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Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978) I watch this one a few times a year. Scared me to death as a kid (had my family been replaced by POD PEOPLE?!? How would I tell?!?) and this is an awesome, scary update/quai-sequel to the original film. Kevin McCarthy, from the original flick, does an excellent cameo in here as his character from the first INVASION, kind of bridging the two movies together. Alien seeds from space are planted on earth and as they spread, duplicates of humans are made with no emotion...and the original humans the seeds "copy" die in their sleep in a subtle alien invasion concept. Definitive precursor to Craven's "don't fall asleep or you'll die" mantra in the ELM STREET series. Stellar cast in this INVASION, including Donald Sutherland, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblume, and Leonard Nimoy in icy creepy emotionless Spock form. Nimoy is riveting and haunting in his part and it's always a fun conversation piece discussing exactly WHEN you think his character became a pod person. Sleek and sexy Brooke Adams plays the female lead in this incarnation and her uninhibited nude rebirth scenes are a joy to behold when she turns into a pod person. You'll exercise the pause button on your remote more than a few times when these come to pass. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS has the scariest of tones and is shot very film noir style with great use of darkness and shadows, and there's so many metaphors happening on so many levels in this story: government conspiracies, forbidden love, loss of identity, loneliness, isolation, what it is to be human, even a commentary on dementia. With endless undercurrents like this, the movie still manages to horrify and entertain and there are many scenes that are pretty hard-edged in terms of violence and gore, especially when Sutherland hacks up a garden full of blossoming humans with a big pitchfork. Gruesome! (I believe the PG rating was changed to R in the initial theatrical run, then back to PG.) The effects reminded me a lot of ALIEN, almost a precursor to that film, and in many ways, INVASION '78 makes a great double feature to watch with ALIEN '79. The "pods" and alien flowers opening up in both films share a startling resemblance to each other. Perhaps they're cousins? The sound effects and music are another spectacular part of this film that makes it work so well, and I've never forgotten that strange alien ultrasound heartbeat that overpowers your senses when the pods are transforming into humans...truly unnerving! One of the few films to seriously actually really SCARE me upon first seeing it, INVASION '78 holds up well today and is a splendid, fun watch if you're looking to be totally creeped out. See it again and if you're watching for the first time, be sure to check it out in a totally dark room, late at night, and keep your eyes glued to the screen...You'll be riveted and transformed!

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