Lifeforce (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes


Lifeforce (1985)




Critic Consensus: Brazenly strange and uneven in its execution, Lifeforce is an otherworldly sci-fi excursion punctuated with off-kilter horror flourishes.

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Movie Info

When alien vampires terrorize London, it's up to a determined police inspector and an astronaut to stop them. American and British space travelers discover humanoids while exploring near Halley's Comet. The astronauts bring three of these aliens aboard their spaceship and head back to earth. However, their guests turn out to be evil vampires who kill all but one of the astronauts -- Carlsen. After the ship arrives in London, the monsters -- led by a beautiful female -- escape and wreak havoc throughout the city, transforming humans into zombies. Meanwhile, the surviving astronaut and Caine, a determined police inspector, frantically try to track down the creatures, and destroy them. But the "Space Girl" has a strange hold over Carlsen, and he has trouble fighting the urge to join her.

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Steve Railsback
as Commander Tom Carlsen
Peter Firth
as Inspector Caine
Frank Finlay
as Inspector Fallada
Mathilda May
as Space Girl
Patrick Stewart
as Dr. Armstrong
Nicholas Ball
as Derebridge
Aubrey Morris
as Sir Percy
Chris Jagger
as Vampire
Bill Malin
as Vampire
Jerome Willis
as Pathologist
Derek Benfield
as Physician
John Woodnutt
as Metallurgist
Peter Porteous
as Prime Minister
Katherine Schofield
as Prime Minister's Secretary
Owen Holder
as Scientist
Jamie Roberts
as Rawlings
Patrick Connor
as Fatherly Guard
Sydney Kean
as Brash Guard
Rupert Baker
as Soldier
Gary Hildreth
as Police Surgeon
Nicholas Donnelly
as Police Inspector
Carl Rigg
as Radar Technician
Elizabeth Morton
as Radar Technician
Geoffrey Frederick
as Communications Officer
Richard Oldfield
as Mission Leader
Christopher Barr
as Trajectory Officer
Thom Booker
as NASA Officer
Michael Fitzpatrick
as NASA Officer
Richard Sharpe
as Rescue Ship Crewman
William Lindsay
as Colonel's Aide
Ken Parry
as Sykes
John Edmunds
as BBC Commentator
Haydn Wood
as Helicopter Pilot
Russell Sommers
as Navigation Officer
Peter Lovstrom
as First Boy in Park
Julian Firth
as Second Boy in Park
David English
as First Crewperson
Emma Jacobs
as Second Crewperson
Michael John Paliotti
as Third Crewperson
Brian Carroll
as Fourth Crewperson
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Critic Reviews for Lifeforce

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (2)

Lifeforce is a dog.

February 25, 2011 | Full Review…

Frequently outlandish and far from profound, it's nonetheless a box-office bomb that, like its horror-maestro director, deserved quite a bit better.

April 6, 2009 | Full Review…

Needed to be much trashier.

September 13, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

...undeniably best taken with a huge dose of salt on your popcorn but it works brilliantly as an impressively-staged dose of cheesy sci-fi fun.

June 10, 2021 | Full Review…

The seriousness with which the actors approach the material is commendable.

September 5, 2020 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

Has a tendency to get too caught up in the details of its strange plot, but overall the film is a strong and oft-overlooked piece of 1980s science fiction.

August 6, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lifeforce

A tribute to the Quatermass serials of yesteryear as well as a hodgepodge of other elements, 'Lifeforce' is one of the most messily dazzling science-fiction epics of the last quarter-century. Tobe Hooper was still in an experimental phase after 'Poltergeist' was wrested away from him by producer Steven Spielberg. The opening music with the London Symphony Orchestra reminds one of '2001' but the film quickly deviates into more addlepated territory. The film is very episodic in nature and it hopscotches from cosmic vampires to telepathic interspecies links to an apocalyptic movie. Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby are from the kitchen-sink school and they toss every wildly bombastic idea into the soufflé and for the most part, 'Lifeforce' is successful in its ambitiously lofty goals. The mammoth set aboard the 150-mile long spaceship are quite breathtaking in their scale for a Cannon production. Of course, any movie where Steve Railsback kisses Patrick Stewart because he is a female avatar isn't lacking a morbid sense of humor. For those with a strictly lustful interest in the film, Mathilda May's curvaceous body is on full display throughout most of the movie. As a style-over-substance picture, 'Lifeforce' is thunderously awe-inspiring and reconfirms Hooper's grasp of outlandish horror (the reanimated skeletons are undeniably goofy puppets).

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

Tobe Hooper has always pushed the envelope in terms of delivering effective horror to an audience. This is one of those horror films that takes a few viewings to really get into due to the fact that it's quite bizarre and eccentric. The premise is quite interesting, but does leave something to be desired. The film boasts some impressive sequences of terror with great gore. Lifeforce is an interesting concept for a film that is based around space vampires, and with that being said, it is an idea that should have been great, but as it stands, only ends up being good. I say that because the final act of the film leaves a lot to be desired and with we've seen in the impressive first hour and a half, the ending is a bit disappointing, and you can clearly see that the filmmakers were struggling with the ending. Despite its ending, this is an accomplished horror film that relies on great effects and a well structured plot to terrify and immerse the viewer into the film. This may not be the best Tobe Hooper film, but it is quite overlooked. I admit I really didn't enjoy this one upon a first viewing, but after watching the director's cut of the film, which is far superior, I really got into this one. The film is bizarre, but it tries to be different, and it works well enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending could have been reworked, but overall this is a good film that should be seen by Tobe Hooper fans. Lifeforce is not a great film, but it is a good horror yarn that tries to do something different in the medium, and it does it in a way to make you take notice and appreciate what the filmmakers have done here. This is an overlooked picture that is far better the second time around, and ranks up there as among Hooper's most eccentric works.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Space Girl: The web of destiny carries your blood and soul back to the genesis of my lifeform.  "In a blink of an eye, the terror begins." Lifeforce is the first Tobe Hooper film I haven't liked. Granted I have only seen four of  his movies. But I loved the other three I have seen; Poltergeist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Funhouse. Poltergeist and TCM are considered two elite films when it comes to the horror genre. But Lifeforce is borderline unwatchable. It's ridiculous but cool premise washes away after about 20 minutes and starts becoming a boring mix of vampires and zombies. When the best part of a movie is a vampires body, then there's something really wrong with the movie. I hate to say it but when they put clothes on the girl is when I lost interest. There was something watchable about a naked girl walking slowly around and causing crazy stuff to happen that didn't translate well to that same girl walking around in clothes causing crazy stuff to happen. Lifeforce is a bad sci-fi film. It's definitely not very memorable like Poltergeist or TCM, or even The Funhouse. It's not fun to watch and actually just keeps getting more and more boring as the movie goes on. It's not really worth a look unless you like bad horror movies a lot. But be aware that this movie doesn't fall into the so bad, it's good category of horror. It's just bad.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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