Thursday, December 27, 2012


It was a few months ago that I watched ‘Lifeforce’, already with a mind to writing it up for the Winter of Discontent. Reviewing my notes, I realise there’s no other way of engaging with the movie than to present, unedited and without contextualizing footnotes, the 500 words of appalled scribbling I produced during the two hours of this holy-fucking-awful excuse for a moving picture:

Five minutes in; first question: when Henry Mancini wrote the score, did he get really fucked up on peyote and hallucinate that he was Hindemith?

Okay, I can live with the shuttle being called the HMS Churchill, but does the alien planet have to look like a giant vulva?

So ... the alien planet: bats, a Nosferatu-like claw and naked chicks in crystal pods. And this was written by the same dude who scripted 'Alien'? Fuck my life!

“I’ve been in space for six months and she looks perfect to me.” No disrespect, bro, but a Tiffany album cover probably would after six months in zero g.

“Stand by for soft-dock.” Somehow I doubt this is a real astronautical term.

Somebody actually said: “Houston, we have a problem.” Please tell me this wasn’t scripted. Please tell me the actor was just taking the piss and it somehow made the final cut.

Interplanetary spaceflight is the norm and the ship’s log is recorded on BETAMAX???

“We were just talking about how to get it open and it popped open of its own accord.” They PAID someone to write this???

Mrs F has just called me “a pervert” for watching this film. It’s very difficult to mount a defence. 

The nudity-to-tedious-exposition ratio is so far swinging heavily in favour of tedious exposition.

Oooh, interesting. Naked alien DUDES. Being shot in phallocentric fashion by army guys. I do believe we’ve rendezvoused with a homoerotic subtext.

OMG! That is THE worst reanimated corpse in the history of cinema.

The hot-alien-brunette nudity to dead-leathery-person nudity ratio is also considerably out of whack.

For an exploitation movie based on the precept “hot naked alien chick wreaks havoc”, ‘Lifeforce’ sure as hell has some boring passages.

“How exactly did he die, Colonel?” “The life just drained out of him.” Yeah, same for the audience.

Jess Franco should have directed this. ‘Lifeforce’ is ‘Female Vampire’ is space, with Mathilda May standing in for Lina Romay.

Telepathy … Volvos … oh dear God in Heaven, Patrick Stewart’s in this POS. I am beginning to doubt my sanity.

Patrick Stewart is screaming fit to wake the dead. He must have got a look at the script.

In terms of production values, this can best be described as ‘Blake’s 7’ with boobs. Not that there have been any boobs for the last half hour. Tobe Hooper, you frickin’ owe me!

“Sterilization by thermonuclear device has been approved.” Whoa! Wait a minute! I work in healthcare and that goes waaaaayyy beyond sterilization. Like seriously, dudes.

15 minutes to go, London’s in the grip of a vampire/zombie invasion, the promised nudity has disappeared, and the level of cinematic craftsmanship on display is making your average Bruno Mattei quickie look like un film de Carl Dreyer.

Swords … bat creatures … columns of blue light. I just don’t have the words …

Peter Firth prevents Steve Railsback from getting it on with Mathilda May and THAT’S a happy ending? I must have missed something.

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