Rozelle Ogilvie

Written by Rozelle Ogilvie

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Lifeforce, directed by Tobe Hooper and released in 1985, is a thrilling science fiction horror film that has captured the attention of movie lovers for several decades. Set in the backdrop of space exploration, the movie takes audiences on a captivating journey filled with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters.

In this article, we will dive into the fascinating world of Lifeforce and uncover 31 intriguing facts about the movie. From the behind-the-scenes anecdotes to the impressive visual effects, we will explore everything that makes this cult classic truly stand out.

So, whether you are a die-hard fan of Lifeforce or simply curious about the movie, get ready to discover some fascinating details that will surely enhance your viewing experience. Let’s jump in and uncover the secrets of this enthralling sci-fi horror masterpiece!

Key Takeaways:

  • Lifeforce, a 1985 sci-fi classic, explores themes of immortality and the human soul while featuring stunning visual effects and a captivating performance by Mathilda May as the alluring space vampire.
  • Despite initial mixed reception, Lifeforce has gained a cult following, inspired video games, and continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of horror, science fiction, and action.
Table of Contents

Lifeforce was released in 1985.

Directed by Tobe Hooper, Lifeforce hit the theaters in 1985 and immediately captivated audiences with its unique blend of science fiction, horror, and action.

The movie is based on the novel “The Space Vampires.”

Lifeforce draws inspiration from the science fiction novel “The Space Vampires” written by Colin Wilson, which was published in 1976.

Lifeforce features a crew of astronauts who discover a mysterious spacecraft.

The movie revolves around a crew of astronauts who stumble upon an enormous alien spacecraft hidden within the tail of Halley’s Comet.

It stars Steve Railsback in the lead role.

Steve Railsback delivers a memorable performance as Colonel Tom Carlsen, the astronaut who becomes entangled in a battle against an ancient and powerful alien species.

The movie explores themes of immortality and the human soul.

Lifeforce delves into thought-provoking themes of immortality and the fundamental nature of the human soul, raising intriguing questions about life and existence.

Lifeforce features stunning visual effects.

The movie showcases impressive visual effects for its time, bringing to life the otherworldly beings and spacecraft in stunning detail.

The score for Lifeforce was composed by Henry Mancini.

The renowned composer Henry Mancini created the atmospheric and haunting score that perfectly complements the movie’s eerie atmosphere.

The talented Mathilda May portrays the alluring space vampire.

Mathilda May delivers a captivating and unforgettable performance as the beautiful and seductive space vampire, captivating both the characters in the movie and the audience.

Lifeforce contains elements of both horror and science fiction genres.

The movie interweaves elements of horror and science fiction seamlessly, resulting in a unique and captivating viewing experience.

The movie underwent significant edits before its release.

Lifeforce initially had a runtime of over three hours; however, it was heavily edited down to its final length of 116 minutes before hitting theaters.

Lifeforce received mixed critical reception.

Upon its release, the movie received a mixed response from critics, with opinions ranging from praising its ambitious scope to criticizing its convoluted plot.

The movie has gained a cult following over the years.

Despite its mixed initial reception, Lifeforce has garnered a dedicated fan base and is often celebrated for its unique and daring approach to sci-fi storytelling.

Lifeforce was filmed in various locations in the United Kingdom.

The movie was primarily filmed in England, with notable locations including London, Buckinghamshire, and the renowned Pinewood Studios.

Lifeforce features intense and graphic scenes.

Be prepared for some intense and graphic scenes that push the boundaries of both horror and science fiction, making Lifeforce a memorable and visually striking movie.

The movie blends elements of traditional vampire myths with science fiction tropes.

Lifeforce combines the ancient legends surrounding vampires with futuristic space exploration, resulting in a unique and captivating blend of genres.

The movie underwent several title changes during production.

Before settling on the title “Lifeforce,” the movie had various working titles including “Space Vampires” and “The Hailey Experiment.”

The space vampire’s nudity became a point of controversy.

Mathilda May’s full nudity throughout the film sparked controversy and debate among audiences and critics alike.

Lifeforce features a memorable score composed by Michael Kamen.

Michael Kamen’s stirring and haunting musical score adds an additional layer of depth and emotion to the movie’s gripping storyline.

The movie explores the consequences of human desire and obsession.

Lifeforce delves into the dark side of human nature, examining the destructive power of desire and obsession when faced with an irresistible force.

Lifeforce includes impressive practical effects.

The movie utilizes a range of practical effects, from prosthetics and animatronics to create its stunning alien creatures, adding to the overall immersive experience.

The screenplay for Lifeforce was written by Dan O’Bannon.

Dan O’Bannon, known for his work on the script for Alien, penned the screenplay for Lifeforce, infusing his unique blend of science fiction and horror elements.

Lifeforce contains intense and memorable action sequences.

Be prepared for thrilling and action-packed sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the movie.

The movie explores the concept of parasitic organisms.

Lifeforce takes a unique approach to the concept of parasitic organisms, offering a fresh and intriguing perspective on this staple sci-fi trope.

Lifeforce has a runtime of 116 minutes.

The movie’s runtime of 116 minutes allows for an immersive and engaging viewing experience without dragging the storyline.

Lifeforce was a box office disappointment.

Despite its ambitious scope, Lifeforce failed to find commercial success at the box office, falling short of financial expectations.

The film’s set design and costumes contribute to its unique aesthetic.

The meticulous attention to detail in the set design and costumes helps create a visually stunning world that immerses viewers in the movie’s captivating atmosphere.

Lifeforce features a combination of practical and CGI effects.

The movie makes use of both practical effects and early CGI technology to bring its alien creatures and spacecraft to life.

Lifeforce explores themes of power and control.

The movie delves into the corrupting influence of power and the lengths some will go to maintain control over others, adding a thought-provoking layer to its narrative.

Lifeforce features an ensemble cast.

In addition to Steve Railsback, the movie boasts a talented ensemble cast, including Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, and Patrick Stewart.

The movie has inspired video games and other media adaptations.

Lifeforce’s unique concept and visuals have influenced video games and other media, cementing its legacy as a sci-fi classic.

Lifeforce continues to captivate audiences today.

Decades after its release, Lifeforce remains an intriguing and memorable sci-fi classic that continues to fascinate new generations of viewers.

In conclusion, Lifeforce is a sci-fi classic that offers a unique blend of horror, science fiction, and action. With its engrossing storyline, impressive visual effects, and thought-provoking themes, Lifeforce has secured its place in cinematic history. So grab your popcorn, settle in, and prepare to be enthralled by the mesmerizing world of Lifeforce!


In conclusion, Lifeforce is a captivating and unique film that combines elements of science fiction, horror, and suspense. With its rich storyline, breathtaking visuals, and compelling performances, it has earned a special place in the hearts of movie enthusiasts. This cult classic continues to entertain and intrigue audiences decades after its release. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or just looking for an engrossing cinematic experience, Lifeforce is definitely worth watching. So grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare to be transported to a thrilling and otherworldly adventure.


1. What is Lifeforce about?

Lifeforce follows the story of a space mission that discovers an alien spaceship hidden inside the tail of Halley’s Comet. The crew encounters three human-like beings who possess a powerful life force that can drain the energy of other living beings.

2. Who directed Lifeforce?

Lifeforce was directed by Tobe Hooper, the renowned director behind horror classics such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist.

3. When was Lifeforce released?

Lifeforce was released in 1985 and quickly gained a cult following for its unique blend of science fiction and horror elements.

4. Who are the main actors in Lifeforce?

Lifeforce stars Steve Railsback, Mathilda May, and Peter Firth in the lead roles. Railsback portrays an astronaut haunted by his experiences with the lifeforce aliens, while May plays the alluring alien female who seduces and manipulates her prey.

5. Is Lifeforce a horror movie?

Yes, Lifeforce incorporates elements of horror, science fiction, and thriller genres. It offers a mix of supernatural terror, suspenseful moments, and intense action sequences.

6. Is Lifeforce suitable for all audiences?

Lifeforce is rated R for its intense violence, nudity, and suggestive content. It is not recommended for young viewers or those who are not comfortable with graphic scenes.

7. What makes Lifeforce a cult classic?

Lifeforce garnered a cult following due to its unique premise, stunning visuals, and memorable performances. It stands out from other films in its genre, making it a beloved favorite among fans of cult cinema.

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