In his “Words of Advice” routine, William S. Burroughs wrote, “If after having been exposed to someone’s presence you feel as if you’ve lost a quart of plasma, avoid that presence.” It’s a suggestion that was roundly ignored by virtually every character in Tobe Hooper’s ambitious science fiction horror film, Lifeforce.
In the end Hooper edited together a two-plus-hour long version of the film.
For all the troubles along the way, and for the bad taste left in so many mouths after the production was finished, it’s still a very entertaining film-it’s just not the film it was supposed to be, is all.
To the surprise of very few audience members, the nude alien girl wakes up and in the film’s most famous sequence, begins wandering about the facility, sucking the life from nearly every man she encounters in a spray of sparks and lightning bolts.
The actors speak their lines with a measured gravity rarely seen in a sci fi film, and the special effects are surprisingly good.
Like Alien from six years earlier at heart Lifeforce is a low-budget genre picture writ large-a film with big dreams and big ambitions.
The funny thing is that in the end I still like Lifeforce better than Alien.