31 Days Of Thrilling Horror: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

A brief pause because the question has been raised. These movies are listed in no particular order – it’s quite random. This isn’t a countdown because all the movies listed here are awesome and I would have no idea what order to really put them in. And now on to the final seven days of Thrilling Horror.

In 1956 during the cold war, filmmaker Don Siegel (Dirty Harry) crafted a tale of terror based on Jack Finney’s story The Body Snatchers. The film echoed the red scare that was going on (the McCarthy hearings that were going on at the time) but it also was a pretty impressive piece of science fiction horror. The story about plant pod people from outer space taking over human bodies sounds silly but the movie worked. Unfortunately the studio felt compelled to tack on a more upbeat ending.

In 1978 director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being) remade the movie. As much as I hate remakes, this was one of the few that surpasses the original. Extremely creepy, the story moves from the small town setting to the large city of San Francisco where health inspector Donald Sutherland discovers that creepy plants trying to take over the world. Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright and Leonard Nimoy co-star.  Nimoy is especially creepy as a self help guru. All that smiling and laughing is just unnatural.

The movie was remade two more times after this but with pretty poor results. Body Snatchers in 1993 and more recently The Invasion with Nicole Kidman in 2007. Avoid those versions and see the 1978 version.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.