Blu-ray Review “Lifeforce: Collector’s Edition”

lifeforce-bluActors: Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, Patrick Stewart
Directors: Tobe Hooper
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013
Run Time: 101 / 116 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Based on Colin Wilson’s novel “The Space Vampires”, “Lifeforce” is Tobe Hopper’s first shot a big-budget film. For the most part, the film is visually amazing and still holds up, thanks to Academy Awardwinner John Dykstra (1977 Best Visual Effects, “Star Wars”). Fans can rejoice that this new Blu-ray transfer was actually overseen by Hooper himself, which is pretty cool (more on that below). It also stars the smoking hot, Mathilda May, who looks amazing in HD, especially she is naked for the majority of the film. The final act of “Lifeforce” is where the film really looses me but overall it still holds up for the most part. Also This Blu-ray contains both the theatrical cut and the director approved extended cut. Horrorhounds and fans of this film should be thrilled with this release. Did I mention that Mathilda May is very easy on the eyes?

Official Premise: A mission to investigate Halley’s Comet discovers an even stranger phenomenon: an alien spacecraft! Following a deadly confrontation, the aliens arrive on Earth, where their seductive leader begins a terrifying campaign to drain the lifeforce of everyone she encounters. Her victims, in turn, continue the cycle, and soon the entire planet is in mortal danger. And when the mission’s sole survivor (Steve Railsback) sets out to destroy her, he comes face to face with the most charming – and horrifying – being he’s ever known. Will he be able to destroy the lovely vampiress…or will he become yet another victim of her fatal charm.

Scream Factory delivered this film with a very sharp and clever 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Like I said above, Hooper oversaw this restoration and high definition transfer upgrade. He also states in the commentary track that he personally worked on the color timing in order to get it to his original vision. “Lifeforce” features two audio tracks, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. Henry Mancini’s kick-ass score, though only in whole on the director’s cut. The theatrical release cut differs with cutting out some of the erotic content and also some slight differences in the music. Also the theatrical cut only packs a pretty weak Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

The special features are equally as impressive as the Blu-ray transfer. There is a commentary with Director Tobe Hooper, moderated Tim Sullivan (director of “2001 Maniacs”). Highly recommended for any fan of this film. There is another commentary track with Make-Up Effects Designer Nick Maley and hosted by Michael Felcher, decent but doesn’t compare to the first. “Dangerous Beauty with Mathilda May” is a great interview with the still stunning actress. “Space Vampires in London with Tobe Hooper” is a feature focusing on the novel. “Carlsen’s Curse with Steve Railsback” has the actor looking into the film. Lastly there is a Vintage Making of Lifeforce, Theatrical Trailers, TV Spot and a Still Gallery included.

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