Saturday, May 30, 2015

One Quick Review

The Space Vampires (1976) by Colin Wilson is a strange kind of throwback novel.  It starts out engagingly, with a captain of a space ship discovering a huge derelict spacecraft hiding in the asteroid belt.  Three humanoid aliens are removed from it and taken to Earth, where they turn out to be a kind of vampire that devours the lifeforce of their victims, and they able to move from one victim to another. From there the book loses focus, as Captain Olaf Carlsen and his psychiatrist friend (and vampire specialist) Hans Fallada turn detective as they try to track down the creatures who are leaving a trail of corpses. There are hints of M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft, and even Clark Ashton Smith, but this is essentially a pulp novel of the 1970s.  It even recalls the original 1960s Star Trek television series in the conclusion where the aliens are basically talked into suicide.
The book was filmed as Lifeforce (1985), which Colin Wilson regarded as the worst film ever made.  Though it differs considerably from the book, it captures the cheezy pulpy feel of the novel, and stands beside it, rather than in its shadow. News has recently come that Lifeforce is to be remade, as a made-for-TV movie for Chiller channel, due for broadcast in late 2015. 

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