Reviewed Jun 07, 2012
Robert Cettl’s review:
Following critical accounts of director Tobe Hooper overwhelmed by Steven Spielberg on the hit Poltergeist, Hooper rebounded by teaming with 80s exploitation stalwarts Cannon Studios for two big-budget sci-fi / horror genre extravaganzas. Lifeforce - about cosmic vampires releasing a plague which truly looses anarchy in the UK - is the best of the duo, the other being Invaders from Mars.
Although genre fans will undoubtedly revel in what might be termed "naked space zombie vampire chicks" the film carries an urgency that adds surprising social context to its genre fiction. Made at the outset of the AIDS crises, the vampire plague and constant sexual coupling in the film suggests the movie is a parodic response to moral panic and AIDS hysteria. On that it is an intriguing social document in addition to being a stylish, gripping and thoughtful genre film.
Sadly, despite one return to his cult favourite The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hooper's career declined after this film. That said, Lifeforce remains one of the most rewarding and intelligently crafted of 1980s big-budget genre epics. It is too pulpy and campy for true classic status but is a genuine neglected virtue of a genre flick well worth watching.
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