LIFEFORCE SE desperately wanted...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jeffrey Nelson, May 15, 2006.

  1. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    I was going to post this in response to a post in the MGM/Sony reissue thread, but then decided I felt passionate enough about the issue to give it its own thread.

    Though it's unlikely to happen within at least the next six to ten years, since it's now controlled by Sony/Columbia and was just recently repressed in the same-old aging bare-bones transfer, I'd love to see a special edition of LIFEFORCE, and, far from being a guilty pleasure, it's one of my favorite horror films, period. Nothing guilty about it. Director Tobe Hooper's finest hour, TCM notwithstanding. The last great old-school British-style sci-fi/horror film, extremely reminiscent of Hammer's Quatermass films, with generous dollops of Dracula, ALIEN and Romero thrown in for good measure. Chock full of crackerjack Brit character actors, just the right mixture of straight-playing and dry wit, fabulous John Dykstra effects that still hold up twenty years later, and a stupendous Henry Mancini orchestral score. And, oh yes, I nearly forgot...lots of lovely bare female flesh in the form of Mathilda May, one of the most flawlessly beautiful women I've ever seen. Mmmmmmm...

    It needs remastering without the nasty DVNR, a widescreen trailer that actually plays, and the making-of featurette they used to show on HBO, which was released ages ago on laserdisc in tandem with the making-of featurette for Hooper's INVADERS FROM MARS. Commentary by Hooper and screenwriters Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby would be great as well, and perhaps Peter Firth if he's not busy. At least the current DVD (as well as the laserdisc) is the vastly superior restored international cut. The original US theatrical and video releases were butchered, shorn of around 16 minutes.

    I'll never understand the denigration heaped upon this film, even by horror fans; what more could a retro horror/sci-fi/monster movie fan possibly want? I'll defend it to the grave, I will, and perhaps beyond...muhuhuhahahaha...
     
  2. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I like this film and thought it was brilliant to make a beautiful naked woman an awful monster, a space vampire is just a little silly though. I can't conclude it should be included among the great science fiction or horror films. I would like to see an SE as well.

    Chris
     
  3. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Yes, a special edition with duel film version theatrical and the extended edition, but the extended edition version is what we already have on DVD, not too crazy about the six-track Dolby Stereo mix on it, the theatrical version sounded more deeper especially with Henry Mancini’s score, I think the studio gave us the extended edition because they knew the Dolby Stereo mix was slightly weaker in the low end.

    Ok I may sound paranoid, but that’s my instinct, Lifeforce 1985 cut deeper low end, that is felt WOW, just when Kane sticks the space vampire, with the sword, outside the church, the score is going deep and the wonderful sound effects, WAM! you can feel the low end vibrating your eyes!
     
  4. Ray_R

    Ray_R Screenwriter

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    Don't you even know the meaning of the word spoiler? You have deliberitely given away several key spoilers in several different threads. I highly suggest you use spoiler tags when you so blatantly give away key scenes for certain films. Be courteous and kind and use them!

    I feel a Special Edition of Lifeforce is most certainly deserved...
     
  5. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Count me in as another who wants this one re-released as an SE. I haven't seen this film since I watched it on VHS in the late 80's. [​IMG] Didn't pick up the DVD because it wasn't anamorphic but will pick up a newly remastered release should they choose to do so. [​IMG]
     
  6. Antonio S

    Antonio S Stunt Coordinator

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    Lifeforce really deserves an anamorphic reissue. Since this is a Sony property, I'm not holding my breath.
     
  7. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    I want a Lifeforce SE with theatrical and international versions, the trailer, a featurette or two, and an audio commentary.
     
  8. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    One of my favorites of all-time -- here are a couple of tributes that hit the nail on the head:

    http://www.andyfilm.com/lifeforce.html

    http://www.britishhorrorfilms.co.uk/lifeforce.shtml

    To address the excellent posts above:

    1. I doubt you'll ever get Tobe Hooper in the same room as Don Jakoby. Jakoby was interviewed some time after the movie came out in Starlog and said Hooper did a disastrous job with the film, directing it like it was a comedy (and that's certainly how it unintentionally plays).

    2. There's actually considerably LESS of Mancini's score in the U.S. Tri-Star theatrical version, which chops up many of his original compositions and replaces them with terrible synthesizer cues by Michael Kamen and James Guthrie. One of the many reasons I prefer the 5.1 DD track on the current DVD (which could use 16:9 enhancement).

    3. The U.S. theatrical version doesn't get much play anymore (and rightly so IMHO), but it IS available in MGM's German Region 2 DVD, also in 16:9 but with an inferior 2.0 surround track. Still worth checking out for LIFEFORCE fans, needless to say!
     
  9. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I'd like a good SE of this film too. My only copy is on Betamax (and it still works!)

    Mike
     
  10. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Mate I wasn’t giving anything away no more than anyone watching trailer so chill out will you, be cool, I was only explaining the point in the film where it’s got some deep low end, I am not as that careless so chill out.[​IMG]
     
  11. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    Nice to see there are more LIFEFORCE fans out there. Glad I brought it up in the other thread.
     
  12. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    yes a seemless branching of both discs would be great-I like the short version also. Too bad Hooper couldnt go in and do a REAL Directors cut-ive read that there is 25 min or more of footage taken;
    Golan Globus, who thought they might have the next Star Wars on their hands gave it a huge budget. But halfway through they came in to see what had been filmed-and were so shocked the cut the budget-and dictated the Theatrical version.
    Probably why you see NASA photos of earth from the shuttle, and when the Alien ship opens over London the fakiest looking planet earth painting ive ever seen
     
  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I too am a fan of this film. I'll mention this thread to my Sony contacts. Who knows, maybe it'll reappear on Blu-Ray sometime soon!
     
  14. Antonio S

    Antonio S Stunt Coordinator

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    The more of this type of information I read, the more I want a region free player.[​IMG] Definitely will make the leap when my old Panny dies or when I upgrade the TV.
     
  15. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    I wonder what prompted MGM Germany, of all places to...
    1. release this 16:9
    2. Release the theatrical version-which I do like-instead of the International cut.

    On the other hand- in Japan, they are absolutely crazy about LIFEFORCE-It was one of the very first WS Laserdiscs back when most everything else was still P/S-funny, too-the Kanji subtitles are at the right SIDE of the picture-not below.

    Theyve also released and rereleased the DVD a half-dozen times, each time at a lower price point-but have never bothered to offer an enhanced edition-
    Some sites have listed this as anamorphic-but I personally asked CD Japan to look at the back cover and they confirm it is 4:3-2:35 letterbox.
     
  16. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I tried to watch this on my new 50" Plasma...looks like kee-rap!
    I have a FEW non anamophic DVDs that look OK on the Plasma, but Lifeforce was not one of them.
     
  17. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    It's no coincidence that AICN's "Moriarty" annually gives out a "Mathilda-May-in-Lifeforce Award" for the year's best nekkid performance.

    Last year, Eva Green won for Bertolucci's The Dreamers.
     
  18. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I believe they released the theatrical version because a German dubbed langauge track was never made for the longer version.
     
  19. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    Aarom, I would just be happy to see Lifeforce get an SE in regular DVD since some of us here probably won't be owning BluRay or HD-DVD players for some time.
     
  20. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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    This thread prompted me to rent this from Netflix. Watched it last night. Horrible transfer. Artifacts and EE galore. I tried to watch it zoomed but that made everything worse.

    The audio was pretty good, though -- punchy LFE and a lot of atmosphere in the surrounds. It was a tad distorted but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

    Cool flick. I remember I was never allowed to see it due to the nudity. 21 years = worth the wait to see Mathilda May in the buff.

    I love HTF.
     

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