First of all I must say that this is a high budget British – American film worth about 25 million dollars, full of famous actors and crew members, like Duane Barry from X-files (Steve Railsback) or Captain Picard from Star Trek. While the director was Tobe Hooper, the same guy who directed Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist, and one of the writers was Dan O’Bannon (a guy who writed Alien), so the film had generally all the ingredients for success… but if he did succeed, I probably would not write about it.
This is one of those films with a crazy screenplay that somehow managed to sell itself.
So, a joint UK-US crew on space shuttle investigates Halley’s Comet. They find a huge, about 150-mile long, seemingly abandoned alien spaceship, and of course, they enter it. While floating inside the ship, the crew finds tons of dead, carbonized, bat-like creatures that fall apart when touched, and three, coffin-like chambers with one humanoid chic and two guys in there.
Of course, they drag all this on their space shuttle and begin a trip to Earth. But, something happens, outside the eye of the camera, so another ship begins its rescue mission. The rescuers discover that our first ship has been damaged by fire, all burned alive, one crew member unlisted and all three chambers untouched… and they do something, totally expected for this kind of movie – they leave the fried shuttle in the orbit, but they take chambers with extraterrestrials from a ship full of huge dead bat-like creatures to Earth, because apparently no one thought that they might have something to do with the incident.
On Earth, of course, aliens start to wake up and suck the “life force” out of people, turning them into codfish. They are something like life energy vampires, and their victims are left in mummified state, till they woke up as dried zombies that also want some life force infusion. Two male aliens are blown apart, so we don’t see them anymore, while Mathilda May (the Space Girl) is seen all the time. I forgot to mention perhaps the most important thing in the whole film – the aliens are completely naked, so our completely naked alien girl walks around and drains the life energy from humans. So, when she gets to suck energy, movie says: enough thinking about the amount of bullshit that has served so far, now just relax and look at something that could be described as a bizarre photo shooting for Playboy.
After the boobies part, the action moves on, but it’s so tangled up that I will not even try to explain it in any order. Our alien girl starts to shift bodies and ends up in Cap Picard, a missing astronaut is found, and we discover that he has absorbed part of the life energy out of the alien girl, while secretly kissing her in the space coffin, and with some other soldier he exorcise her from Picard and other people. Of course, an astronaut is in love with our Space Girl, so they start to make out in jets of energy.
Just to mention, when a space vampire suck the energy from someone, that someone is sucking the energy from another every 2 hours, if he fails – he explodes. The film turns into a zombie apocalypse where everybody sucks, together with the rest of the movie.
The overall conclusion is hard to make.
The effects are fantastic for that time, naked Mathilda May is a real eye candy, the film was shot in 50 locations, not just a run through a building / ship / city and running away from the monsters. But then, there are too many unnecessary actions and the last half an hour movie turns into space vampire zombie apocalypse... I don’t know anymore what’s the movie about, but it doesn’t matter because we’ve seen all important stuff in the first part.
I definitely recommend the movie, especially if you’re a fan of old SF’s, but best in the company so you can help each other decipher the plot of the film.