The Naked “Lifeforce” Of Actress Mathilda May! Here’s A Look At Her Iconic Performance!

Celebrating An Icon – Actress Mathilda May!

Sometimes, an Actress becomes iconic due to a single film – no matter how many other movies and TV shows they appear in, they will always be known for “that role”.

My “2022 Sex Kitten Countdown” celebrates Mathilda May – this Cult Movie Queen has more than 60 credits, but she will always be known as “Space Girl!”

Let’s dive into the life and career of this terrific French star.

Mathilda was born on February 8, 1965 in Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. 

She was born to be a star – she won the “Premier Prix du Conservatoire de Danse de Paris” at age 16.

According to an online biography, Mathilda got her big break for one reason: none of the hundreds of British and American Actresses who auditioned for one film were comfortable with a role that required so much full frontal nudity!

My Love Affair With Mathilda May’s “Lifeforce”!

It’s my favorite sci-fi film ever, and for one reason – because Mathilda May is mesmerizing in it – and naked for most of the film’s running time – let’s take a look!

Where To Begin?

Mathilda landed the role of “Space Girl” in Director Tobe Hooper’s wild sci-fi film “Lifeforce.”

A movie with SO MUCH to discuss.

Let’s start with this classic movie line:

“The web of destiny carries your blood and soul back to the genesis of my lifeform.”

Lifeforce movie

Or about this one?

“Don’t worry. A naked girl is not going to get out of this complex.”

Lifeforce movie

Well, don’t be so sure – THIS NAKED LADY seems unstoppable – or at least “undressable” in this classic 80’s cult sci-fi horror gem!

lifeforce movie nudity

Mathilda is stunning in this classic zombie horror and monumentally NUDE sci-fi movie “Lifeforce!”


Bravo Director Tobe Hooper!

Director Tobe Hooper burst onto the horror film scene a few years earlier with what many consider to be the most unsettling horror film ever made: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”


In the early 80’s, Hooper decided that the horror novel “The Space Vampires” would be his next movie, and it seemed like a smash hit in the making…here is the film’s original trailer…

Here’s the plot of “Lifeforce”:

A space shuttle mission investigating Haley’s Comet brings back a malevolent race of space vampires who transform most of London’s population into zombies.

Lifeforce zombies

The only survivor of the expedition – along British authorities – attempt to capture a mysterious but beautiful alien woman who appears responsible for the mayhem. She is, as you will see, extremely naked for most of the film…

lifeforce nudity

Here is a quote from the movie, something that is rarely said in the film:

“Now she has clothes.”

Or not!

Because, in fact, she NEVER HAS CLOTHES ON. This movie is amazingly naked!

“Lifeforce” stars French Actress Mathilda May, who was willing to bare all for this role! As wikipedia notes about the film:

“she is naked for most of her performance.”

And she sure is!

When she auditioned for Lifeforce (1985), she had to learn her lines phonetically, as she couldn’t speak English at the time. She learned English during the six months she spent in London while filming the movie.

Lifeforce movie nudity

“Lifeforce” was promoted and filmed under the title “The Space Vampires”, which was the title of Colin Wilson’s novel. Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus’ Cannon Films reportedly spend nearly $25 million in hopes of creating a full blown blockbuster. They felt that this title made it sound like a typical Cannon low budget exploitation film – which was a reputation they were trying to put behind them…

lifeforce movie monster

The title was changed from “Space Vampires” to “Lifeforce” – and a decision was made to pull back on Hooper’s amazing amount of nudity – so “Lifeforce” was released in the United States in an edited version…and you know what happened, of course – BOMBS AWAY!

“Lifeforce” didn’t even bring in half of its original budget. How could a movie with SO MUCH NUDITY flop so badly?

lifeforce movie nudity

The film seemed to have it all: sci-fi action and effects, zombies AND naked women! And of course, dialogue like this:

Colonel Colin Caine: Tell me again how the girl overpowered you.

Dr. Bukovsky: She… was the most overwhelmingly feminine presence I have ever encountered. I was drawn to her on a level…

Colonel Colin Caine: Was it sexual?

Dr. Bukovsky: Yes. Overwhelmingly so, and horrible. Loss of control.”

Loss Of Control, Indeed…

The film wasn’t particularly well-reviewed, but with the filmmaker attached, the sci-fi elements and the nudity, it seemed to have big box office written all over it…now is your chance to re-discover this classic cult movie, as “Lifeforce” is being released on blu-ray with a ton of extras…

Here’s what you get:

Theatrical and International Versions (the Blu-ray features both cuts, the DVD only includes the international)
New Audio Commentary with Director Tobe Hooper
New Cast & Crew Retrospective with Railsback, Hooper and others
Original “Making-Of Lifeforce” Vintage Featurette
Original Theatrical Trailer
Original TV Spot
Stills Gallery
Reversible Cover with Original Theatrical Key Art

I bought it and love it!


I own the blu-ray and have watched the film twice already! It’s a cult classic from the 80’s – one of the last great Grindhouse films!

Mathilda May went on to have a very provocative career with film like these:

“Naked Tango” is a 1990 film about the sado-masochistic relation between a hoodlum and a hapless woman, who is forced into the sordid world of prostitution in Argentina.

And what about this provocative movie title and poster art?

Only the French could pull this one off!

“The Tit And The Moon” is the story of a child who cannot stand the idea of having a new brother and dreams about drinking milk from the breasts of his mother again.

The child asks the moon to bring him a teet only for him!

Bravo to Mathilda for a wildly entertaining career…by the way, “Lifeforce” reminded me of another naked sci-fi film:

Yes, Natasha Henstridge also had a clothing problem in “Species” – click here to see why!

The 80’s and 90’s were a wild time for exploitation cinema….where boundaries were pushed in all sorts of ways, like this:

“Showgirls” is a GREAT exploitation film, starring Cult Movie Queen Elizabeth Berkley, who puts it all out there!

you can see the trailer by clicking on my story here:

If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2020 Sex Kitten Countdown”, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

Bravo to Actress Mathilda May for giving us such a raw performance. Let me know if you’ve seen “Lifeforce!”

Categories: Artsploitation, Camp Cult Classics, Euro-Sleaze, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Talent / Celebrites

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8 replies

  1. I love that behind the scenes shot of her with her hands on her hips talking to the other actor. Not shy at all that she’s standing there stark naked in front of a room full of guys.

    That scene on the stairs must be a BTS too, because in the film, her pubic hair is blocked by the guard’s hat. In fact, I read that they tried to minimize shots of her bush to avoid an X rating. You’ll only see it in shadows or from a distance.

    In fact, Tobe Hooper once revealed in an interview that in the early stages of shooting they waxed May’s pubic hair off completely thinking it would make her look less nude. It didn’t. In fact it was worse because then her vulva was exposed, making her look even younger. So they had her grow a bikini strip of pubes back. May had to frequently remove her pants and panties to allow Hooper to “inspect” her.

    Make up artist Sandra Exelby talked about it in an interview: “We had this big discussion about Mathilda May. He [Hooper] said I want all her body hair off. And I said, ‘You can’t do that Tobe.’ She’s a young girl. At the time she was 18. 90% of the film she was on-camera nude while walking about. You cannot take all the body hair away. He said, ‘Well I want the pubic hair as short as possible. And lighten it up. I don’t really want to see it.’ So every morning I was on my knees trimming and coloring and making it all look perfect.” In some cases, Exelby didn’t actually cut it, but simply sprinkled some hairs cut from wigs around May to satisfy Hooper.


  2. I’ve only seen the US edit… Maybe I should fix that…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have just reminded me that I bought this film on DVD ages ago, and still haven’t watched it! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


  4. Miss May is exquisite in every way! Appreciate you for bringing her to us!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The movie has long been a favorite of mine, and I read the novel it was based off of, although that was a long time ago. What’s ironic is that movie and book would have done a lot better if they switched titles; Space Vampires definitely fits the movie, and in the book Colin Wilson seems more concerned with promoting his pseudoscientific theories than telling a good story, so Lifeforce would have been just the pretentious title it needed.

    Liked by 1 person


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