Vic’s Note: If this is your first time here, you may want to read the newly re-edited version of this review Here! It has new pics and is a more in depth review of this sci fi classic!
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”
Directed by Phillip Kaufman
9 out of 10
Philip Kaufman’s 1978 grand and paranoid sci-fi film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, is the first of three remakes of Body Snatchers films based on Author Jack Finney’s novel. What is pretty unusual about this film is that it being a remake in the 70’s, when remakes were a rare entity, the film completely succeeds in being a total creep-fest.
It stars Donald Sutherland not as a trusted hometown general practitioner as the stoic hero but as a Public Health Officer who unwittingly stumbles unto a aliens among us as plant pods plot. His associate and best friend played admirably and believably by the talented Brooke Adams is actually married to one of the very first creepy victims of the pod people from outer space. She in turn has a tough time making him believe what is going on and at one point he has her seeing a shrink played wonderfully with that wink of the eye glamour by Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy in one of his few meaty non-Spock roles.
Kaufman deftly adds and layers mood. As well as the accurate zeitgeist of the 1970’s, paranoia and even some well placed nudity into this evenly paced mood piece. Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright round out the cast as a frantic couple who get wrapped up in the alien taking-over-us conspiracy and Kaufman extracts just the right hysteria from all of his actors without ever go over the edge and never revealing too much at a time.
He manages to intertwine some very strange moments (strangers on the street all behaving eerily and entranced) with some lighthearted scenes of mundane everyday life in San Francisco (mud baths anyone?) but those moments are fleeting then we get back to the very intense undercurrent of fear and impending dread and finality.
I may even go as far as to say it plays out as some sort of strange pre-cursor to the goings on over at the X-Files. Watch out for some well placed cameos that pay homage to the 1956 original directed by Don Siegel. Don’t watch this one alone and make sure that the doors and windows are locked when you view this one. Enjoy. Highly recommended!
Thank you. One of my sci-fi faves. I enjoyed writing this one up.
I’m adding it to my Netflix que.
Great review, Vic and there’s nothing I like better than well-placed nudity. :p
One thing that caught my eye that I take issue with is this idea that remakes were a novel concept in the 70’s. They really weren’t. As long as there have been movies, Hollywood has been remaking them. Now, I will grant you that it’s done excessively now but the concept isn’t really new.
I’m thinking I smell a topic for a future post. Hmmmm…
You are correct about that, Shawn. It wasn’t such a novel idea back then. What I should have elaborated on was the fact that remakes were not as rampant and vapid back in the 70’s as they are today. Good point buddy and thanks for reading.