31 Days of Halloween-Day Six: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Remakes are always hit and miss. People will complain if you change too much from the original version. If it looks the same shot for shot, then people will complain it was unnecessary. However, you have those rare exceptions where a remake works and is considered a success. Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1978 is one of those films. The second of four films based on The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, this version turns up the creep factor and is a little bit gorier, although not excessively so. We get more of an explanation about who the aliens are, as they are travelers from a dying world seeking a new home. The cast is full of familiar faces. Donald Sutherland (Kelly’s Heroes amongst countless other films) stars as health inspector Matthew Bennell and Brooke Adams (The Dead Zone) is love interest Elizabeth Driscoll. Art Hindle plays Elizabeth’s boyfriend Geoffrey, one of the first bodies the aliens duplicate. Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) plays Jack Bellicec, this time an inspiring writer and mud bath owner while Veronica Cartwright (Alien) plays his wife Nancy. Nancy is the usual screaming wife at first but actually gets a grasp early on what they are dealing with and turns out to last longer than anyone else. Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) rounds out the main cast as Dr. David Kibner, channeling a less patient Mr. Spock along the way. Plus we have a couple of interesting cameos. Kevin McCarthy plays a man screaming on the street, Don Siegel (director of the original version) plays the taxi cab driver and Robert Duvall plays a priest swinging in a park (okay, I don’t get that scene at all). This one is very scary, atmospheric, and full of paranoiac horror and highly recommended. It is readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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