The space shuttle Churchill is assigned to observe Halley's Comet under the command of Colonel Tom Carlsen. They see a strange form attached to the comet and Carlsen goes with a team to investigate. They find three humanoid life forms in caskets and they bring them to the Churchill. However, Earth loses contact with the shuttle and the Space Research Center sends another spacecraft to search the Churchill. They find the crew dead and the shuttle burnt and one rescue pod missing. They bring the humanoids to Earth and soon Dr. Hans Fallada and his team discover that the Space Girl is a sort of vampire and drains the life force from people, transforming them into zombies. When the authorities find that Colonel Tom Carlsen has survived, they summon him to explain what happened in the Churchill. Carlsen tells an incredible story about the three aliens and he teams up with Colonel Colin Caine trying to save mankind from the evil vampires from space.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the one hour and forty-one minute version, some of Geoffrey Frederick's voice-over is dubbed, when his voice is heard on the space shuttle Churchill. See more »
Dr Fallada says that the Space Girl is in the Cathedral in London, in "the crypt of kings and queens". The cathedral in question is presumably intended to be St Paul's (though in appearance it does not accurately match the real St Paul's). However, no king or queen of England has ever been buried in St Paul's, except for Ethelred (1016). There are two other cathedrals in London: Southwark and Westminster. No king or queen of England has ever been buried in either of them. Many kings and queens of England have been buried in the entirely separate Westminster Abbey, and others at Windsor. This could be regarded as an error made by the Fallada character rather than by the film makers. See more »
Voiceover describing the Churchill's mission and the Nerva device.
Derebridge has a conversation with the Radar Technicians about the object in the comet and it being 150 miles long.
The opening line of Carlsen about what is 150 miles long Astronauts going into the comet has remarks from Derebridge about the state of the craft.
The Spacecraft opening up has bits and pieces removed.
Dr. Bukovsky being told by a RAF officer about the state of Churchill's orbit and it had not changed since leaving the comet.
Bukovsky and a NASA official agreeing that the Columbia should be sent into space to investigate.
Scenes with the Columbia rescue party trimmed in particular talk about fate of the crew and obtaining the video tapes.
A whole scene is removed which introduces Fallanda and The Pathologist which sets up Fallanda's character.
A Cabinet Minister discussing the crystal cases with Fallanda, Bukovsky the pathologist and a Metallurgist.
The Minister is inquiring whether X Rays have been done and their results -- blurred images. The metallurgist is very puzzled by the cases. Plus comments about are the bodies being alive.
After being shown the Guard's body, Colonel Caine is interrogating Bukovsky and Fallanda about the Space Girl (Matilda May). Being told about the Churchill's escape Pod being missing, the fire and the cases. After this Fallanda's conversation with Caine about is there life after death is trimmed.
The Hyde Park scene is trimmed; the Police Inspector (Nicholas Donnelly) has three lines in 116 version but in the 101 min version he has one line.
Bukovsky on the phone about Carlsen being in a Walter Reed Army Hospital, he demands Carlsen is brought to London.
Carlsen's debriefing in 116 version also includes Bukovsky introducing Colonel Caine of the SAS remarking about we all thought You were dead plus the comments about a pretty nurse, the Churchill flashback is trimmed.
Just before Carlsen's nightmare a scene where Bukovsky informs Caine that NASA have tracked a strange object leaving the comet which is heading for Earth in two days time also there is to be a meeting at Downing Street (The Prime Minister and his Cabinet meet at the PM's home for non UK readers).
After the hypnotizing of Carlsen's comments made by Bukosvsky about the vampires of legend taking their Earth with them ( The majority of comments about vampires in 116 version are missing from 101 version explains why the title was changed from Space Vampires to Lifeforce).
The scene with Ellen(Nancy Paul) is cut slightly.
The attack on Dr.Armstrong(Patrick Stewart) is shortened.
The Kiss between Armstrong and Carlsen is removed.
After the deaths of Sir Percy(Aubrey Morris) and Armstrong, the Churchill flashback the love scene between Carlsen and the Space Girl is cut to the bone. Likewise the scene with the Infected PM (Peter Porteous) and his Secretary, Miss Haversham(Katherine Schofield) has had huge chunks cut out e.g. the PM being told of The Home Secretary's demise. Plus there are lines reactions closeups omitted here where and everywhere. The 101 Min version had some more zombie mayhem.
Like several other reviewers here, I'm surprised to see many negative reviews on this film. Dan O'Bannon's previous effort was the groundbreaking 'Alien' of 1979. Because it and 'Star Wars' introduced the stylistic approach of 'Used' or 'Dirty Space' in art-direction for these kinds of features doesn't mean that this was the only way to produce them.
Rather than dismiss 'Lifeforce' out-of-hand as a sort of schlock and primitive exploitation feature, it's important to recognize that the film draws upon the 'esteemed' traditions of British horror and science-fiction - specifically Hammer and American International features like Quatermass (specifically 'Quatermass and the Pit', 1967), Doctor Who and 'The Day of the Triffids' (1963), if not the works of Gerry Anderson ('UFO', 'Space:1999' and 'Thunderbirds'). But none of these influences would be a surprise if other reviewers recognized writer O'Bannon's genre-scholarly appreciation for 'Queen of Blood'(1966) and 'It! The Terror from Beyond Space'(1958) - the immediate sources for 'Alien' (1979).
Granted this film has some 'legacy' elements, but perhaps it's worth comparing this film to its more immediate peers - 1981's 'An American Werewolf in London' and 'The Company of Wolves' (1984) - other 80's films that share a 'looking-back' while they adapt those stories to the 80's zeitgeist. All three films drew on earlier incarnations of the same, but substantially sexed-up their themes (because they could), and, at the same time they recognized the tongue-in-cheek, humorous aspects of their projects.
Neil Jordan's 'Wolves' played to many of the psychoanalytic memes floating around at the during the '80's, while 'American Werewolf' curdled its theme as a 'coming-of-age' film. It's called artistic license, and the adaptations of these three films are no less valid than the latter-day dramedy inherent in the 'Scream' franchise, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and 'Final Destination'. But these teen-targeted, films seem to be part of a box-office trend, whereas the 80's films like 'Lifeforce' belong a canon of British sci-fi - even if this one was written by an American.
In many ways this film holds up much better than latter-day disaster and alien-invasion flicks ('Independence Day', 'Armageddon', 'Deep Impact') in that the 'solutions' don't reside in gun-battles, weaponized payloads and testosterone. At the opposite end of the pole, it is unfortunate that Steven Soderbergh and James Cameron didn't examine Tarkowski and Lem more closely before they remade 'Solaris'...
The goal of this film was fun, not ponderousness or stupidity.
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