Though visibly a low-budget Euro-thriller, Lifespan is none the less lent weight by its ingenious narrative and thematic audacity. In evoking and combining Faustian mythology, the modern pharmaceutical trade, Nazi medical experimentation, and Kinski's demonic search for eternal life, it perversely brings to the 'mad scientist' movie tradition a serious view of research ethics. Its horror resides in the fact of natural death, its questers after immortality working at the point where liberal science and fascist idealism collide in attempts to improve humanity by prolonging life. Its humour is equally unexpected: even what looks like a catchpenny bondage scene has Aumont tied in the knot symbolising DNA. Get past Hiram Keller's woodenness, and this is a bold and intelligent fun-movie.