Neighbor, have you ever had an idea that you thought was so silly or so weird that people might laugh at you? Did you let that idea go because you were afraid someone might judge you?

I hope not, because the people behind our fourth movie of the 13 Movies of Halloween series, "Lifeforce," had a lot of those ideas and they turned them all into one movie.

Let me look over my notes again and make sure I have all this right: "Lifeforce" is the familiar story of three shape-shifting space vampires hiding in Halley's Comet that are intercepted by a team of astronauts and accidentally brought to earth. Earthlings discover too late that the space vampires feed not on blood but human energy, draining pulsing blue light from victims and harvesting it for their mothership, which looks like a giant umbrella. The victims are reduced to skeletons, and after a two-hour incubation become zombies that must feed on other humans' energies or become reduced into dust. We learn all of this because one astronaut escaped the ship that took on the space vampires, but not before sharing some of his energy with the female space vampire, so now they are telepathically linked. Also all of the space vampires are naked. 

If you're scratching your head already, that's the streamlined version of the story (I think). We won't get into how the space vampires can only be destroyed by a sword not through the heart, but the "energy center," two inches below the heart, or how they can possess victims and body swap at will but only the space vampires can do this and not their victims, and how we know this because of an extended exorcism sequence, or how Patrick Stewart shows up as the possessed, body swapped exorcism recipient. 

"Lifeforce" should come with an instruction manual. It sets forth so many rules over 100 minutes that it becomes almost incomprehensible. There is so much plot that it's hard to keep track of the story.

That said, the movie is certainly never boring. Every two or three minutes it's got another wild idea to throw out at you, like "what if, in the third act, we have London get completely overrun with energy-drinking zombies?" And by the way, boy what a third act it is. The movie is also loaded with unsettlingly real practical effects, especially the reanimating victims. "Lifeforce" used its estimated budget of $25 million well when it comes to the effects department.

It's hard to dislike a movie that's as wild as "Lifeforce." It's a big, loud, action/horror/sci-fi special effects explosion with about a million plates full of crazy ideas all spinning at once courtesy of director Tobe Hooper of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and "Poltergeist" fame, as well as co-writer Dan O'Bannon, writer of "Alien" and writer/director of "The Return of the Living Dead." These two are royalty in our neighborhood.

Callie and I wanted something a little different from 80's slashers for this entry, and different is definitely what we got in "Lifeforce." Even if you decide not to watch the movie, we hope you'll always remember one thing: don't shrug off an exciting idea because other people might not like it. You may end up making the next cult favorite of Apocalyptic Space Vampire Zombie Mayhem cinema.

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