Friday, 7 October 2016

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956, Don Siegel, Walter Wanger Productions, Allied Artists Pictures) is a film noir-esque, sci fi film about plant-like aliens which can create a realistic replica of any human and replace that person. The only flaw being the replica's complete lack of normal human emotion. The film is the inspiration behind the phrase "pod people".

When people begin to say that loved ones are being replaced by identical copies Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) begins to suspect that there is more going on than a case of Capgras delusion! He and his ex-girlfriend, Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter), begin to investigate the supposed mass hysteria, when they make an unusual discovery: a half-formed replica of someone they know!

Soon they realise they are surrounded as they desperately try to escape and save humanity!

A thrilling and poignant sci-fi caper which has been interpreted as capturing several underlying themes, including the 50s era fear of communism and an illustration of McCarthyism.

Themes and messages aside, this film was one of the way-pavers for films like "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) and all of today's apocalyptic, dystopian-world films. And all with very little on-screen violence and very few visual effects, aside from some human-sized seed pods!

The film remains a very watchable, very enjoyable piece of sci-fi and you will also spot Carolyn Jones who, in the 60s, went on to give her ever-memorable performance as the darkly ethereal Morticia Addams.

Definitely worth a watch!

[Image: Allied Artists Pictures, et al]


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