STARRING: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

1978, 115 Minutes, Directed by: Philip Kaufman

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Description: Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams and a distinguished cast (including Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Veronica Cartwright) and must fight for survival as the population of San Francisco is systematically cloned by alien "pods" from a distant, dying planet. The atmosphere of dread and paranoia grows increasingly intense as the complexity of the alien invasion is gradually revealed, until nobody can be trusted to be who they appear.

Less of a remake of the original 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers science fiction classic than a variation on themes from that movie. Personally we believe this version to be much underrated by both critics and audiences, and actually to be superior to the original.

Of course, the metaphor of people being "taken over" by soulless aliens can be taken as a metaphor for anything you dislike. It can be communism, McCarthyism, yuppies anything. But this doesn't distract from the metaphor itself, and it remains a powerful one. "Desire, ambition, faith: without them life is so simple," one of the humans taken over, played by Leonard Nimoy (Spock of Star Trek) in a bit of ironic casting, remarks during the film.

A sense of paranoia and alienation (no pun intended) pervades this film. Scenes of being chased by faceless crowds of strangers through city streets is like something taken directly from a Kafka short story and will most likely haunt any city dweller.

However, despite this and some strong performances from almost all concerned, this film perhaps doesn't go as far as it could with its paranoia. Too many climaxes and cut scenes distracts from what could have been a truly brooding and intense paranoia something Polanski managed quite well in movies like The Tenant. Maybe they should have given the director's chair to him. Despite this, this Invasion definitely deserves a viewing.

The story was again remade — sort of — as the little-seen Body Snatchers in 1994 (this time it was set in an American military base) and as The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in 2007, which returned the action to an urban environment.


# 37
of the
Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies
of all time




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