Sound Shock: The Music of Lifeforce

A audio essay discussing the music used in the two edits of Tobe Hooper’s 1985 horror fantasy Lifeforce

Tobe Hooper‘s 1985 erotic science fiction horror film Lifeforce was an ambitious project and, upon release, proved to be more than a bit of a failure. The film cost Cannon Pictures reportedly over 25 million to producer and was evidence of their impulsiveness, the likes of which would both propel them to great heights and sadly signal their eventual downfall. But today, Lifeforce is rightly regarded as a major work of dark fantasy, an unhinged, bizarre and unclassifiable work of vision and delusion that has no peer.

Among its many attributes is its music. The original score was composed by Henry Mancini (The Pink Panther). The American re-cut of the film omitted much of Mancini’s music and saw replacement cues provided by Michael Kamen (Brazil). Both scores help create radically different  viewing experiences for the two edits and both are worthy of discussion.

Here, in this audio essay, I discuss the the film itself and the two soundtracks as well as provide samples of the music itself.

Enjoy and be sure to pick up Scream Factory’s incredible Blu-ray release of Lifeforce, which features both cuts of the picture.