in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 8

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Dir: Don Siegel
Cast: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wyner, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones

It’s here already! It’s next! It’s next! Yes it’s my review of the 50s, Sci-Fi/Horror classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Culturally significant not only for it’s shock value but for it’s complex themes of alienation in modern mass society. In the era of McCarthyism, Invasion stood out with’s anti-conformist message. Though that could be a load of bull-honky over analyzation. All I know for sure is that this is a great sci-fi story that still resonates with audiences today.

Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is a doctor in the fictional town of Santa Mira, California. Unexpectedly, a large amount of patients start coming to him complaining of their loved ones now being “impostors.” This is dismissed as mass hysteria but it’s not long after that Bennell himself discovers the secret. That these emotionless “Pod People” are duplicating humans in an effort take over our planet, damn, damn, double damn! So the adrenaline kicks in soon enough and what was a subtle movie soon becomes a suspenseful “On the Run” type flick. Staying awake becomes the missions for Miles and his friends as it’s the only way to stay alive.

The Pod People are damn freaky and it almost as a bit of a Twilight Zone vibe. It was produced by Walter Wanger and directed by who else but Don Siegel who would go on to be famous for his Clint Eastwood collaborations such as; Coogan’s Bluff (1968), Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape from Alcatraz (1979). Daniel Mainwaring was the man responsible for adapting the script from Jack Finney’s story, not a bad job either. And can you believe this movie has been remade “Three times?” It’s just a really remakeable movie I suppose, just wait another ten or fifteen years, I bet it’s not over.

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