Ten Word or Less Review – Naked alien woman conquers the world!
Of all the old school tools the contemporary, incorporated Hollywood machine has rooted out of the sci-fi/fantasy filmmaking process, next to matte paintings and model work I think I may miss cocaine the most. As Rick James was fond of saying “Cocaine is a Hell of a drug.” As directors and storytellers dreamed up unparalleled ideas of gargantuan stupidity, in this case Texas Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper and Alien writer Dan O’Bannon, all the blow they snorted through their rolled up Benjamins made them impervious to any suggestion that what they were making may be less than the greatest movie ever made. Such thinking is the only way to explain movies like Zardoz, The Keep and the film we’re here to talk about now, Lifeforce.
Lifeforce easily belongs among those classic ranks of the great, mind boggling sci-fi fiascoes. It begins with a group of astronauts flying towards Haley’s Comet hoping to study the once in a lifetime cosmic event. As they approach, their instruments detect the presence of another ship orbiting the comet. A gargantuan space vessel that looks like a funky weed growing in your back yard that Round Up couldn’t dispatch, they enter the ship through a portal which can only be described as an enormous space anus. Within the space anus they find a dead race of humanoid bat creatures as well as a perfectly preserved hot, naked chick. There are also two naked dudes too. With me so far? Thinking this is certainly worth ogling, I mean ‘researching’, the astronauts take the naked people back to their space shuttle. Cut to a month later. The shuttle approaches Earth and when intercepted, it’s found with its crew dead and the shuttle’s insides burned up, except for the three hot naked people. Still in their tubes and sound asleep, the recovery crew begin to ogle, I mean ‘examine’ the hot, frozen space chick, and promptly decide to take her back to Earth for ‘researching.’ Anyone still here?
Once planet side, the naked, alien space babe wakes up and promptly sucks the life out of an unlucky schlep who’s too curious for his own good. When she does this it’s like watching a death scene from a Highlander movie. Lights flash. Lightning strikes. Spooky blue smoke starts flying around. A smoldering corpse with bug eyes is all that’s left. You figure after this happens once someone would just shoot naked alien space babe and be done with it but once a hypnotic blue light emanates from her naughty, below the belt bits all bets are off. The smoldering corpse gets up and tries to suck the life out of the next dummy. One of the astronauts turns up in an escape pod and recounts a story just about the dimmest viewer could have figured out by now. The naked space babe stays naked for a while longer but then she starts to jump into other peoples bodies and becomes decidedly less naked and things become a little less exciting but still wildly senseless. The kind of senseless only drug fueled minds can make heads or tales out of.
What else happens in this thing? Patrick Stewart appears as a doctor and his head melts. After buzzing around the country trying to figure shit out our protagonists head back to London to find the whole city in flames with life sucking zombies running wild. The astronaut has an Argento inspired wet dream with the naked alien space babe. The movie copies the end of the first Star Trek movie except the two people being warped up in the great blue light are naked. I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot. Lifeforce really leaves you in a stupor. It’s $25 million bucks of dope fueled wackness.
Hollywood only wants to make $200 million sci-fi bonanzas, most of which play like cinematic Valium. If just once they gave someone that much money and an equally proportional amount of nose candy to go along with it, I’m sure a movie of unparalleled awesomeness could come into being. A movie with rampant nudity, exploding dinosaurs, time travel via toaster and an all Funkadelic soundtrack. It would star Keanu Reaves as Jesus Christ Jr., Gary Busey as the Nazi Pope, Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken III and Dolph Lundgren as himself. And he would appear in the movie riding a flying shark that has the voice of Leonard Nimoy. Of course none of this, or anything like it, will come to pass. The powers that be will simply smear white face paint on Johnny Depp and call it fun. And that will never be as fun as movies like Lifeforce. Thanks Mitch. After seeing this every movie forever will somehow seem inferior.