In the blink of an eye, the terror begins.”

Today marks the UK release of the deluxe Blu-ray and Limited Edition SteelBook version of Tobe Hooper’s cult sci-fi classic, Lifeforce. Originally released in 1986, the film is an adaptation of Colin Wilson’s novel The Space Vampires and features the familiar faces of Peter Firth (Spooks) and sci-fi legend Patrick Stewart (pre Trekkie days of course) – making it a wonderfully British affair against the backdrop of space and London.

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Following the success of Hooper’s horror hits The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist, Lifeforce centres on the events that unfurl after a space shuttle crew happen upon a mysterious spacecraft holding three humanoid creatures in suspended animation. After taking the creatures back to earth, it doesn’t take long for scientists to discover that these humanoids are in fact a race of highly dangerous space vampires who, instead of feeding off blood (because that would be too cliché!), feed off people’s life-force. From there it’s a race against time to vanquish the life-sucking vampires as they escape into London and turn the city into an apocalyptic nightmare.

With a devoted cult following, Lifeforce is a sci-fi horror that slots in with the old classics. Sure, it has that trippy 80’s feel to it, all over-the-top sci-fi clichés and archetypal ambient music (produced brilliantly by the London Symphony Orchestra), but it’s a whole lot of fun to watch and the masterful restoration helps to bring it up to date. The quality of the film on Blu-ray is excellent and, whilst it’s not as outwardly frightening as modern day horrors, the special effects are credible considering the film was made almost 30 years ago. A scene in which Patrick Stewart violently spews his entire blood mass into the shape of an alien woman is really quite gruesome.

Packed with a host of deluxe features including an exclusive look at the making of Lifeforce, interviews with cast & crew and a collector’s booklet with original archive stills, the Limited Edition SteelBook is definitely worth a buy for cult enthusiasts.

Not as good as Hooper’s previous film, Poltergeist, but watch it for what it is, a melodramatic 80’s sci-fi horror, and you won’t be disappointed.

★★★

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