The first remake of the paranoid infiltration classic moves the setting for the invasion from a small town to the city of San Fransisco and starts as Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed as they deny everything or make lame excuses. As the invaders increase in number they become more open and Bennell, who has by now witnessed an attempted "replacement" realises that he and his friends must escape or suffer the same fate. But who can he trust to help him and who has already been snatched? Written by
Mark Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Phillip Kaufman's adaptation of Jack Finney's classic novel had a lot to live up to after the classic 1956 take on it - and I think it lived up to expectations. Though not as great as the more politically orientated original, Kaufman's film is still a lesson in suspense and the central story has lost none of the intrigue that it captured in the original. The story follows an alien life form that has come from outer space and taken residence here on earth. Not content with living in sibilance with humans, the aliens become 'body snatchers' and make duplications of people while they're sleeping. These duplicates take the original host's place and are everything their originals were, only all forms of emotion vanish. Our story takes focus on Martin and Elizabeth, two workers at the US Health Department. After taking home a supposedly new type of flower, Elizabeth finds her boyfriend acting strangely and later discovers that she's not the only one with relatives who aren't quite themselves...
This film works because of a constant sense of paranoia. In the 1950's, this was tied in with the then 'reds under the beds' idea of communism spreading through capitalist America. This film seems to have dispensed with that idea, which gives way to more opportunity for sci-fi horror, which is more than welcome in my opinion. The special effects on display are bold and lavish, and therefore exciting to watch. They are a little hokey, but still not bad at all - the parts where you see the alien duplicate forming are fantastically gruesome, and also rather frightening. The whole idea of the film is frightening, even in spite of the fact that it ever happening is very unlikely. The idea that an alien race can take over almost an entire city in one night, and without anyone realising it, is not one that I'd like to have if I was a paranoid conspiracy theorist! Then there's the notion that they'll get you if you sleep as it's like one man in the film says..."gotta sleep sometime". Invasion of the Body Snatchers is also notable for featuring a great cast, which not only includes the excellent Donald Sutherland and the beautiful Brooke Adams, but also Jeff Goldblum (in his first of two successfully good remakes) and Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Captain Spock from Star Trek. Also watch out for cameos from original Invasion of the Body Snatchers director Don Siegel and said film's star.
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