Horror Review: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.

Horror and Sci-Fi gel together so well and when done right can produce something fantastic, which brings me to “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”.

Now I know I’ve been very vocal about how sick I am of remakes but I have also stated how not all of the are bad and this remake of the 1956 film of the same name is one of the best.

The cast for the film is pure brilliance, you’ve got Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy and more. They all put in amazing performances and show us why their big names in the business.

Director Philip Kaufman does a great job of making the film seem claustrophobic and very atmospheric, which is quite a feat when the film is set in a big city. He also seems to make the eclectic cast gel together on screen so well and it brings out the best in them.

This film has one of all time favourite endings, not just in this genre but in all of film. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it but I will say that everytime I see it I get goosebumps and it’s the first time the credits have creeped me out.

“Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” is a fantastic film that I will never bore of watching and highly recommend to anyone who enjoys an atmospheric film.

If you want to see the “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” trailer then just click on the video below:

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

At the beginning of the film, as the alien spores rain down on earth, you see them presumably landing on the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco – the headquarters of what was then the parent company of United Artists, which produced the film.

According to the commentary on the DVD, director Philip Kaufman said they paid Robert Duvall by giving him an Eddie Bauer jacket.

Elizabeth’s nude scene in the factory was also filmed with clothes. That was seen when the film debuted on ABC in 1980.

Donald Sutherland insisted on performing his own stunts in the film’s climax. His scenes at the pod factory were filmed without harnesses or nets. In the shot of a fireball erupting from the factory, Sutherland barely missed it. However, an extra missed his cue and was seriously injured from the explosion.

Among the sounds Ben Burtt used for the pod growing scene, the heartbeat came from an ultrasound recorded on his pregnant wife. The pod screams were recorded pig squeals. Additionally, the natural diegetic sounds (crickets, birds chirping) fade as the film progresses, until only mechanical sounds (sirens, the garbage trucks) are heard.

Donald Sutherland was hit by a Volkswagen beetle while filming a shot of Matthew and Elizabeth running. He fell onto the windshield and was able to see the driver saying “Oh, my God! Not you!”

Matthew’s story/joke goes as follows. The British are trapped in the Sahara and are surrounded by the Germans. One day, an officer makes an announcement: “I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, we have no food but camel poop. The good news is, there is plenty of it.”

While rehearsing Kevin McCarthy’s cameo, a naked homeless man recognized him and said “The first one was better”.

During the taxi ride, Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams’ nervousness is genuine. Don Siegel had lost much of his vision and was driving through the dark streets of San Francisco without his glasses.

During the mud bath scene a man suggests that Nancy read a book titled “Worlds In Collision” by Immanuel Velikovsky. The book was published in 1950 and spent eleven weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. However, the book was met with overwhelming rejection of its thesis by the scientific community.

Veronica Cartwright also plays in the remake The Invasion.

The leather half-glove that Leonard Nimoy’s character wears was deliberately used for the sole purpose of making the character more distinctive and recognizable. Nimoy got the idea from a friend who wore it to cover a burn on his hand.

Silence is heard as the end credits roll as there was no end title music composed or recorded for the film. 

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