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The original 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is one of my favorites.
There were so many films from the 1950s that involved an alien threat
menacing small town Americana, but 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' was
one of the few standouts because it took what it was doing seriously.
Not another in a long series of man-in-a-rubber-suit movies, its
tactics were more psychological. We, like Dr. Bennell, are uncertain
what's going on or even if there actually *is* anything going on until
its too late. Then the walls close in on the doctor and Becky, and
nowhere is safe, there is nowhere to hide. Added to this is the film's
ambiguous subtext, and you end up with a movie that really is much
better than it should be.
While I don't think the remake was bad necessarily, I don't think there's anything remarkable about it either. It was good for what it was, but it lacked any real suspense because it began by revealing the threat and then rushed to get that threat underway. Setting the film in a large city was a mistake. One of the strengths of the original was the confusion and horror the characters felt as they slowly watched the people around them, the people they had grown up with and known so well, become strangers. That element's lost when you set the movie in a place where nearly everyone is a stranger to begin with, where you wouldn't know if the person walking down the street is different today than they had been the day before. I also think the third act is overly long and drags out.
Kudos to the man-faced dog, though. That was great.
This is the second adaptation , still very scary and eerie , about
vintage novel deals with San Francisco residents who are being replaced
by duplicates hatched from weird pods . It creates an altering the
human behaviour in the new invaders. Meanwhile a doctor (top-notch
Donald Sutherland) must protect his helper ( significant role for
Brooke Adams) and soon aware that pods from outer space are duplicating
and replacing everyone there . The doctor may hold the means to avoid
the extraterrestrial invasion . The mysterious epidemic from outer
space is spread her friends (Art Hindle, Jeff Goldblum , Leonard Nimoy)
and San Francisco people , everybody are being take over by emotionless
, cold behaving . The mysterious seeds from outer space are growing and
destroying San Francisco Bay Area at an alarming attack.
This scary Sci-Fi displays a tense screenplay based on Jack Finney novel titled ¨Body snatchers¨ that can be considered truly disturbing . Packs suspense, chills , thrills, spectacular scenes and pretty turns and twists . Good performances from Donald Sutherland and Veronica Cartwight who subsequently acted in the last version , besides important cameo role by Kevin McCarthy , Donald Siegel and can be glimpsed Robert Duvall . Appropriately rare and frightening musical score by Denny Zeitlin at his last soundtrack . Very good cinematography by the magnificent cameraman John A Alonzo . The motion picture is professionally directed by Philip Kauffman , with great originality in spite of being a remake .
Other versions about this known story are the following : the classic adaptation which emerged as a cinema classic directed by Donald Siegel(1956) with Kevin McCarthy , Carolyn Jones and Dana Wynter, concerning about mysterious seeds duplicating people , it has emerged as a cinema classic that brings astonishing nightmares ; and inferior rendition in which the horror is diminished by Abel Ferrara(1994) that takes place in a military base with Forrest Whitaker , Meg Tilly, Terry Kenney and Gabriella Anwar. Lately recent version that results to be the least satisfactory titled ¨Invasion¨ with Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman , Jeffrey Wrhight and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel . Rating : Better than average . Worthwhile watching .
The employee of the Department of Public Health Elizabeth Driscoll
(Brooke Adams) tells his friend and coworker, the field investigator
Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland), that her boyfriend Dr. Geoffrey
Howell (Art Hindle) is not the same person, having a different
behavior. Matthew suggests Elizabeth to pay a visit to his friend, the
renowned Dr. David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy). They meet him in a lecture
and he tries to convince her that she has some emotional problem with
Geoffrey, while Elizabeth notes that other people are having the same
complaint. When Matthew's friends Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) and Jack
Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) find a clone of Jack in their medical mud
business, they call Matthew and he immediately seeks out Elizabeth. He
breaks in her house and finds a clone of her. The quartet discovers
that people are being replaced by exact emotionless replicas using
plants that get them when they sleep.
Don Siegel's" Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) is one of the best and most scary sci-fi ever. This remake is also great, with an update of the original story with stunning special effects for a 1978 movie. Further, it is a tribute to Don Siegel and Kevin McCarthy, with their cameo. My vote is eight.
"Title (Brazil): "Os Invasores de Corpos" ("The Bodies Invaders")
I've never seen the original Invasion of the Bodysnatchers but I've long known of the basic set-up through its prodigious influence on genre cinema and writing. Its a terrific idea and endlessly adaptable, which is why there have been three remakes thus far and I'm sure more to come. This one is situated in late 70's San Francisco a fast moving affair with terrific effects work, fine performances and taut suspense steeped in the chilliest of post hippy bad vibes. Donald Sutherland is the hero of the piece, a Department of Health worker who gets involved in an ever escalating nightmare after his co-worker reports her husband acting, well, not himself. Sutherland is good value here, Democrat, skilled cook, able to laugh on his job, model public servant who smacks of free thought, while Brooke Adams is an ideal partner, bringing more of a early rising driven fear to the films earlier stages. As things move along they are joined in their growing awareness by Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright and the film offers some of its best moments here, quirk coming to the fore as the four players spark off each other. Apart from the largely stoic Nimoy, each brings a crackling live wire paranoia to their roles, Adams fearful, Sutherland methodical and Cartwright lively and loopy. Her character is the most far out of the group, an ancient aliens believer and she brings a memorable brightness to the role. One could hardly wish for a more engaging set to meet an individuality sapping menace and they do a great job of powering the film during some of its chase scene longueurs. Those slight lapses were my only real problem with the film, its action is never as interesting as its build up or its wondrous science fiction horror visuals. Fortunately the score keeps the atmosphere up even when the film seems to lag, with lots of nifty disturbing drones. Thematically the concern seems to be with the aftermath of the 60's, radicalism tapped into the mainstream, free thought consumed by quick solutions, societies encounter with such elements actually taking away its freedom. Notice that the aliens first spawn in the form of flowers, and especially the manner of the pod-peoples birth, illustrated in graphic fashion in a great, creepy sequence of obvious symbolism that I shall not reveal here. Altogether I thought this very fine stuff indeed, nightmarish situations, chilling atmosphere and powerful playing, virtually a must see for genre fans.
While some contend the original was a better version, I still prefer this one. Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy was excellent, providing more logic and insight to the film where the original failed to accomplish. Sure, it was tougher to make a secret invasion of a large city seem more believable, but the more believable and rational appeal of this film puts it heads and tales above the rest. Also, the fact that it is a little more drawn out and conceptualized, it makes for a better night of movie making than the original.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is an absolute classic and is one of my all time Favourites.
This is a perfect example of a great Film it has a good story and good
acting and some good special effects. I feel that this film is actually
a little Underrated because it does not get talked about enough now a
days and it deserves to get talked about more. I do feel that the older
films are better than the newer films and this film holds up to this
day. The film was Made in the 70s and I could watch it over and over
again because of the great story and great actors involved. The story
is about spores that fall from space and take root in San Francisco and
they change into strange flowers but we soon find out these flowers
have the power to clone people and dispose of the original bodies which
is a creepy idea. This is without a doubt one of the best Alien
invasion movies I've ever seen. The movie has a dark brooding
atmosphere throughout and there is a sense of realism in this film.I've
always found older films to be more realistic and the good acting helps
obviously. The film has the perfect Paranoid atmosphere and good music
and it just works so well. Most sci-fi films now a days can't do what
this film did they cannot create the paranoid foreboding atmosphere
that this film had,Some can but not many. One by one the people of San
Francisco get replaced by pod people and I liked how Brooke Adams
started to notice that things in town were not right she could sense it
and she knew the people were not normal and her and Donald work
together and figure out what's going on. This film Is just so well made
well written and well directed and I cannot say enough good things
I liked the main five characters a lot and I cared about what happened to them and that's because they were likable and had good character development. Donald Sutherland was great as the main character he was very likable and strong and gave a great performance. Brooke Adams Looks stunning in this film and her character was likable. Jeff Goldblum Veronica Cartwright and Leonard Nimoy were all good in the film and I enjoyed watching them together in this classic. This film has some very memorable scenes in it.one scene that I loved was when Donald fell asleep in the garden and the Alien pods started opening all around him and I have to say those pods looked great the effects were Awesome and the scene itself was creepy and chilling and the sound effects were good too which adds to the suspense. I liked how our main characters had to work together to fight all the pod people I found that entertaining stuff and the last 20 minutes of the film were intense and exciting. There are some really exciting chance scenes at the end of the film I also thought Donald Sutherland kicked a lot of Ass in this Film and he was Fun to watch. The film has many chilling and creepy scenes most memorable the Ending which I won't spoil. The only negative thing I can say about the film is it has a couple of slow spots but other than that I have no problems with the film and everything else works well. This Film is a classic and one of the best Sci-Fi films as well as one of the best remakes I've Ever seen. If you have not seen this film definitely give it a Watch.
I say this as a big fan of the 1956 film. I have nothing against
remakes, some are great, some are good, some are bad, some are
downright awful. Fortunately Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978) is
one of the truly great ones, one of those rarities that not just lives
up to the original film but almost beats it.
The only reason why it doesn't quite is because the 1956 film does more with the change of the townsfolk. That said, it is a very well made film, with the special effects enhancing the mood rather than distracting from it and the scenery and cinematography striking. The make up is also outstanding.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers also has a strong score that just adds to the tension and suspense, a compelling story especially the ending, in fact for me I marginally preferred the ending here, the dialogue is intelligent and well-delivered and the direction is very fine.
There is some great acting too. Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams are strong leads, while Jeff Goldblum steals the scenes he appears in. Overall, a great film and worthy remake. Anybody who has not seen the Invasion with Craig and Kidman, it may be a good idea to keep it that way. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" director Philip Kaufman fashioned a genuinely sinister remake of the classic Don Siegel chiller "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) that boasts everything an inspired remake requires to eclipse the hallowed original. Kaufman's Technicolor rehash changes the setting from the rural California town of Santa Mira in the middle 1950s to the sprawling metropolis of San Francisco during late 1970s. Scenarist W.D. Richter garnered an Oscar nomination for his adaptation of author Jack Finney's novel "the Body Snatchers" written in 1955. In other words, Kaufman's film is not a strict remake because he didn't replicate the Siegel film shot-for-shot any more than Richter duplicated the dialogue and action. The Kevin McCarthy & Dana Wynter relationship in the Siegel film differs from the quasi-adulterous relationship between Deputy Department of Public Health Inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) and his colleague Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) who has stumbled upon a unique flower that she cannot identify. Mind you, they never have any time for coitus, but she is cheating on her boyfriend, Geoffrey Howell. Everything begins to go south when Geoffrey exhibits unusual behavior, and Elizabeth suddenly believes that he is an impostor. Nevertheless, this outstanding science fiction remake ties itself to the original because the hysterical character that McCarthy played shows up during a traffic sequence. He is warning the world that all is not well and that 'they are coming for us.' As if this homage to the original didn't constitute something unusual for a remake produced twenty-two years later, the casting of the original directorDon Siegelin a bit part amounts to a blessing of sorts for Kaufman's film. Indeed, Richter integrates the narrative from one film into another, despite the obvious fact that the McCarthy character couldn't have been on the lam that long. Since Kaufman and Richter refused to confine themselves to a remake in the strictest sense of the meaning, they have fleshed out the narrative considerably and provided visual exposition about the evil alien spores that migrate from a distant planet through space to settle on the Earth. Early sequences depict how the alien spores--referred to as spider webs--permeated the Earth. Indeed, Kaufman and Richter have developed the narrative in greater depth than the Allied Artists' original without sacrificing a shred of subtlety. The first-rate cast, headed by the incomparable Donald Sutherland of "M.A.S.H." fame, includes "Star Trek's" Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, and Brooke Adams. Literally, Kaufman and Richter have taken the Siegel classic and given it a new lease on life with their elaborate, often thrilling, art-house version that plumbs the subject matter for far more. A metaphor for the changing world that appears early on during the action is the cracked windshield of our protagonist's car. Like everything else in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," this symbolism doesn't get in the way of the action. Of course, the surprise ending is fantastic!
This is my favorite sci-fi/horror hybrid movie.
I agree with Pauline Kael who said it is "The best science fiction movie ever made." It's flawless. Donald Sutherland has never been better. Jeff Goldblum was allowed to be as unhinged as possible. Brooke Adams is absolutely lovely. Cute as a button, and those eyes! How she does that 'trick" with rolling her eyes is a mystery to me. And Veronica Cartwright was as loony as she was in "Alien." She's terrific. It's creepy, which is much more effective than "scary." Yet when it wants to, it can scare the pants off you. (Think of the banjo player and his dog.) There's little things that require repeat viewings; such as all the garbage trucks, or people behind translucent glass doors simply watching as Sutherland and Adams talk in a hallway. The weird floor polisher, who just happens to be Michael Chapman, the film's cinematographer. Its cameos are so clever, they're brilliant. Kevin McCarthy screaming "You're next!" obviously recalls the later-added bumpers from the original. And Don Seigel even plays an odd cab driver! I love it. I like Philip Kaufman's other movies, but he never made another film as perfect as this. To paraphrase Ms. Kael, it's as close to perfect as a movie can get.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some movies get branded in your head, they're so searing. Phil
Kaufman's version of the Jack Finney novel is just such a film. I
remember approximately where I was sitting with my girl friend (I
remember her name too) in the Fox Theatre in Spokane in the spring of
1979. I remember reading about the secrecy surrounding the film in the
science magazine published by that sleazoid founder of Penthouse. I
remember thinking that this is not going to end well.
And I was right.
I think IOTBS is the perfect apocalypse movie, several cuts above The Omega Man or Colossus: The Forbin Project. Because of two things, I make this claim. First, the ending leaves us without any hope, not a shred of belief that humanity will somehow survive. It's like On the Beach, only without the radioactive fallout. I left the theatre not glum or dispirited, but in sheer awe of how Homo Sapien Sapien had had a going out of business sale.
The second reason is that Kaufman took the time to breathe life into the characters. The grief felt by the audience over the loss of people they cared about walked hand and hand with the astonishment that we all were finished.
Won't see ya later, 'gator!
Seeing Brooke Adams' body collapse as Donald Sutherland tries to wake her, and his horrified wail is just one of the images I won't ever let go. Even the tiny bits stayed--Leonard Nimoy sliding into a car with another baddie and croaking, "The sooner, the better." Totally devoid of emotion; utterly alien; spot on.
Kaufman's version is also several cuts above the Don Siegel pretty darned scary original from 1956, but that's not fair. Siegel was hemmed in by the production code and '50s sensibilities, plus the studio making the original thought audiences would stay away from a downer. Siegel shot it, but then had to shoot additional footage that gave the audience hope.
The endings of these two films are so different, it's almost as if they aren't related. One was a metaphor for a burgeoning Communist conspiracy; the other was totally straightforward--aliens land, and we lose.
We lose big.
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