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>
Alive and richly done, with some great performances!
Invasion of the Body Snatcher (1978)
The original 1950s version of this movie is such a favorite of mine, I hesitated to watch this one. But fear not. This is great, too. It's got the same theme, but very richly and creatively rendered, some superb photography, great night stuff, and most importantly, great acting by the key 3 or 4 people.
Director Philip Kaufman works sporadically as director and writer (he hit it big with "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and he clearly has a unique and somewhat fearless vision that remains rooted in Hollywood sensibilities. That is, this is no independent film, yet it's creative.
And it's scary. Between the development of fear over the actual biological invasion, and the old fashioned chase and hide sequences, this is a tense movie. But yet it's convincing, given the realistic, nuanced acting by the main couple, Donald Sutherland (as a Health Department official) and Brooke Adams (as a lab analyst in the same department). Of course, what happens isn't believable at all, somehow, but it's so close to feasible, and in fact so close to what we live with already (some people without feelings, out for themselves, part of a conspiracy, etc.), it isn't hard to pull it off.
Cinematographer Michael Chapman is about as good as it gets in the Hollywood vein, polished and with amazing, varied lighting (he also did "Raging Bull," "The Fugitive," and "Taxi Driver," for starters). So this movie works on every level. The one thing it isn't, of course, is original, but as a remake, we have to take it for how it handles it, 1970s style. Impressive.
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