Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lifeforce (1985)

A recent, and wonderful, Cinemologists discovery is Beaux Arts Video on the corner of 10th and Spruce in Center City, Philadelphia.  Currently, it is mostly an antique store, however, the store houses around 10,000 VHS tapes in a backroom but only about a couple hundred videos actually in the store itself, and more are always being put out.  The videos are all very cheap so, a few days ago I grabbed myself five.  Two of them I watched the following night with some friends. A great time was had and I'd like to quickly go over the first film I watched. (At a later date we will get to talking about the whole video store experience, so stay tuned for that!)

Lifeforce is one of those movies where even looking at the trailer, I knew I would at least appreciate it.  I suspected that I would be amazed by it and, more than that, I was blown away.  So many moments in this film caused my jaw to drop.  It definitely has all the makings of cult classic and yet it feels like a blockbuster, one that takes plenty of risks.  The film itself hits the ground running with a shuttle mission to Haley's Comet and soon we are introduced to the stunning, vast interior of an alien ship with corpses of bat creatures floating throughout, Henry Mancini's brilliant score vaulting my imagination into overdrive.  Astronauts find three human beings in suspended animation and bring them back, not knowing what they will unleash onto Earth.  The film could have gone in so many different directions from there and, in some ways, it does.  Mostly it's a vampire film, but it also manages to include sci-fi, zombie elements, and even a Van Helsing type character (Frank Finlay), who probably would have been played by Peter Cushing had the film been made a decade earlier.