Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Terrifying, visceral remake of the original 1956 film, which was based on the novel by Jack Finney. Directed by Philip Kaufman, it starred Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams and Leonard Nimoy.

Sutherland plays San Francisco public health inspector Matthew Bennell, who along with his girlfriend Elizabeth Driscoll makes the dumbfounding discovery that people are being duplicated by a strange type of hitherto unknown plant. Apparently innocuous, and producing attractive pink flowers, these pernicious perennials smother their victims in foliage when the person is asleep, absorbing their bodies and producing exact replicas of them from large, marrow-like pods. These 'pod people' appear to be exactly like their human templates, having even the same memories as them, but with the crucial difference that they have no emotions whatsoever, and leaving the husks of their original human selves to disintegrate when the metamorphosis is complete.

Bennell and Driscoll have a hard time convincing anybody else of what is going on- only a small handful of their friends and work colleagues believe them. As the entire city begins to succumb to the alien menace, humanity finds itself desperately on the run. No real human remains safe- they must not sleep in case they become duplicates themselves, nor must they show any emotions which might give them away.

Intended as a dark satire on McCarthyism and anti-Communist paranoia, this is one chilling film. The horrible scream that the 'pod people' let out when they discover a human amongst them will haunt you long after you've seen the movie!

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Do You Remember Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)?

Do You Remember Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)?

  • MissConduct
    A good if rather overlong film. But Sutherland was great, as was Veronica "Alien" Cartwright. The ending was the real highlight - never saw that coming! And the expression on Sutherland's face while pointing, still sends shivers down my spine.