Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
July 6, 2022 8:26 AM - Subscribe

Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed, as they deny everything or make excuses. As the invaders increase in number they become more open and Bennell, who has by now witnessed an attempted "replacement," realizes that he and his friends must escape or suffer the same fate.

A remake of the 1956 classic. Directed by Phillip Kaufman (The Right Stuff). Adapted from the novel by Jack Finney by WD Richter (Big trouble in Little China, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension). Also starring Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy.

Rated 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Hoopla, and free with ads on Tubi or Pluto TV.
posted by DirtyOldTown (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 


see also
Body Snatchers (1997)
The Faculty (1998)
The Invasion (2007)
Assimilate (2019)

I'd say this is the best version, though each has something to say about the zeitgeist of its time
posted by kokaku at 11:30 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


And uh... the most famous version? Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

posted by Ashwagandha at 12:29 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Yet another piece of evidence that the 70s were the best decade in film.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:29 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


The thing that struck me most seeing this in theaters as a child was that even when people are murdered and replaced, the new copies of them--even though they are alien plant pod people-- still get up and go to work the next day at their jobs.

I suppose that's a pretty good summary of capitalism for you.

Also the human-headed dog creature haunted my nightmares for a long time.
posted by seasparrow at 2:30 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Boy, between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien, Veronica Cartwright became queen of the scream squeens forever.
posted by y2karl at 5:47 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Boy, between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien, Veronica Cartwright became queen of the scream squeens forever.

Don't forget about The Birds.
posted by octothorpe at 6:21 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


So you know how when you are watching The Remains of the Day, and no matter how good it is you can't stop expecting Anthony Hopkins to just straight up take a bite out of Emma Thompson? Or like you are rewatching Gettysburg, but all you can think about is Jeff Daniels' explosive diarrhea? Well, every time I see Donald Sutherland, I can only picture his ass hanging out the bottom of his sweater in Animal House. I know he is a great actor with like sixty years worth of wonderful movies, but when it comes down to it that's what I reduce him to. Sorry, Donald.

Anyway, on topic, great movie.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:53 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Well, every time I see Donald Sutherland, I can only picture his ass hanging out the bottom of his sweater in Animal House.

I will never forget him pointing his finger at poor Veronica and making the bodysnatcher alarm shriek.
posted by y2karl at 10:11 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I will never forget him pointing his finger at poor Veronica and making the bodysnatcher alarm shriek.

This was the very first horror movie I saw in the movie theater as a pre-teen. That scene freaked me out so badly that when I moved to San Francisco 20-some years later I would never, ever walk through the Civic Center. Still won’t when I visit. (The movie turned me into a lifelong horror movie nerd anyway.)
posted by holborne at 10:26 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I am always reminded of that long scene in Don't Look Now.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:34 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I read somewhere that the original idea for the scene in Animal House was to have Karen Allen be partially nude. But Sutherland had the idea to show his own butt. Genius move, and I'm not exaggerating.
posted by SoberHighland at 3:34 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Just watched this a couple weeks ago for the first time and really enjoyed it. I’m Gen X, into horror and SF, etc., but somehow I just never got there. This is probably a pedestrian comment, but I quite enjoyed seeing Leonard Nimoy’s performance, for all the predictable reasons.

Also very glad to now have the soundtrack to go with the immortal Sutherland Pointing gif!
posted by cupcakeninja at 7:16 PM on July 7


I was seven or eight years old when this was released.

I remember adults in that period murmuring about people going to self-help classes like EST and coming back all different. It sure seemed scary and inexplicable to me. I have no idea what I'd think of those discussions now with my rational adult brain, but the memory has always made this movie extra creepy to me. (Also Mr. Spock as a bad guy.)

The contrast with the communist based fears in the first one is textbook, even as the nominal setup is almost identical. The first one was scary because your neighbors might be replaced and out to get you; this one I always think the fear is something is going to change me in a way I don't want.
posted by mark k at 9:05 PM on July 7


I was introduced to this thanks to the BBC2 "Moviedrome" Sunday night film slot, introduced by the great Alex Cox, who set up all the films with a little bit of critical framing. Here's his intro to Invasion, enjoy!
posted by ewan at 12:26 AM on July 8


I just watched this last night on TMC (right after The Thing) and I’d completely forgotten in the ensuing decades after seeing it last the existential horror and nightmare inducing terror of the dog with the human face. I mean the ending shot scared the shit out of me because Donald Sutherland can make his face so scary, but Jesus, the dog. I’d blocked it out because I had nightmares for weeks after I saw it the first time.

I was amazed how well it held up.

But Jesus, that dog thing.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 4:04 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Indeed.
posted by y2karl at 5:49 PM on July 9


« Older Ms. Marvel: Time and Again...   |  All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite:... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments