Lifeforce

Year: 1985

Synopsis: Astronauts on a mission to study Halley’s Comet find an apparently derelict alien spacecraft, and bring back the inexplicable humanoids within that ship.

Pros:
• The insane mix of Gothic Horror, Weird Fiction, and Sci-Fi created an at times over the top journey into an unexplainable fever dream.
• Surpassed the original novel, The Space Vampires, at times through wild visuals and far less misogyny. Indeed, Carlson was at times very weak next to the vampire queen, who largely controlled the events.
• The mythology and backstory surrounding the vampires were intentionally unclear, out of how the vampires could manipulate human minds and behavior.
• The apocalyptic climax within London was unforgettable, and genuinely well done crescendo that embraced all the film was, literally and figuratively.
• Though perhaps was overbearing at times, the musical score sticks with the viewer in a positive way.

Cons:
• Perhaps took itself a bit too seriously at times, lacking camp.
• Exacerbated in the truncated US theatrical release, the pacing can feel inconsistent and sometimes very slow.
• Carlson sometimes came off as overly foolish and confused to a downright silly extent.
• The not fully explained elements might confuse viewers unfamiliar with the tropes of Weird Fiction.

Discussion:
Why are you so perfect?

Carlson was very good at asking the right questions, except for the most obvious: was she in control of everything? The nameless vampiress expertly manipulated every event in the film. Carlson did seem to suspect this, but was too distracted by, well, her to really understand what was happening to him and his world. There were many questions that the nameless antagonist could answer, but it was perhaps never necessary for her to answer them all until she succeeded. There is little doubt that she was successful enough. In the end, the greatest dread is not only in how these space vampires might come back to consume us all, but also how we are all vampires in a way.


Rotten Tomatoes — 60%

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