Monday, August 3, 2015

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

I dislike the remake trend just as much as the next guy, but it's not out of any sort of misplaced worry that the new incarnation will magically replace the original while it is sleeping. Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been directly and indirectly re-made several times over - and all the various versions still exist! Even one as horrendous as Troll 2 is still around!

What makes the whole "Body Snatcher" idea truly interesting is that despite the premise, the remakes themselves are not clones of each other. This isn't some effort to repackage something old for a new generation too jaded to watch an older film. Each version is a unique variation on the same theme and is designed to reflect the era in which it was made and released. You've seen this story before, but not these characters and not in this way.

For my money, the 1978 incarnation is the best. It's the perfect balance between the schlock of the 1956 original and the strained seriousness of the 2007 version. It takes the premise seriously without losing sight of the pulpy nature of the source material. Just the right amount of silly, undercut by a wonderfully paranoid style that leaves you constantly on edge.

But maybe you like your cinema unabashedly trashy. Or perhaps you prefer it to be deadly serious. Watch whichever version you prefer. Nobody is here to make you conform. Well at least I'm not here to make you conform...

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