Of course, this isn’t news and it has nothing to do with the recently completed Mayan ‘Baktun’ – only MGM’s 1980’s attempt at adopting for film a sci-fi novel named The Space Vampires. While Tobe Hooper’s offering, fresh from Poltergeist had to be taken with a large rock of salt, the film has nevertheless gained cult status and over the years inspired the likes of Species and others.
While it has some quaint touches and big names involved in its production, the film will most definitely be remembered for a nineteen year old French starlet making her film debut – the wholesome and breathtaking Mathilda May. At least they got that part of the casting right, although I’d have preferred to have seen Peter Cushing instead of Patrick Stewart as the director of the insane asylum. At least you get an idea of what we’re talking about here – a sci-fi horror flick with vampires and zombies to boot.
A joint team of British and American astronauts aboard the space shuttle Churchill encounter an organic 150-mile long alien spacecraft as they approach to explore Haley’s comet (their mission). Instead of minding their business, the crew venture into the craft and decide to kidnap three naked human-like aliens held in a state of suspended animation, one of which is the delectably well preserved Mathilda May. A burnt-out Churchill makes it back to earth’s orbit sans the astronauts, but the three aliens still remain in rude albeit suspended health. They will be transported to earth, and eventually London thanks to the Americans’ spare shuttle Columbia. It will eventually dawn on Whitehall that what they have in their hands is a full-blown alien invasion in the form of a naked woman spreading a contagion of vampiric tendencies among the populace of London by first converting them into zombies. Its up to a surviving American astronaut and a SAS officer to save London (and the world, naturally), which they do in true 1980’s fashion.
Like I said, the film has to be taken with more than a pinch of salt, but if you get over the daftness of the plot and its dated special effects, there’s some entertainment to be had, and of course, the well proportioned Mathilda May to feast your eyes on.
Amazon DVD Link
This is a bare-bones letterboxed DVD (PAL) with only the film’s trailer counting among the extras. Heck – what more can you expect for the silly money it’s selling for.
The Nudity: Mathilda May, and briefly Peter Firth
Most of the nudity happens at the beginning of the film, perhaps giving the impression that there is more nudity than there actually is. The film is also ridiculously coy with regard to male nudity even if there are twice the number of males among the invading aliens. And Mathilda May appears in full frontal glory for barely a few seconds. The rest is down to some clever editing that gives the impression that she’s nude for the most part of the film.