The pod people are back! Aliens take over human bodies and souls in this hard-hitting remake of the classic tale starring Meg Tilly, Gabrielle Anwar and Forest Whitaker. Year: 1993 Director: Abel Ferrara Starring: Gabri... more »elle Anwar, Meg Tilly, Forest Whitaker« less
"When all things are conformed...there'll be no more dispute
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 09/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In a life filled with uncertainty, one thing is for sure...once Hollywood latches onto a good thing, it won't let it go...a prime example of this is Jack Finney's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" story, popularized by the 1956 Don Siegel sci-fi film classic featuring Kevin McCarthy. Since then, there have been any number of remakes or films based on the story, most popular probably being the 1978 version featuring Donald Sutherland, which I enjoyed, but not quite as much as the original...a few years later a group of writers, including Larry Cohen (It's Alive, The Stuff) and Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond) came up with the film Body Snatchers (1983), directed by Abel Ferrara (The Driller Killer, King of New York), and featuring Terry Kinney (Fly Away Home), Meg Tilly (Psycho II, The Big Chill), Gabrielle Anwar (Scent of a Woman), Billy Wirth (The Lost Boys), Forest Whitaker (Platoon), Christine Elise (Child's Play 2), and R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)...by the way, before I forget, there's a film scheduled to be released in 2006 titled The Visiting, featuring Nicole Kidman...here's the synopsis from The Internet Movie Database...'As a Washington psychiatrist (Kidman) unearths the origin of an alien epidemic, she also discovers her son might be the only way it can be stopped.' Sound familiar? It should, if you've seen any of the previous `Snatcher' movies I've mentioned, proving that in Hollywood every thing old is new again...and again...and again...
As the story begins, we meet the Malone family...there's Steve (Kinney), who's the father, Carol (Tilly), his wife, Steve's daughter Marti (Anwar), and her younger brother Andy...seems Steve's 1st wife, who was also Marti's mother, passed away a while back...anyway, the family is on the road, as Steve, a chemist, works for the EPA, and is touring military facilities in the south to ensure proper storage and handling of all the nasty biowarefare chemicals they claim they don't have. After Marti has a strange encounter in a gas station restroom (it wasn't with George Michael), the family arrives at the base and settles into their new quarters. Things seem normal enough, but strangeness settles in, as more and more people seem not actually to be living, but going through the motions. Now one might chalk this up to the military and its tendency to squash individuality in general, but it's something else, something more, something alien...and it has something to do with the slimy pods being pulled out of a nearby swamp during the night. Pretty soon the base is divided into two factions, normal people and spore people (the former dwindling rapidly) and the ominous serenity devolves into extreme chaos...just remember, they get you when you sleep...
You know what? I enjoyed this movie...I also enjoyed the original release and the one from the late 70s. The main difference I noticed was that while the previous two tended to share many similarities (the main being the overwhelming sense of paranoia inherent within the story), this one kind of went off it its own direction, choosing horror and action over suspense, with focus given to Anwar as the lead character. Perhaps they were trying to appeal to a younger audience, I don't know, but the overall result was better than I would have thought. The budget may not have been large, but I think what they had they made good use of...at the very least the filmmakers knew enough to bring in a very solid cast who worked well together. I don't know that any one performer stood out above the others, but they felt professional and maintained a sense of belonging in the story. I did feel a few of the characters got slighted, especially the one played by Forest Whitaker, but oh well. There were a couple clichés running about, like General Platt's (Ermey) rebellious daughter, played by Ms. Elise and the handsome, hero chopper pilot with the perfect hair, played by Wirth, but their roles ended up being relatively minor in the overall scheme of things. Ferrara keeps things lively with some good shocks, despite the fact the action didn't really kick in until about 45 minutes into the story. The one gripe I would make, if any, is that the film ended too soon, running about 87 minutes. It felt like there was more story to be had by the end, but I suppose it's better not to out stay one's welcome. I thought the gooey effects were good, the spaghetti-like tendrils emanating from the pods especially creepy. The one scene that stands out in my mind is when Marti is taking a bath, and dozes off...oh looky there...someone stuck a pod above the ceiling tiles. Hey, something's moving...ewww, here come some creepy crawlers, searching for a host. You know, I don't think whoever put that pod up there had put much thought into placement, as even I would have know that once the pod started developing a replicant, the weight of said doppelganger would have been too much for those measly tiles to handle...but, it did provide for a nasty little sequence. And here's nekkid lowdown, if you're interested...Ms. Anwar does bare her teeny tots twice, the second time more so than the first. While enjoyable, I did feel a little uncomfortable specifically because her character was supposed to be not of drinking age, and let's face it, Anwar is the definitive waif. Even if her character was supposed to be eighteen, she still looked all of about fourteen (Anwar was about 23 at the time the movie was made). The movie also features what appears to be a full frontal nekkid shot of Ms. Tilly, but the credits reveal a body double was employed...oh well, boobage is boobage...there is one sequence that was particularly funny (to me, at least), near the end, featuring a boy and a helicopter. If you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about...if not, well, I'm not going to say anymore than I already have...overall I thought this film an interesting mix of science fiction, horror, and action, and something along the lines of what a director like John Carpenter might put out, only much more toned down.
This Warner Brother's DVD release features both the full and widescreen versions, the widescreen being 2.35:1 anamorphic, both looking very clear and sharp. The Dolby Surround 2.0 comes through very well. As far as special features, there are none, as the film starts playing immediately when inserted into the player. You can get an interactive menu screen to appear displaying scene access and language options, but nothing else.
If you liked this film, I'd suggest another film called The Hidden (1987) featuring Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, and Claudia Christian and/or The Puppet Masters (1994), featuring Donald Sutherland, Eric Thal, and Julie Warner...both are underrated science fiction films worth seeing. "
Robert E. Hasse | Idyllwild, CA USA | 03/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm the first to get bugged when they remake the classic -- and this is the second reworking of an original which stands as a masterpiece of both science fiction and horror. To be sure, this is a retread of a scenario so familiar that the reference 'pod people' has entered the language as a recognizable expression. That said, this is simply a sharp horror film. Miles above the thing done in the '70s, this film is tight, building tension in each scene and never letting loose. I live for the experience of recommending a class act most folks have probably not heard of. This is one of those pictures."
Once More, With Feeling
Bruce Rux | Aurora, CO | 05/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The third screen version of Finney's novel is the least necessary, the former two versions succeeding brilliantly, each in different ways, in conveying the horror of undercover invasion and increasing paranoia. But that doesn't mean it isn't good. Quite good, in fact.As in the previous versions, the characters are real and credible, making the incredible situations more dramatic for the viewer. The special effects are as gruesome as in the '78 remake, but less horrific than in that version due to mere repetition.This time, the alien seed pods strike where the iron is hottest, in the military bases of the U.S. They have more direction, more purpose, and more feeling than before, though they are still plainly alien to our psychology. The pods are never on the defensive here, having already established dominion and merely defending their footholds. Meg Tilly has the best scene and line in the show, when she confronts fleeing family members with the stark reality, "Where ya gonna run? Where ya gonna hide? Nowhere. Because there's no one...like you...left."Last on the list of "body snatchers" movies, but still on the list."
Where are you going to hide?
arca20 | 12/12/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While this is not the best of the three versions of Jack Finney's story it is still an enjoyable adaptation. I get the impression that it is meant to be a sequel of sorts to the 1978 Kaufman film, shifting the location from San Francisco to an army base. Lacking the suspense and paranoia of its two predecessors the film manages to lift itself above potential mediocrity. Its a fun way to pass the time and does not drag on for too long, but don't expect anything thought provoking or scary. The DVD transfer is quite good, apart from very slight artefacting during the opening titles. The major letdown is the lack of features - no trailer, no commentary (surely Robert H Solo could have said something, explaining why he produced 2 different versions of the story?)."
POD PEOPLE RETURN
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 11/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Did we need a third version of Jack Finney's classic novel about an alien takeover via creepy pods? Probably not, but Abel Ferrara's treatment on the familiar theme has some faithful relics from the first two (the sleep influence, the horrifying screams to identify non-conversions), and stands on its own as a creepy little thriller. This time the movie is set on an Army base where the pods are being managed by the soldiers and staff. An EPA Chemical investigator arrives with his family (a daughter, son and new wife) and soon they all become involved. Meg Tilly has a smallish role but is frighteningly chilling as the mother who has plans for hubby and kin. Gabrielle Anwar has one of her first roles as teenage daughter Marty who finds herself falling for hunky chopper pilot Billy Wirth. Dad Terry Kinney tries to save his family; R. Lee Ermey is the camp general; Christine Elise his wild daughter and Forest Whitaker is the camp medic who takes drastic measures to prevent his takeover. All in all, a respectable interpretation of a classic scifi story."