REVIEW: Lifeforce (1985)

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Lifeforce: B

I’ll give you one guess what this evil trio of space-vampires feeds off of instead of blood…

If you guessed “lifeforce,” good for you; it’s lifeforce. What is lifeforce? It’s blueish lightning inside of you that you apparently need in order to live. It also dumps out of your eyes and mouth if a space-vampire feeds on you. They suck it out of you and then it makes them stronger. What happens to the lifeforce-less you? You look like a shriveled mummy version of yourself and you wander around like a space-zombie feeding off of the lifeforce of others.

A space crew finds three human-looking, naked aliens – one sexy female and two sexy dudes, in suspended animation on board an abandoned space vessel. I say “abandoned” but maybe that’s not the right word. The ship is littered with shriveled up corpses and a single escape pod is missing. The space crew takes the sleeping aliens on board their own ship. Big mistake…

If you liked the movie Species, where naked sexy-alien Natasha Henstridge stalks and massacres a bunch of dudes, you’ll love the next several scenes of the movie. During the autopsy of the sexy female alien, she wakes up (totally naked) and starts draining everyone’s fucking lifeforce one by one! She’s really good at it too. She just walks from room to room, staring at members of the crew, and they enter into a hypnotic trance. Then she starts to make out with them. The guys are probably thinking “Alright, me! I still got it! This babe is really into me! Yeah!” Then the blue lightning stuff happens and the guys turn into skeletal slim-jims. No more lifeforce!

These scenes I just described scared the piss out of me when I first saw them. I think I was seven. The make-up is great. The drained guys look fucking freaky.

Holy shit now the movie gets nuts. The dude aliens turn everyone in London into lifeforce zombies. It is revealed that they transmit all of their acquired lifeforce to their sexy-alien female leader and she beams it to their spaceship so they can, I don’t know, travel the universe and eat more lifeforce, I guess. There’s shape-shifting, martial law, zombies, telepathic bonds, impaled people, naked people, impaled telepathic naked people, CGI lifeforce all over the fucking place, and St. Paul’s Cathedral is destroyed.

The makeup is real nasty. The effects are some 1985 shit, but whatever; it’s just lifeforce lightning. The ambition is impressive. The plot is batshit crazy but totally fun. This movie is way better than a lot of the other “in space” movies out there. It’s like Species meets 28 Days Later meets Independence Day. It’s Tobe Hooper’s movie, by the way. I dug it. 

REVIEW: Ghosts of Mars (2001)

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Ghosts of Mars (2001): D+

The Transporter and Natasha Henstridge play some cops in the future who have to go to colonized future Mars because future Ice Cube, a real badass future criminal, is awaiting an interplanetary transfer to another futuristic prison. It’s directed by John Carpenter and takes place in the future.

The future cops and Ice Cube have to team up to fight some disembodied spirits of an ancient Martian race that have been possessing some colonial miners, turning them into self-mutilating murderous psychos.

What could go wrong, right? Entertaining cast and an awesome director, right? Well Natasha Henstrisge doesn’t do any sexy-violent stuff, The Transporter doesn’t roundhouse kick anyone, and Ice Cube doesn’t rap or have any cool one-liners. The pace is boring as fuck and the possessed miners look like The Crow with infected botox injections in their foreheads and a bunch of dumb hieroglyphics burned on their cheeks. They look like Marilyn Manson if he conditioned his hair and stuck his head in a waffle iron.

I have heard the film described as a misunderstood homage to Carpenter’s own Assault on Precinct 13, which I think is a pretty superficial stretch. Maybe I am “misunderstanding.” Sure there are cops being attacked by a seemingly endless army of bad guys, but that’s where the similarities end as far as I can tell. I think it shares more with Pitch Black (which was released only months before) where the future cops have to team up with future Vin Diesel to battle the army of scary aliens on the foreign planet.

The Martian spirits are a malevolent cloud of dust that floats out of a subterranean door. Even if you kill one of the possessed motherfuckers, all you really did was release the Martian spirit dust so it can go possess someone else. The not-possessed people learn this rule, yet they continue to bust lethal caps in the Martian assailants. They decide to blow up the dust and the ending is basically one big drawn out “run away from the explosion we started” followed by a Shyamalanian zinger that you probably won’t care about.

REVIEW: Dracula 3000 (2004)

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Dracula 3000: D

This is the epitome of early 2000’s straight-to-DVD bullshit with an ensemble of Z-level actors shamelessly coming together for a quick cash-in.

The year is 3000 and a space crew made up of Casper Van Dean, and his lackeys Coolio and Tiny Lister, are on an intergalactic rescue mission which leads them to a secret nest of deep-space vampires who are hiding on a spaceship, trying to make their way back to Earth. When I heard this was what the movie was about, and heard that Coolio raps in it, I was sold. The movie has nothing to do with Dracula 2000 but is instead just another horror “In Space” movie.

The cover for the movie says “IN SPACE THERE IS NO DAYLIGHT,” which makes no fucking sense at all. Aren’t there stars/suns fucking everywhere? Also, the movie is rated R. I seriously don’t see how. There is no gore/nudity and barely any profanity.

The nonsensical tagline on the cover art is a representative of the entire script. A good three quarters of the dialogue is comprised of foreboding one-liners that either make no sense or are elementary puns. There is some typical “in space” stuff. There’s some nonsense with the airlocks, computer controlled doors, and a self-destruct sequence.

The film names everyone after vampire mythology. There is a Van Helsing, Orlock, Mina, etc. Coolio’s name however is 187. What a fucking G. He is bitten, becomes a vampire 3000, and says a dope little rap about sucking blood as he prepares to attack a couple of the human crew members. This is so clearly the best part of the movie and it stands out at a ridiculous level. The rap scene was like a loud thirty person orgy interrupting a muted black and white marathon of Andy Griffith.

There is way worse straight-to-DVD stuff out there and your friends and you can get a fun watch out of this one but don’t expect to see any new ideas or believable acting.

 

REVIEW: Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

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Leprechaun 4: In Space: D+

I know what you’re asking yourself right now, but allow me to counter with a question of my own: Why wouldn’t the Leprechaun be in space? Huh? Think about that, smarty-pants.

The Leprechaun’s evil has reached intergalactic proportions in this shitfest of a film. He kidnaps a princess from another planet whom he plans to use as a hostage in order to become king of her home-world. Then, some space-marines come along. You know. Space-marines. Like in Aliens and Starship Troopers. They murder the shit out of the Leprechaun, but he manages to sneak onto their vessel in a completely logical manner: When an overzealous marine is urinating on his corpse, the Leprechaun transmigrates his essence into the guy’s penis, which he later violently bursts from once he returns to the ship. That’s right: a dick-stowaway.

By the way, don’t google “dick-stowaway.”

Now that the “in Space” part is taken care of, we can sit back and watch the Leprechaun formula mindlessly unfold. Everything that happens in spaceship sci-fi movies happens; someone gets sucked through the airlock, someone’s spacesuit is ruptured, someone is an android, a self-destruct sequence is initiated. At one point, the Leprechaun genetically mutates one of the crew into a human-arachnid hybrid. He is doused in liquid nitrogen and shattered by a bullet a la Terminator 2, similar to how your will to live should be feeling at this point in your viewing of this abysmal mess.

The rip-offs of the Alien movies are fucking shameless. If space-marines, bursting from a human body, spaceship self-destruct, and hidden androids weren’t enough, the Leprechaun is zapped with an enlarging ray, becomes a 40-foot tall version of himself, and, just like the Queen at the end of Aliens, the protagonist blasts him through the airlock into space after a showdown in the cargo bay. Someone should blast this movie into space. But then, aliens might find the movie and assume it is a representative of our collective culture. Then they would understandably kill us all. Thanks a lot, Leprechaun 4!

The Leprechaun explodes in space and his disembodied hand flips off the space ship at the end of the film for one last fucking lame zinger. Really, he is flipping off the audience as if to say “At no point during the making or execution of the film did we respect you, the audience. Hey audience: FUCK YOU.”