Lifeforce (1985)

There’s so much crazy shit going on at all times in Tobe Hooper’s “Lifeforce” that you almost feel the need to check your temperature to make sure you’re not having a feverish hallucination. There’s a bit of everything in this tale of space vampires that gradually becomes more of a zombie apocalypse thing, not to mention a whole lot of gratuitous nudity (most of it courtesy of the gorgeous Mathilda May) and some truly bonkers practical effects that occasionally pop up on screen like springboard Halloween skeletons waiting around the corner of a funhouse. It’s all just way too much for one movie to sustain, but there’s no denying that, while the movie isn’t particularly good from a structural perspective, it’s at least deliriously entertaining. Hooper’s tendency to overwhelm his narratives with sensory overload is on full display here: Much like his other Cannon Films output (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” and “Invaders from Mars”), “Lifeforce” is a veritable assault on the senses by the time it arrives at its climax, with so much sound and fury that you’d almost think you’re watching a “Mad Max” movie were it not for the aforementioned space vampires. So grab a beer, smoke up a bud and pop this one on: It’s an altered states entertainment bonanza for the right crowd.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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