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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 123 - Lifeforce

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Space Vampires on whaling ships sucking the life-force, blubber, and/or blood out of whales is a book I WOULD READ.

This is what that "In the Heart of the Sea" movie is about, right? The TRUE story behind "Moby Dick"?

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Omission; Nobody talked about the Choose Your Own Adventure books about space vampires which clearly inspired this movie. I own both and they are the best books I've ever read. The covers are also great too, particularly how the first artist seemed to have forgotten the fact that the sun kills vampires.

 

If anyone wants to go through either book, pick one and I'll give very condensed descriptions of each page for you to choose the next path

 

 

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OMG! I LOVED that one. Choose your Own Adventure was totally my jam. I had this one in my collection, and it was one of my favorites. I gave them all to my next door neighbor when their son was about 7, and he loved them just as much as I did.

 

But, can we talk about that vampire's space suit? I love how the other two look like they're in 80s-style spacey jumpsuits, but this dude is rolling in with khaki pants and an ugly sweatshirt (for those of you that weren't alive in the 80s, this is how EVERY sweatshirt looked in the 80s).

 

I'll have more to add later, but as I sit here closing up at my movie theater job, I just wanted to throw in a quick "Fandango can go fuck itself". Great episode so far though!

I'd usually agree, but they were one of the first ticketing systems to recover during the Star Wars ticketing fiasco. That doesn't make up for them being generally shitty, but I was at least impressed by that.

 

 

Uhhhhh....has an ep ever ben released on a Saturday?

Yeah. There have been a couple. Over the summer, they were all over the place.

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In thinking about my last comment another glaring question popped into my head. Was it even the space vampire's plan to come to Earth all along? They wouldn't be on Earth if this very special first of its kind space shuttle hadn't made it's way out to Halley's Comet and decided to go aboard their ship in the first place. However, when they awake on Earth somehow they know that their ship will be coming by Earth in Halley's Comet's wake, and that they must transfer life force energy to the ship. Did these space vampires place their ship behind Halley's Comet as not to be detected until it was too late, and did they have some system to awake them when the approached Earth? This makes little sense as Halley's Comet orbit is basically around the Sun, out past the outer orbital path of Neptune and pack around again. An orbit that only takes it past Earth once every 75 years or so. They'd have to fly all the way to our solar system, hide, and wait 50 years, give or take on where in its orbit it is, just to happen by Earth. What a horribly inefficient plan.

 

It also begs the question why are they collecting life force energy in the first place. Their ship has hundreds of those crystals aboard but only three of them are filled. In fact when the crew of the Churchill first enters their ship it is full of dead vampires. Are they unaware that their fellow comrades are dead and are collecting all this precious life force in vain? Is anyone even piloting the ship because at the end of the film the ship is no longer behind Halley's Comet and is in fact not heading to it perpendicularly which means it would have had to leave the tail down a loop around the Earth at a high speed.

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To respond to the people shocked that the gang weren't aware of the ESA, my issue was less that they didn't know it existed (I confess, I've never really thought about it, so it was news to me as well), but in their shock that it could exist. I mean, we're all in agreement that this movie takes place in the future, right? If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this movie takes place in 2061--the year Halley's Comet is scheduled to return. Optimistically, even had the film makers created the ESA out of whole cloth, that would be ample time for Europe to develop a space program and create a state of the art shuttle craft that could potentially mimic gravity.

 

 

It also begs the question why are they collecting life force energy in the first place. Their ship has hundreds of those crystals aboard but only three of them are filled. In fact when the crew of the Churchill first enters their ship it is full of dead vampires. Are they unaware that their fellow comrades are dead and are collecting all this precious life force in vain? Is anyone even piloting the ship because at the end of the film the ship is no longer behind Halley's Comet and is in fact not heading to it perpendicularly which means it would have had to leave the tail down a loop around the Earth at a high speed.

 

Here's my theory:

 

The Space Bat's only appear to be dead, but once enough life essence is harvested, it will re-invigorate them. Hence, the spaceship doesn't erupt into flames at the end, but seems to be absorbing all of the blue "essence" light. My guess is the Vampires got enough essence to sustain them for a few decades or until they arrive at another inhabited planet.

 

I mean, it really is a Pyrrhic Victory for our heroes in this movie. Everyone in London seems to be either infected or already dead. Just because Carlsen was able to fuck staple himself and Space Girl together doesn't mean that everyone is cured. The final shot of Caine is just him staring up into the sky surrounded by piles of corpses. This is why I still can't wrap my head around why Caine went into the city after Carlsen in the first place. All he really accomplished was help save the actual city, not the people in it. Even after stabbing Space Girl, the Space Vampires still appear to get a bunch of life essence--their ship even sucks Carlsen and her up into it. You could probably argue that dropping a nuke on the city could potentially have prevented the Space Vampires from getting the life force they needed, thereby preventing them from ever returning in the future.

 

I mean, seriously. Fuck, Carlsen.

 

And, as a request to someone more tech savvy than me, if someone could please create a music video that intercuts shots of Jason Mantzoukas, Space Girl, and other scenes from this movie to Davy Jones' "Girl," I would be eternally grateful. I just kind of really want to see that. Thanks!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29qrRiF9t-M

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I mean, we're all in agreement that this movie takes place in the future, right? If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this movie takes place in 2061--the year Halley's Comet is scheduled to return.

 

It never dawned on me that this was supposed to take place any time other than 1986. They gave the ESA a shuttle and made up the Nerva engine but that was it. No other indication that it wasn't the mid-80s.

 

Also Halley's Comet coming in 1986 was a big deal. People were excited about it and I am sure this movie was made purely to cash in on that excitement.

 

Edit: I thought about this some more and I wonder if the original script even had anything to do with Halley's Comet. It may not have but then when they were actually getting ready to film it was getting close to the comet coming and they figured they could take advantage of that. So initially maybe it was supposed to be more in the future but when they decided to include the comet they got locked into 1986.

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The original novel is by Colin Wilson, a British writer who was associated in the fifties and sixties with a fairly highly-regarded literary movement in the UK known as the Angry Young Men. He didn't entirely fit in to the rest of the writers though because they were mostly associated with political and social themes and plays starring Olivier, while he was more interested in philosophy, religion and supernatural stuff as well as science fiction. He actually wrote a lot of philosophy and other material that pretty serious academics got involved with, but at the same time he liked writing about wild, occult, horror sci fi stuff as well. He was kind of like a cross between one of these new young writers with crazy visionaries like William Blake and HP Lovecraft.

 

He didn't think HP Lovecraft was much of a writer but he was influenced by some of his ideas which led to an absolutely amazing book called The Mind Parasites, which is really thought provoking as well as one of the most frightening and disturbing things I've ever experienced. Totally freaked me out. The Space Vampires was his fifty-first book, if you count everything he did like philosophy, theology as well as sci fi novels, and had a real cult following. They changed it a lot for the film, because the original didn't have quite as much full on giant muff nudity and cheesy B movie tropes, and they weren't quite so literally like vampires with stakes through the heart and that shite. It was also set over a hundred years in the future.

 

I mean, we're all in agreement that this movie takes place in the future, right? If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this movie takes place in 2061--the year Halley's Comet is scheduled to return.

 

I thought it was set in much more like 1986 London. Are you sure modern doesn't look like it's a hundred years in the future because you're expecting it to look like Downton Abbey? :P

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I thought it was set in much more like 1986 London. Are you sure modern doesn't look like it's a hundred years in the future because you're expecting it to look like Downton Abbey? :P/>

 

You're probably right...

 

Let's face it, considering this movie neglected to have a single gray-bearded wizard drinking tea on the back of a dragon with a Time Lord and John Cleese, I can't say with 100% certainty that this movie even took place in England.

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Did anyone notice the British news announcer mispronounced "Halley" when he mentioned Halley's Comet? Surely in Britain they would know it's not pronounced Hay-lee, but instead Hall-lee. I haven't seen this movie but I assume (silverback alpha nerd that I am) I would find many more nerdy reasons to be offended. Harrumph! In spite of the extraordinary female attributes of Mathilda May, harrumph!

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This is definitely not a 2061 London bus, that's a bus from the 80s

 

 

Maybe in the future, old 1980s buses are a thing. much like how old British double-decker buses can be found almost all over the world driving around in tourist trap destinations. much Like how Doctor Who fly's around in a 1929s police phone box. it's just

.
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Glaring OMISSION: According to the intro, the "Nerva Drive" accelerates to give an Earth-like gravity for the duration of the trip, which means 32 ft. per second squared. That's ACCELERATION, not SPEED, meaning each and every second of the trip they're traveling 32 ft/s faster than they were the second before.

 

Still with me?

 

One of the crew (let's call him "Astronaut Horndog") says they've "been in space for six months". Six months at 1G acceleration means they're currently traveling at over 94,000 MILES per second, more than 0.5C. So even if they cut the engines and coast right after the opening scene, they would still zip right by Halley's Comet at MORE THAN HALF THE SPEED OF LIGHT!!!

 

And yet, only minutes later, they're in a stable orbit around the comet, meaning they must have slammed the brakes and DE-CELERATED away all that speed thousands and thousands of times as fast as they accumulated it, instantly turning the entire crew into chunky salsa!

 

So the omission here is, THIS MOVIE POSITS A "JACOB'S LADDER" SCENARIO WHEREIN ALL THE FANTASTICAL EVENTS IN THE STORY ACTUALLY TAKE PLACE INSIDE A HALLUCINATION IN THE DYING MOMENTS OF COLONEL TOM CARLSEN'S LIFE, INSTANTLY BEFORE HE BECOMES A SPACESUIT FULL OF PINK SPLOOGE AS A RESULT OF HIS TERRIBLE NAVIGATIONAL DECISIONS.

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Glaring OMISSION: According to the intro, the "Nerva Drive" accelerates to give an Earth-like gravity for the duration of the trip, which means 32 ft. per second squared. That's ACCELERATION, not SPEED, meaning each and every second of the trip they're traveling 32 ft/s faster than they were the second before.

 

Wow. Great catch. To run that much propulsion for that long would take a fantastic quantity of fuel. It's a fine example of the common movie practice of starting with the premise there is normal earthlike gravity in a space vehicle (to prevent a need for zero g special effects) and working backwards to figure out how that works. It's a sci-fi trope, like always portraying space flight as aerodynamic rather than ballistic, and making a big deal out of getting to speed but showing the process of slowing down as gentle coasting. Everybody does it. In "The Martian" they were so confident in their centrifugal gravity effect they had ordinary water glasses in their artificial gravity zone. In a spacecraft. Makes no sense.

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This is blimey taste! Greetings from England! Just putting aside my Fish and Chips supper to comment on one of my fave bad films. So pleased you guys covered this one. It is, as Jason would say, straight up bananas!

 

Some of my fave mad moments from Lifeforce-

 

The vampire ship is 150 miles long with no life signs but they still manage to go to the only interesting bit with stuff to see. Ok, so maybe they are being drawn to that part of the ship be weird vampiric powers but shouldn't they have been suspicious if that were the case. Wow, guess we lucked out going to the only part of the ship with cool naked babes in it

 

There is a scene on the ship where they say - "we are deploying the specimen bag" which is like a giant net! Seriously! Who takes a giant net on a derelict, alien spaceship?? What were they hoping to find? Space butterflies?

 

England's idea of a quarantine lab is a corridor with loads of doors. No hazmat or any of that nonsense. Doors and plenty of them is all you need to stop space bacteria in its tracks. Later in the film, Carlson and Caine will be quarantined but they will be let out when Caine declares that he knows things about things that are happening. Fair enough then. Just saying - we don't do quarantining well

 

The glass containers that the space vampires are in are not made of glass but some sort of force field. They are 'there but also not there'. This crucial fact will prove to be not relevant now or at any other point in the film.

 

Favourite exchanges in the film between Caine and Fallada when Fallada says he is a deathologist. Caine asks - 'is there life after death?' Fallada - 'Do you really want to know?' Caine - 'No' Fallada - 'Well, I think there is!'

 

Colonel Caine has a real rapey vibe through the whole film, particularly when he questions the nurse. Real creepy

 

Who sends Fellada the ceremonial dagger that is just the right thing to kill vampires? Did he buy it on eBay? Of course not, it's 1985. Weird and no one questions it.

 

Anyway, big fan of the show, first time poster but just really enjoyed this one, guvnor

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After watching this twice, I think this movie would be a better revenge movie. The astronauts basically kidnapped the alien/bat people, and presumably planned to dissect and study the alien's bodies. Space Girl is getting even with the world that took her away from her ship, and making sure that no other human harms another alien. Granted that she totally lured the astronauts in, but still that doesn't mean you can kidnap someone or something.

P.S. This movie should of been called Bats, Boobs, and Bush.

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The film isn't totally wrong about the etymology of the word "disaster." The confusing part here is Greek vs. Latin. The Ancient Greek prefix "dys" means "bad" or "evil," while the suffix "aster" means star. The Latin situation, however, is a little bit different.

 

The prefix "dis" in Latin means "against" or "apart" or generally having a negating or reversing force. The suffix comes from "astrum" meaning star. These roots led to the Italian term "disastro" and Middle French "desastre" and eventually the English "disaster." It originally referred to a negative aspect of a star or planet, as we see in Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1 when Horatio says "As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, disasters in the sun, and the moist star upon whose influence neptune’s empire stands was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse." Eventually this meaning morphed into an "ill-starred event," which is much closer to the definition we go by today.

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GUYS! DID YOU KNOW THAT DISASTER IS ACTUALLY FROM THE GREEK WORDS MEANING "ILL-STARRED?!"

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GUYS! DID YOU KNOW THAT DISASTER IS ACTUALLY FROM THE GREEK WORDS MEANING "ILL-STARRED?!"

 

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Look, if you're going to come on to these boards making these outrageous claims, I'm going to need to see a little more research.

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Really good episode! Enjoyed Lennon as a guest a lot. I MUCH prefer her over June

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I really enjoyed this episode. I watched this years ago and have a theory about the plot of this film that I feel makes some sense and might solve a few of the massive plot holes. I do a very boring job and have plenty of time to waste at work thinking about this stuff. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

 

Ok my first point is about the engine the ship used. The NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) engine is an old cold war project from the 1960s which used a nuclear reactor to heat fuel and expel it from the back of the rocket at high speed to give thrust. While the engines weren't designed to give months of thrust as stated in the film with a nuclear powered reactor and a low thrust you could keep accelerating for a lot longer than traditional rockets. Also if you do have the ability to thrust for six months continuously the shortest journey time is almost always achieved with a constant thrust for half the distance and then flip the ship and thrust in the opposite direction for the other half of the journey (deceleration is just a negative acceleration in physics they are both classed as an acceleration). The propellant is the real problem since the ship is too small unless they dropped the propellant tanks during the journey as they ran empty.

 

But back to the main plot. I see it this way. The vampires arrive in the solar system at some point in the distant past low on energy and needing a top up. They can't just transfer energy from any animal or they would be able to use energy from a herd animal as it would be simpler and they only seem to use the energy from humans in the film you don't see the energy being stolen from infected dogs for example. So they alter the genes of early humans to make them compatible and wait for the human race to grow and hide in the comet as it has a relatively stable orbit. Then every few hundred or thousand years they come back to earth and harvest more energy to keep the ship going. The problem is that there method is floored.

Basically the disease which converts the humans so that they can collect the energy kills the humans if they don't feed within 2 hours so the contagion would not spread far in a pre-industrial world and their time in orbit would be limited by the need to get back to the comet. So they hibernate until the population has grown enough to allow lots of people to be infected in a short space of time giving them a lot of energy so that they can leave.

 

This brings us to the time the present day. Most of the vampires have given their energy to keep the three to vampires alive. The three vampires produce a glamour which will entice the crew to take them back to earth and then to leader mixes some of her life-force with the commanders to make them compatible with the human life-force. Draining the rest of the crew to give them strength to act. Once on earth the head vampire starts the infection in London and then acts as a distraction to draw investigators away. The other two wake up and instantly leave their bodies to hide in the guards so that they can act unsuspected. One tries to kill the doctor who researches life energy and is the biggest threat but is killed in the attempt. The other goes out into London to prep for the collection of the energy.

 

At this point London goes to hell as the infections spreads. The collection works in three stages. The first is to use the infection to convert the humans so that they can release the energy (turn humans into batteries) not into the vampire species. Then since the beam from the ship can only collect the energy from those near the beam the male vampire acts as a capacitor flying around the city collecting the energy from the rest of the infected in London and brining it back to the beam to be transmitted. Finally the head vampire needs the human commander from the space ship to convert that energy so it is compatible with the ship and triggers the transmission back to the ship.

 

I hope this helps making sense of the movie.

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Here's a fun mystery for the forums!

 

Unless something that really stands out to me and I don't want to forget it, I usually don't take notes as I watch HDTGM movies. However, as I was messing around on my phone a minute ago, I came across this note I evidently made while watching Lifeforce:

 

"She's naked not a squirrel!"

 

I have no recollection of ever writing this note, nor do I have any clue as to what I might have been referencing.

 

So my question is: What the fuck was that supposed to mean?

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Here's a fun mystery for the forums!

 

Unless something that really stands out to me and I don't want to forget it, I usually don't take notes as I watch HDTGM movies. However, as I was messing around on my phone a minute ago, I came across this note I evidently made while watching Lifeforce:

 

"She's naked not a squirrel!"

 

I have no recollection of ever writing this note, nor do I have any clue as to what I might have been referencing.

 

So my question is: What the fuck was that supposed to mean?

I didn't watch the movie again this week (and I also rarely take notes anymore unless something REALLY sticks out), but now I feel like I should just to solve Cameron's mystery.

 

On an unrelated note, can we put spoiler tags around dick-shaped things? That'd be greeaaaat.

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