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Science Fiction - Invasion Of The Body Snatchers 1978

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Donald Sutherland, Maude Adams
Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Originally released 1978
MGM
115 minutes

Rumor has it Apple is going to sue MGM because Invasion of the Body Snatchers uses the word Pod,  Apple believes the word pod is its propriety. Before that happens, you might want to get the unaltered DVD version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the excellent remake by Philip Kaufman of the 1956 Don Siegel original.

The 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers stars Donald Sutherland as a no nonsense health department worker and his assistant, Elizabeth, played by Brooke Adams. The movie opens with an eerie life on another planet shot before quickly moving to San Francisco where the spores have landed. It slowly mixes the horror genre with your conspiracy theory science fiction plot for a slow reveal of who is who or, in this case, who is what. The spores beget flowers which beget pods which beget copies of humans while the original sleeps and then dusts to dusts and ashes to ashes.

There is a certain amount of humor in this science fiction slash horror movie. Sutherland's scene as a restaurant health inspector at the beginning of the movie is rather funny though the best moment is when the police come upon Elizabeth's "body" in her greenhouse.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers still works some thirty years later. This is because it is a very good story and in part because as Kaufman did not have a big budget he relied on acting and cinematography to make his movie and not special effects. This being the case, a contemporary audience has no need for willing suspension of disbelief with special effects that were great at the time but now look cheap and cheesy.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers DVD features a commentary track by director Philip Kaufman. This is much better than the usual stuff. Science-fiction movie fans will appreciate the behind the scenes information such as how Kaufman came up with the cell goo at the beginning of the movie. He also reveals a few interesting facts such as the man who jumps on Sutherland's car is the star of the original movie and the taxi driver is played by Don Siegel, the director of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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