Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The 1978 version. There is nothing wrong with the 1950s version. It’s great but I remember seeing the 1978 version when I was younger and it stuck with me. I personally think that it is the best version – and there have been several since. It stars a plethora of science fiction stalwarts: Jeff Goldblum (The Fly; The Jurassic Park), Veronica Cartwright (Alien) and Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek). In the title role is Donald Sutherland, who has dabbled in the genre, and is excellent as health inspector Matthew Bennell. Sutherland finds himself investigating reports of an infestation in San Francisco while simultaneously discovering that his friends are making allegations that their loved ones are not themselves. Cue: pod people!
The film has a gritty 70s feel and is appropriately paranoid – no doubt reflective of the Watergate period. The health inspector angle is a good one and while Sutherland gets to play it straight and Cartwright gets to scream the place down, Goldblum and Nimoy have a great time with lighter approaches to the roles. There are some fantastic scenes. One stand out is a sequence in which Sutherland and friends discover that the key to moving through a city of pod people without drawing attention to themselves – that is until a horrible, mutant dog with a human face runs up to Veronica Cartwright and makes her scream out. The best scene is the final one of the film. I won’t ruin it. It’s classic.