Released in the summer of 1985 to critical scorn and near-total commercial indifference, the sci-fi/horror hybrid Lifeforce has spent most of the following 30+ years languishing in obscurity. If it was remembered at all, it was either because of its massive financial failure – which helped doom the futures of both its producing company and its director – or because of its status as one of the all-time favorite films of Mr. Skin, that beloved repository of on-screen nudity.
Indeed, Lifeforce is the movie that pretty much killed Tobe Hooper’s mainstream directing career. The first of his three-movie deal with the great Cannon Films, the film recouped less than half of its $25 million budget (which, for Cannon, might as well be Avatar money) upon its theatrical release and made Hooper something of a laughingstock in the process. Maybe because his previous movie, Poltergeist, had been so commercial (which has more to do with Steven Spielberg’s influence than Hooper’s), a lot of the audience for Lifeforce assumed Hooper didn’t know what he was doing — they concluded that the movie just got away from him. Nope. Tobe Hooper knew exactly the movie he was making. Lifeforce is a crazy movie. It was designed as a crazy movie. It succeeds at being a crazy movie.
Written by Dan O’Bannon and Don Jakoby, based on Colin Wilson’s 1976 novel, The Space Vampires, the film portrays the events that unfold “after a trio of humanoids in a state of suspended animation are brought to earth after being discovered in the hold of an abandoned European space shuttle.” Yes, it’s pure insanity.
Today, one of our favorite YouTubers, Oliver Harper, has released yet another epic retrospective, this time looking back at this forgotten gem. Check out some insightful commentary, little known facts, behind-the-scenes footage and many other things any fan of batshit crazy movies should enjoy immensely.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
[via Oliver Harper]