Film Review – Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)

Things go bump in the night, others will devour your soul, some will slice, dice eat your heart with a nice glass of Chianti. October has now arrived which can mean only one thing 31 Days of Horror has now arrived again. For the next 31 days, we will dive deep into the catacombs of horror to pick you a movie. Every day will be different ranging from the classics to the weird and wonderful. Many you might have heard of, some will be new to you. There will be personal favourites that you may like, others you may hate but they all will unleash those emotions that make us love horror.

Day 5 is my turn, Paul Devine bringing you Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. The podtastic 1978 remake that adds to the mythology of the 1956 political paranoia to bring something, darker, more menacing…

The last decade the number movie remakes that have come and gone, very few deserve the right to be called a great remake. Phillip Kaufman‘s 1978 version of the classic 1956 Don Siegel’s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is one of those movies. A rare movie that strongly argues for the case for remakes, creating a ‘monster’ that equally compliments the original. It also feels worthy as its own movie and some critics and fans have gone as far as saying it’s better. A strong statement to make, personally I like both.

This movie moves from the small rural town to the sprawling bohemian city of San Francisco When health official Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) notices that her lover has become strangely distant, this sets in train a series of shocking discoveries that sees both her and colleague Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) fleeing for their lives to the sound of ear-piercing alien screams.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is a product of propaganda through fear of the unknown and change. When you know very little about the invaders like who they are, how they got here, why they want us. Some argued that it was hard to decipher who was still human, who is now a pod. This actually gave the terror an extra dimension, made you unprepared, confused, scared in what you were facing. You left wondering who you could trust as you tried to escape and showing any sign of humanity you are exposed. More and more of your humanity is ripped from you and as we watched the survivors flee, it becomes evident we’re all doomed. But how could an alien race infiltrate easily? Not even the star from the original movie Kevin McCarthy in his small cameo can wake up the unwilling.

This movie isn’t political as the original movie which was all about conformism, the ‘red menace’ and McCarthy witch hunts which gripped the nation. Kaufman creates a social commentary relevant to the era (the 1970’s), a satirical dig at the ‘me generation’. Selfish. Empty, egotistical a bit like those obsessed with social media or even worse Donald Trump. Whose narcissistical, an egocentric journey of destruction might be doom for the human race.

Paul Devine

Horror, Sci-fi |USA, 1978 | 15 | Arrow Video | Dir.Phillip Kaufman | Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright, Art Hindle

Originally Posted at The Peoples Movies | 5th October 2017

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