Body Snatchers (1993)
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I'm not a fan of remakes, many try to just copy the success of other films while some lift the original scene for scene to poor effect. However this at least tries to do something slightly different with it by setting it in a military base and bringing the drama into the family setting. In fact this setting creates some of the best scenes my favourite being where Carol tells her daughter Marti that `there's no one like you left'. The greater effects are good but really I preferred the paranoid tension of the 50's original rather than the horror of effects.
However I still think this is a very workable horror from a good director. Of course it suffers with comparison with the original that's because the original is a sci-fi classic. But as it's own film it is pretty good. Indeed the ending is what director Siegel intended but he was forced into having a more hopeful epilogue ending. Naturally it has it's weaknesses the effects overpower the story at times but really I found this to be enjoyable as a horror.
The cast are one of the weak links. I love Kinney because I'm a big Oz (HBO) fan, but here he doesn't really make a mark. Tilly has all the good lines and she is actually quite good. Anwar is also very watchable. But Ermey is type cast in his usual military role and Whitaker is far too calm and reasoned to do the job he needed to be more like McCarthy in the original.
Overall, this should be watched and not compared. In it's own right it is a good horror with only a few weaknesses that spoil it slightly. And if you do want to compare it to the 50's version then please remember than this is the type of ending that Siegel wanted and to me is one of the strengths of this film.
Well, it certainly is a decent movie and it provides the viewers with several scares. But - in general - I have to admit that I expected a bit more of it. The whole movie looks "unfinished" from time to time and the basic plot-idea isn't explained well enough, I think. I also had the feeling that everything moved too quick...Body Snatchers only lasts 87 minutes and that's a bit short for a rather complicated story like this. I would have preferred it to be a little longer and more detailed. Because of the fast storytelling, the ending also looks really fake and too abrupt. That was my biggest disappointment about it, I guess. Nevertheless, Body Snatchers contains multiple memorable scenes and it actually has the ability to raise the hair on your arms...That's quite an achievement too, I may say. Especially the sequence where both the daughter ( an adorable Gabrielle Anwar ) and the father ( a terribly boring Terry Kinney ) are being "body-snatched" is really frightening and a beautiful example of suspense-cinema and building up a tight atmosphere. This terrific scene ends with a powerful monologue by Meg Tilly's character. The entire movie is in fact recommended if it were only for this scene !!
The further cast of Body Snatchers also contains a washed up Beverly Hills star ( whose name I don't remember ) and very enjoyable little roles by first class actors like Forest Whitaker and R. Lee Ermey. I guess this last one is doomed to play the authority figure ever since his outstanding performance in Full Metal Jacket but what the heck. He's brilliant every single time. In conclusion, Body Snatchers contains a few very bloody and explicit sequences so horror fans won't be disappointed completely. It could have been a lot better, that's a fact. But on the other hand..it could have been a lot worse as well.
This scary Sci-Fi displays a tense screenplay freely based on Jack Finney novel titled ¨Body snatchers¨ that can be considered truly disturbing . Packs eerie suspense , chills , thrills , spectacular scenes , chilly events and pretty turns and twists . A ceaselessly inventive , ghastly rendition of the alien take-over paradigm , including a a nice built-in paranoia about a small military base is infiltrated by pods from outer space that replace and replicate human beings . It profits from an intense acting by Terry Kenney , Forrest Whitaker , R. Lee Ermey along with an enjoyable Gabrielle Anwar ; furthermore , a right direction by Abel Ferrra who proved himself master of the eerie clutch at the base of one's spine . Appropriately exciting and frightening musical score by Joe Delia , though composed by means of synthesizer. Atmospheric cinematography and evocatively eerie ambient by cameraman Bazzeli , this was the first film shot with Arriscope anamorphic lenses, which were created for Arri by the German manufacturer Isco-Optic. Adequate production design and considerable visual and special effects . The motion picture was professionally directed by Abel Ferrara . Director Ferrara brought an entirely new approach to the Sci-Fi field to a well known story that has been shot various times . He filmed an attractive tale and it has emerged as an acceptable Sci-Fi thriller that brings astonishing nightmares . Lovers of the thriller/chiller should no miss this considerable Sci-Fi , everybody will have fun being scared by this expertly crafted film .
Other versions about this known story are the following : a post-McCarthy paranoid fantasy epic titled ¨Invasion of the body snatchers¨ (1958), stunning and frightening adaptation which emerged as a cinema classic which achieved tremendous and unexpected success on its appearance , so well tuned for the times that some saw it a parable Communist Witch Hunts ; being compellingly directed by Donald Siegel with Kevin MacCarthy , Dana Wynter , Larry Gates , Carolyn Jones , and Sam Peckinpah ; 1978 new version also titled ¨Invasion of the Body Snatchers¨ , one of few instances where a remake is an improvement on the original , directed by Philip Kauffman with Donald Sutherland , Brooke Adams and features cameos by Don Siegel and Kevin McCarthy from the original , realized with great originality in spite of being a remake concerning again about mysterious seeds duplicating people . Lately recent version that results to be the least satisfactory and yet another inferior titled ¨Invasion¨ with Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman , Jeffrey Wright and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel , this so-so take on , it takes advantage of the advances in FX , sound technology and some interesting visual effects .
Kinney went on to do The Laramie Project later and was fantastic.
If you want conformity, then setting your movie on a military installation ensures that you have an easier time of it. Younger people will love this version, but just updating to modern techniques and special effects doesn't always make for a better picture.
Skintastic Moment: Great view of Gabrielle Anwar's ta-tas waking up on a stretcher.
"Body Snatchers" (1993) is probably the best flick from these so called "Body Snatchers" movies. I saw 3 of them probably, but this one always was my favorite (the one with Donald Sutherland was also pretty good). It has good acting for this material, a very spooky mood, good direction and script. It's not particularly gory, but it has it's moments (make-up effects were very solid). The ending was very good and creepy - that last screaming sound was chilling.
Overall, although "Body Snatchers" isn't very original or highly entraining or even a great art, it does exactly what it promises - it's has some scares, some thrills and a great feel of uncertainty which is always was a driving force in this so called franchise. This is a very solid genre movie and if you like the genre and premise, you will definitely going to like this flick.
On its own BODY SNATCHERS isn`t a terrible film , it is moody and dark as it should be , but it does have a rather mechanical script with a scene featuring some teen angst followed by a mysterious scene followed by a scene featuring teen angst followed by a mysterious scene followed by a scene featuring teen angst . Everyone knows that the plot revolves around alien infiltration so do the audience get to find out why the aliens come to Earth ? Not really , unlike the 50s original there`s no real ambiguity as to the aliens motive or subtext either . I should also point out that aliens taking over military bases makes perfect logical sense if they want to nullify humanity but unfortunately setting the story on a military base where through necessity human individuality is disallowed and where the newly introduced protagonists don`t know the other characters means we have a story that lacks compelling and terrifying drama . We find it somewhat difficult to care about the people involved because they lack individuality to begin with .
As I said it`s by no means terrible but BODY SNATCHERS fails alongside the 1978 version which I rate as the greatest paranoid thriller ever made
Abel Ferrara's remake of Don Siegel's 1956 "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is more violent than the original movie, but is also very good. There are three particular moments that I like very much: the first one is certainly when Marti throws Andy from the helicopter. I believe very few directors would have the courage to make such scene. The second one is the scary screams of Carol and Jean later. Last but not the least is the scene in the hospital when Gabrielle Anwar is naked and partially shows her breast. Although the end of this version is happier than the original one, it is open with the helicopter landing and Carol's voice saying "Where you gonna go? Where you gonna run? Where you gonna hide? Nowhere, cause there's no one like you left." And then, "THE END" is highlighted with uppercases, probably meaning that Marti and Tim would be the last human beings on Earth. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Invasores de Corpos – A Invasão Continua" ("Bodies' Invaders – The Invasion Continues")
Note: On 05 July 2015, I saw this movie again.
The acting for the most part is solid with Meg Tilly giving the best monologue in the film. Gabrielle Anwar is gorgeous to stare at and Billy Wirth (Lost Boys) plays the chopper pilot hero. It could have been a better film, but "Body Snatchers" is entertaining, well-acted, and often creepy. I'm always surprised that an independent director like Ferrara was the guy chosen to helm such a big budget studio film...
- "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) - "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1978) - "Body Snatchers" (1993) - "The Invasion" (2007)
The first one is in Black & White and is probably too dated and tame for most modern viewers, but it's still worthwhile; it takes place in small town, California. The 1978 sequel switches the setting to the big city of San Francisco. This 1993 sequel switches to an army base in the deep south. And the 2007 version switches back to the big city of Washington DC. I suppose they could all be viewed as progressive steps in the invasion, particularly the first three; I say this because the 2007 entry changes some aspects and might be better viewed as a variation on the story rather than a sequel.
I think this 1993 entry is the best, followed by the original, and then the 1978 and 2007 installments. What I like about "Body Snatchers" is the cast and the setting. The Army base naturally makes it easier for the alien imitations to go undetected as they spread through the community.
Although she was 22 during filming, Gabrielle Anwar plays the 17 year-old protagonist, the daughter of an EPA inspector (Terry Kinney) who's assigned to inspect an Army base in the deep south (shot in Selma, Alabama). Meg Tilly plays his young wife while Christine Elise plays Anwar's friend on the base, the daughter of the commanding general, and Billy Wirth co-stars as Anwar's chopper-pilot beau (Wirth, by the way, looks like an early 90s version of Robert Pattinson from the Twilight films). Forest Whitaker is also on hand as a military psychologist at the base.
Although "Body Snatchers" is a horror film it's a creepy/mysterious type of horror film and not a slasher/gore film. The gore you see is pretty much limited to the pod-people and is therefore more like vegetable-gore, lol. Anyway, the film has a nice haunting ambiance and everything works together for a standout film of this genre. The acting is superb and the swamplands of the deep south are utilized.
Gabrielle has a beautiful face, but she's too skinny for my tastes, Elise too. As such, the female eye candy is limited to curvy Meg Tilly and her body-double Jennifer Tilly. Don't expect much on this front.
Despite my fairly high opinion of "Body Snatchers," it bombed at the box office and so did the 2007 entry. It goes without saying, we probably won't see another stab at this story for some time.
The film runs a short but sweet 87 minutes.
The special effects are great and it's a fun rental. I like some of the scenes, most were so cheesy I had to laugh. (Especially when the "pod soldier" let the protagonist fly away in the helicopter because he didn't emotionally react to, "I F___ed your girlfriend." Give me a break!) It's an okay film--treasure the first two "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and throw "Body Snatchers" on if you have nothing better to do. 4/10
Body Snatchers is the second attempt at updating Jack Finney's classic tale for a new generation. Let me preface this review by saying both the original film and the 70's remake are haunting pieces of cinema. Body Snatchers '93 doesn't quite live up to its predecessors. It's not a bad film per se, but with the pedigree it sports it should have been much better. Some of the names credited with the story and screenplay are Larry Cohen, Stuart Gordon, and Dennis Paoli. Those three names can be seen on some of the most famous horror posters of all time. And with a director like Abel Ferrara the film should have been more interesting. This time the invasion takes place solely on a military base witnessed through the eyes of outsider Gabrielle Anwar. Forest Whitaker is playing the paranoid role and Meg Tilly is the main "face" of the aliens. There are some good moments to be found and the pod effects look good because they are still practical at this point. The problem is once the pods become people. The aliens are supposed to be completely devoid of emotion yet I think they show a lot in this film. I also think they blew the "scream" out of proportion for this one. It's not nearly as haunting as the previous film. I still think it has its own merits and is far superior to the latest Nicole Kidman retread.
The main thing that caught my eye was,for a film that got pushed onto being a straight to video title in the UK by Warners,is,that it is a very well shot film,with an interesting story and a strong cast.
The Malone family move to a military compound so that the husband/dad (Steve Malone) can do test on the soil and water in the area.This is due to some of the people in the area going "crazy" and becoming very paranoid ,and constantly saying that aliens are taking over the human race.
Though the family first think that they have moved to a nice area,Their young son starts to think that something very wrong is happening.At his school,he notices that all the other children are painting the exact same picture identically!.Sadly for him,the problems don't stay at school ,when he realises that his mum is acting very strangely,which leads him to start telling the rest of the family that "Mummys dead".At first,they all think that he is being a very nasty kid.However,the older sister starts to think that he maybe telling the truth,when she wakes up to discover some that some extremely disturbing creatures have invaded there house.
View on the film;
When the credits flashed on the screen,listing the people that wrote the story and the screenplay to the film,I was very pleased to see the very talented Larry Cohen and Stuart Gordon being listed as two of the people that wrote the film.Whilst the stunning 1956 and the 1978 versions of the Body Snatchers,had a strong subtext about Communism (the 56 version)or,a post-Watergate America (the 78 version),this version has a very strong Stephen King/X-Files feel.The first part of the film is spent building the characters up and giving them some depth.The film also does a great job at tapping into a government/military Trust-No- One paranoia.This is done by setting most the film on an army base,that has some very strong overtones of being based on the infamous Area 51.
From almost the first few minutes of the film,my reaction to Abel Ferrars direction,was one of complete amazement.Whilst most film makers would have made this film in a rush,and have turned it into a bad B- Movie (espicaly with all the trouble that Warners were giving Ferrara about the film.)Instead,Abel shoots the film in a fantastic way,with some surprisingly impressive camera moves,a very daring ending (an ending,that the legendary director Don Siegel originally wanted for his version of the Body Snatchers,until the studio told him to go for a more "optimistic" ending instead)and by doing a great job at building up the tension,as the last remaining humans try to escape the unstoppable invasion.
Final view on the film:
A great sci-fi thriller,with a strong story and excellent direction by Abel Ferrara.
Kauffman's 1978 version is my personal favourite as it turns San Francisco, the flower-power capital of late 60s free love and counter-culture into an Orwellian metropolis where mental health is precarious, individuation is outlawed and an absence of passion is normalised. I'm also a fan of Denny Zeitlin's creepy synth score, Kevin McCarthy's wink-wink cameo (knocked down by taxi driving Siegel, no less), and the introduction of that iconic other-worldly scream when a human is spotted - which was so effective it was incorporated in to the two subsequent remakes.
Abel Ferarra's subversive version came hot on the heals of Operation Desert Storm where we saw invasion and counter-invasion televised pretty much 24/7 as the nation rallied around its troops and televisions. Ferrera's film is perhaps the most incendiary version as it dares to question USA's ubiquitous military culture driven by intense paranoia. No longer do we see the occasional man in uniform on an urban street. Rather, Ferrara reverses things, staging the action on an army base so that now we only see occasional citizens among scores of soldiers - and this creates a creepy us-and-them atmosphere from the outset. This invasion does not come from without, but from within as the line that separates soldier from citizen is erased. This makes Ferrara's film nothing like the "original" but a wholly unique and original work that stands on its own. Ferarra's version provides such a damning critique of a rarely challenged aspect of American culture that it's no wonder so many have dismissed it, picking on superficial elements and dated production values in preference to actually taking it seriously.
This version also adds the obligatory apocalyptic fireballs at the end -- not that they accomplish anything, just that the times call for them nowadays. The novella by John Finney first appeared in, I think Collier's Magazine, now defunct, and was far more reasonable and comprehensible than any of the movies that have been made from it. In the book we learn where the seeds come from, what happens to the humans, and how the pods are defeated. (They just give up and float away.) The first movie is by far the best, just a black and white rendering of the tale, with a blandly handsome Dr. Binnell and his immaculate girl friend. People shake their heads and groan because of the "happy ending" that the studio insisted be tacked on, but I liked it.
There's nothing wrong with tragedy when it grows out of something -- human weakness, as in "Othello," or hubris, as in "Oedipus Rex." But no one in any of these movies has done anything truly wrong! They don't deserve to be robbed of their humanity, for however much that may be worth. The acting here is okay, not much more than that. Meg Tilly has interesting features. Like Merle Oberon's, her flaring cheeks seem to be tucked up just under her eyes, which slant upward and outward at an alarming dihedral. She has plump rounded lips and one or two moles scattered around her face, and it all adds up to a beautiful woman. But her voice is difficult to believe. Gabriel Anwar is likewise attractive, with wide-set eyes, a long gentle nose, and a generous mouth. Anwar has the innocence of one of those young virtuous maidens with long, floppy hair that sit around pools, staring wistfully into the ether, in Pre-Raphaelite paintings. She radiates adolescent nubility. Any normal man glimpsing her visage would immediately be prompted to pinch and bite her. And she acts as good as she looks. The guy who plays her Dad is a familiar face in TV movies, better as a heavy than a hero, and he's up to snuff. The dark-haired savior is just somebody's idea of a handsome movie star. If the first movie was supposed to be an analogy, with the pod people being Commies, or was it an anti-conformist tract, there seems to be some confusion -- this one looks like an anti-military analogy. It's set on an army base and all the pods are being trucked out for placement on yet other army bases -- Fort Bragg, Fort Bliss. Meg Tilly at one point, after her conversion to podness, asks her still straight husband, "Where will you go? Where will you hide? There is nobody left like you." How about a Navy base? How about the U. S. Coast Guard Light Station at Point Reyes? And the direction. If Blake had been writing about "Body Snatchers" instead of "Tygers" he might have asked: "Did he who made "The Bad Lieutenant" make thee? "Bad Lieutenant" is a truly shocking movie, far more powerful and scary than this one. Ferrara seems to have done nothing to perk this tired story up. It's craftmanship, and it's up to date, but nothing more than that. See the original. Read the novella, better yet.
Rated R; Nudity, Violence, and Profanity.
The major drawback is that the premise is known to everybody. There is no surprises except for the sci-fi uninitiated. The bathtub scene is pretty good although it's nothing shocking. This is a solid execution. The army base location is pretty good. Body snatchers can be camouflaged by being stoic soldiers and they are pretty creepy. There is nothing wrong with this version but it adds nothing new to the idea.
Overall Rating: 2 (out of 10), or one-half star (out of 4)
Loosely inspired by Jack Finney's novel Abel Ferrara's version creates a maternal nervousness mostly from overlooked child actor Reilly Murphy who plays Gabrielle Anwar's Marti Malone half brother Andy. What Andy sees and goes though is quite horrific, conditioned at preschool, chased by soldiers and loved ones, seeing dead bodies fade to dust. Things children shouldn't see or be subjected too. This Ferrara's strongest aspect along with some, interesting bloody effects with the pod's creeping tentacles snaking up into noses, ears and open mouths.
Ferrara's 1993 version of Body Snatchers never quiet reaches the paranoia of 1956 version or character development of the '78 remake but it has a good stab at it. Ferrara is limited in terms of creating atmosphere due to the confined setting of a military base but makes the most of shadowy hangers, warehouses and swamp which grows the effective looking pods. Due to the South set base he's unable to muster Philip Kaufman's grittiness or raw emotion of his own King of New York (1990) or Bad Lieutenant (1992).
The cast are notably Tilly offers a great looming performance and gets the best lines, memorably – "Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide? Nowhere... 'cause there's no one like you left.". Anwar (23 at the time debatably by default) delivers a fitting subdued, introverted teen. Notable is underrated Christine Elise as Billy Idol-like wild child Jenn Platt and Lost Boy's Billy Wirth as Anwar's love interest pilot Tim Young. In addition, there's R. Lee Ermey and Forest Whitaker in military roles both of which, like the rest of the cast, are sorely underused.
Anwar awkwardly bookends with some dated voice-over narration which adds to the unevenness of Body Snatchers, aside from Tilly, the characters are sketchy and underdeveloped. Some effort is made to give Wirth's Young a troubled history but its a single throwaway line. Only Miami Vice's Terry Kinney as Steve Malone gets some meaningful dialogue.
Like Kaufman's predecessor it features some shrewdly fit in nudity and comes courteous of Meg Tilly and Gabrielle Anwar. But the final act feels rushed and hastily edited with an array of explosions and Ferrara's 90's vision feels incomplete.
Overall, choppy studio production issues aside, its an interesting underrated physiological horror.