Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Saturday, July 14, 2007
This sucked.

I've heard great things about 1978's version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Everyone I've spoke too has enjoyed it. So I was thrilled when it showed up in my mailbox from Rogers Online Video service (similar to Netflix or Zip). I debated whether to wait and see if mom wanted to have a new Dinner and A Movie night but I didn't want to wait three days to watch it. As it's hot enough outside to melt human fatty tissue, I decided to forgo nature's alternative to lyposuction and stay inside where it's a degree or two cooler and popped the DVD into my machine. I should have known better after watching the opening sequence.

The opening scenes of floating gelatinous pod-like things on some distant plant and then watching them float through space towards earth as the opening credits roll had to be the cheesiest thing I've seen in years***. But then it fooled me with shots of the jelly podlets stuck to plants, tendrils growing rapidly in the rain. Cooooooool. And then! One of the first people you see is a creepy looking priest in long robes sitting on swing, staring into the bushes as a group of kids walk past. Hmmm, the Captain thought, this could be interesting after all...



What was Donald Sutherland thinking? He's made some great (or relatively good) films: Kelly's Heroes, MASH, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Animal House and JFK (one of my favourite movies despite the presence of Kevin Costner). I'm guessing that perhaps his role as Health Inspector Mathew Bennell is a one off crappy part. This movie was slow moving, boring, and poorly acted. And who wrote the script? Someone named W.D. Richter who also apparently wrote the adaptation of Big Trouble in Little China. Wow. I'm surprised...

Would the Captain recommend it? Not bloody likely - give it a pass and go rent something else.

***The best opening sequence that I remember seeing has to be from The Quiet Earth (1985). A rising sun, emerging from what appears to be a calm sea, eventually begins to look just like an atomic mushroom cloud. No trickery, no CGI or funky camera angles. Just nature in all her glory foreshadowing what it is to come. The fact that it's all shades (again naturally) of orange, red and a hint of yellow makes it all the more visually stunning.


BeckEye said...

I've never seen it, and you've convinced me to stick with the status quo.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I actually remember being entertained by it, but that was back in 78 so maybe being young and stupid helped. I guess it did not stand the test of time.

Sheamus the... said...

Thanks for the heads up...this movie is very close to the top on me queue. I am going to remove it now. I just wanted to see it because of Invasion which is a remake coming out i think this month or the next.

Piper said...

Baggin on the Sutherland Snatchers? Man... I liked it. I actually like all three. I thought the more recent remake was actually really good.

I will say I haven't seen it for quite some time. Maybe I remember wrong.

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