Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Article 5708 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Featuring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Michael Goldblum
What it is: 50s paranoia remake
People are acting strange in San Francisco. Could something be replacing them with duplicates?
As a sequel/remake of the original 1956 movie, I really don’t have a lot of problems with this one. Philip Kaufman does a good job of keeping things interesting, it’s well-acted and well-written, and it is quite effective in moving the action from a small town to a big city. It also makes sense that a remake of this one would pop up in the paranoid seventies. It’s also quite respectful of the original; both Kevin McCarthy and Don Siegel pop up in this one, with McCarthy essentially playing the same character that he did in the original. It certainly takes advantage of the progress made in special effects to add a lot of eye candy to this one as well. I do have a few small problems. The longer running time means that it takes longer to really get going, and they do overplay the paranoia a little too much. I also find the finger-pointing and shrieking to be a little bit silly. Still, I must admit that overall, it works well enough. It must doesn’t work well enough to compete with my memories of my first viewing of the original. And though I find the movie worthy enough, I’m not sure I really find it strictly necessary.