Dr Miles Bennell returns his small town practice to find several of his patients suffering the paranoid delusion that their friends or relatives are impostors. He is initially skeptical, especially when the alleged dopplegängers are able to answer detailed questions about their victim's lives, but he is eventually persuaded that something odd has happened and determines to find out what is causing this phenomenon. This film can be seen as a paranoid 1950s warning against those Damn Commies or, conversely, as a metaphor for the tyranny of McCarthyism (or the totalitarian system of Your Choice) and has a pro- and epilogue that was forced upon Siegel by the studio to lighten the tone. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' is THE 1950s paranoid SF/Horror classic!
'Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's is my favourite 1950s science fiction movie alongside 'Forbidden Planet'. Both are very different movies. 'Forbidden Planet' is arguably the first SF blockbuster, an intergalactic adventure, in colour, with a large budget and impressive special effects. 'Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's is a smaller movie, a low budget black and white paranoid thriller that is a classic of its type. Many subsequent movies have been influenced by this one, and there have been at least two remakes (Philip Kaufman, Abel Ferrara), but it still takes some beating! Director Don Siegel is best known for tough guy crime dramas like 'The Killers' and 'Dirty Harry', but shows his versatility with this extremely effective and disturbing horror story. The legendary Sam Peckinpah had an uncredited hand in the script, and (keep an eye open for) a small cameo as a meter reader. Kevin McCarthy is terrific as the small town doctor turned hero. His performance is excellent, and made him a legend to SF and horror fans everywhere (he reprises it briefly in Kaufman's excellent 1970s remake by the way). The lovely Dana Wynter leads a strong supporting cast, and buffs will get a particular kick out of seeing Carolyn Jones (a.k.a. Morticia Addams) and Whit Bissell. ('I Was A Teenage Werewolf', 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' and too many others to mention!) This movie has aged very well, much better than say, 'The Thing From Another World', and still stands as THE 1950s paranoid SF/horror movie. An absolute classic that I guarantee still packs a punch! Highly recommended!
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