Lifeforce

The story begins as the space shuttle "Churchill" manned by a joint Anglo- American crew heads for a once in a lifetime rendezvous with Halley's Comet.   As they approach their final destination, their instruments pick up what appears to be an abandon spacecraft in the head of the comet. When venturing inside the craft, they find thousands of lifeless bat-like creatures and as they explore deeper, they happen upon three apparently dead humanoids (2 men and a woman). Strangely they feel compelled to return the specimens to their ship and back to earth.

As the world awaits "Churchill" return, the space agency becomes concerned, when they lost  radio contact with the ship as it encountered the comet. As the ship  begins to re-enter Earth's orbit, they decide to send up another shuttle up to check it out and are mortified to find the cabin completely gutted by fire and everyone on board seemingly dead.  But back in the cargo bay, they find the three humanoids completely intact and undamaged by the fire. So they decide to return them to earth for further examination in hopes of determining exactly what happen.

So you may be asking yourself, "how is this a vampire movie"? Well, it seems that these three aliens are of an ancient race of vampires from which our legends and myths were born, but instead of drinking blood, they thirst for your "lifeforce". Once drained, their presumed victims become a mere shells of their former selves, but wait, two hours later they become a stark raving space vampire looking for a little refreshments (i.e. "lifeforce").  As the chaos continues, the authorities and mysterious sole survivor of the "Churchill", Captain Carlsen (Steve Railsback) head out after the lead (she is mostly time naked in the film...YES!!!) space vampire (Mathild May) in hopes of finding out what evil plans our unwelcome visitors have for us.  Little do they know what havoc now wreaks London, as her two companions turn the town into a private feeding ground. Time is running out on the human race as its' "lifeforce" is begin drained. 

Lifeforce

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1985

Based on Colin Wilson's "The Space Vampires", Lifeforce is one  of Tobe  Hooper's (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, etc.)  most underrated films. Unfortunately for Tobe, the film wasn't as successful as some his previous endeavors, but it is still a gem in a masterful career.  It also marked his second attempt at a vampire flick following in the tradition of his successful Salems Lot miniseries and movie.  This films offers a unique twist to the vampire mythology by saying  that vampires in fact did exist throughout time, but rather than being the undead...they were aliens. The special effects where wonderfully done by John Dykstra (Star Wars) and they really help to propel the overall vision of Tobe Hooper. As an entry in the sci-fi/horror genre, Lifeforce  is one of the best. Check it out!!!!


Fright Night

Is Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) just an under-sexed and over imaginative teenage??? One night while watching his favorite late night horror fest "Fright Night" hosted by the "Great Vampire Killer" Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell), Charley notices someone moving into the empty house next door. When he observes them carrying in a coffin and later sees new neighbor Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) feeding, Charley is convinced that his next door neighbor is a mortician.

When he is unable to convince his family, friends, and even the Police of their pending doom, Charley turns to the only person that would understand his dilemma, Peter Vincent. Believing Charley   just another crazed fan, Peter brushes off his wild story while complaining "The kids today don't have the patience for vampires. They want to see some mad slasher running around and chopping off heads.''  Later when approached by Charley's girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse ) and fellow horror fanatic Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys),  Peter is more than willing to lend a hand especially when offered $500. He will try to convince (with Jerry's help) Charley that Jerry isn't a vampire, but little does Peter know what reflection true evil doesn't cast!!!!

The final battle begins as both Amy and "Evil Ed" fall under the powers of this deadly creature of the night. Charley and Peter  unite with crosses (and hopefully faith) intact for a classic clash between good and evil. The fire is fueled by some excellent special effects from Richard Edlund (Ghostbusters, Die Hard, Species, etc) and only the light of day will reveal this twisted ending.

Fright Night

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1985

This film marked Tom Holland's directorial debut and it turned out to be a pretty good one. Known  primarily for writing scripts (Psycho II, The Beast Within, etc), Holland did an exceptional job crafted a Dracula-laden story line  with enough originality to  make it an instant vampire classic.  He would later go on to write and direct Child's Play. 


Near Dark

This tale begins as a beautiful young women catches the eye of good ole boy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar). With his hormones a pumping, Caleb feels compelled to mosey on over   and introduce himself to this gorgeous stranger. (Mae...Jenny Wright). He remarks, "you aren't like other girls" and little does he know just how true that is.  As the pick-up lines fly, Mae realizes that dawn is near. The two begin the race home, when Caleb abruptly stops and asks for one last kiss and in this case, it's the "kiss of death".  

After being abandon on the roadside by Mae, an overwhelming sickness comes upon Caleb as he makes his way home.  Just before reaching his farm, he is snatched up by "the family" and quickly whisked away in a mobile home as the sun rises in the morning sky.  The family consist of  "Jesse" (Lance Henriksen), former Civil War vet and leader, "Diamondback" (Jenette Goldenstein), a sultry vixen whose venom is deadly, "Severen" (Bill Paxton), sadistic madmen and all around bad dude, "Homer" (Joshua John Miller), a nasty old man trapped in the body of a little boy, and "Mae".   Caleb has now entered a world of darkness, a world that he is not ready for. 

This bunch of rogue outlaws take Caleb along on their killing spree across the Midwest while trying to see if he's got what it takes to be a vampire Hot on their trail searching for his son is Loy Colton (Tom Thomerson). The most memorable scene in the film takes place in a bar with The Cramps Fever filling the background. This band of misfits unmercifully terrorize, kill, and drain every patron in hopes of enticing Caleb to makes his first kill. Unable to do so, he puts the group in danger and almost cost them their undead lives.

Later Caleb does save them from the authorities, but finally realizes that he must find a way out. That chance comes when his "new family" runs into his "old family" and Caleb's sister Sarah (Marcie Leeds) is almost nixed (bitten) by Homer.   The three mange escape unharmed and head home.  From here on the movie gets a little crazy with blood transfusions and such, but the finale is high octane action as "vamps" comes to settle the score.

Near Dark

 
Checkout Dr. Van Helsing's Diary

1987

White trash vampire horror at its best.  With most of the 80's vampire flicks being on the campy side (i.e. Lost Boys, Fright Night, The Monster Club, Once Bitten, etc), Near Dark spin a tale of the serious and darker side of vampire existence.  Although the ending is a little silly, the overall action and imagery in this film makes it one of the best vampire movies ever and the inclusion of Lance Henriksen and Tom Thomerson (two of my fav genre stars) makes this film a winner in my eyes. Check it out!!!

 

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