Life Force


Viewed – 18 October 2013  Blu-ray

International Version

I have fond, if cloudy memories of this 1985 science fiction horror.  I’ll admit straight up that as a hormonal boy, the site of French actress Mathilda May walking around naked certainly stayed with me.  But thankfully with more mature eyes, I can appreciate this hoky but fun movie on more than purely teenage fantasy levels.

A group of Astronauts investigating the arrival of Haley’s Comet over Earth, discover a space craft hidden within the tail.  On-board they stumble upon three pods containing three human-like bodies … two males and a female, and subsequently decide to take the bodies back to their own space shuttle.  Cut to London thirty days later and the bodies have been recovered from  the shuttle following an unexplained fire, and before long there’s a beautiful, naked female wrecking havoc and sucking the Life Force out of anyone she meets.

lifeforce6

Directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) this is an energetic crowd-pleaser of a movie, with that 80s lack of restraint and bags of personality.  Effects work is decent with some quite cool make up effects and production values throughout are impressive.  Acting honours, it’s a mixed back with a stand-out Steve Rallsback as a disturbed Astronaut and even Patrick Stewart turns up not looking a great deal different than he does now (?). It has an alarming tendency to jump around from quiet talking scenes to all out chaos, surreal dream-sequences and horror – but makes for an experience that is never dull.  Performances are basically adequate, sometimes over-acted but stylistically this looks great and with a thunderous score by Henry Mancini it’s very hard not to get caught up in the sheer enthusiasm of it all.

Yes its a bit silly in places, the story is nonsense, but honesty in this particular movie – it doesn’t matter.

The Blu-ray from Arrow Video is impressive.  Two cuts of the movie, the slightly trimmed ‘Theatrical Version’ and the director-preferred ‘International Version’, two commentaries, an engrossing documentary called ‘cannon fodder’, interviews, trailers, and a collectable booklet.  The movie itself is in great shape.  A very clear, often sharp HD transfer and a decent 5.1 DTS Master Audio soundtrack (or uncompressed 2.0 stereo) both impress.  This is a surprising but welcome treatment for one of the more obscure movies of the 80s, but as a fan I couldn’t be happier.

Verdict:

(the movie):  4 /5

(the Blu-ray):  5 /5

Update


Just a short post trying out the Windows Writer software available in Windows Essentials that’s meant to make blogging easier.  Also using this opportunity to update my readers on a few things I am looking forward to and doing at the moment.  Been reading the rather enjoyable book ‘A Step Too Far’ by Tina Seskis.  Proving an easy read and as someone who isn’t an avid reader … it’s not too long at three hundred and odd pages, compared to the tomes of say, Stephen King clocking in at an intimidating one thousand plus!  I am also using reading again as a segway into perhaps writing, a hobby of mine I would love to start doing again, and have found a way by putting my hand to short story writing, some of which I might publish on here one day.

Other than that I have been enjoying Breaking Bad (currently on season 3) and Ray Donovan.  Both proving very enjoyable and come highly recommended.  I am also currently watching the final season of Dexter, one of my all time favourite shows, but this season sadly is leaving me rather cold so far.  Last night I watched (not exactly) classic 1982 horror The Entity, that I think is probably way too obscure to grant a review on here, but proved kind of interesting, and the based of an apparent true story aspect kept me focused, even if the badly acted and poorly framed experience got me yearning for something more modern, high def and wide screen (!).

I am not that interested in gaming right now but have pre-ordered the way too good looking Grand Theft Auto V for XBOX 360, and am looking forward to it, despite failing to complete (at least so far) games such as Hitman Absolution, Dead Space 3 and to a lesser extent the mostly ‘meh’ Remember Me. 

Movies on the horizon I plan on reviewing though, include: James Macevoy gangster thriller Welcome To The Punch, Elijah Wood serial killer remake Maniac, Rob Zombie horror-fest Lords Of Salem and also attempt to review classics newly coming to Blu-ray such as Edward Woodwood chiller The Wicker Man and Tobe Hooper sci-fi gore / nudity classic Life Force.   Oh, and also don’t judge me for wanting the Blu-ray set pictured below, even if the latest Studio Ghibli release it houses (From Up On Poppy Hill) isn’t exactly on my must see list:

Along with work, life and other things that crop up, plenty to keep me busy and some interesting stuff on the horizon I’ll no doubt enjoy blogging about. 

Craig.  Winking smile