick Stewart embarrass themselves.


  • Special effects and design that are actually good, adding to the suggestion that someone somewhere actually took this thing seriously, which is quite a disturbing thought.


  • Unbelievably stilted delivery of some of the finest dialogue known to man, examples of which include:


"She looks perfect. I've been in space six months and she looks perfect to me."

""Don't worry, a naked woman is not going to get out of this complex."

"Despite appearances this woman is a masochist, an extreme masochist."

"He too needs feeding."

"She's totally alien to this planet and our life form... and totally dangerous."

"I'm Colonel Cane." "From the SAS?"

"It was two hours ago that the guard was attacked. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we're seeing a pattern here."

"Colonel, take it from the beginning. Assume we know nothing... which is understating the matter."

Colonel Cane looks at a shriveled corpse, then asks: "and this was murder, you say? "

"Lifeforce" is not merely another 'so bad it's good' movie. It is not an example of a film made by individuals with ambition far beyond their reach. No, it is quite simply THE most audacious, spectacular, hilarious, absurd, insane, riotous, crazy, deliriously demented science fiction film of all time. I cannot fully articulate why it is deserving of being one spot ahead of Samuel Fuller's "Pickup on South Street" on my list of favorite films, but I do know that it is. "Lifeforce" elevates craziness to an art form. Quite possibly the most entertaining film known to man, and perhaps our greatest achievement as a species.


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