on 11 July 2000
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (IOTBS) is a well-paced and highly creepy sci-fi thriller which has not really aged since it's initial release back in 1978.
This was perhaps not the best year to release a movie entitled 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. Star Wars was still filling the cinemas a year after its release, and the big-budget remake of Superman was released at around the same time, while IOTBS was initially perceived as another shaky 1950's remake.
However, IOTBS is a genunely edgy, frightening film that has been critically under-rated for many years. The lead performances from Sutherland, Adams, Goldblum, Cartwright and Nimoy are excellent, and we have genuine sympathy for each of the characters involved as the unseen, parasitical alien forces close-in on them one by one. You will not 'sleep' easily after seeing this, so to speak.
Director Kaufmann accurately portrays an unsettling undercurrent of 1970's urban paranoia in the setting of San Francisco, and almost parodies the needless psychotherapy undertaken by millions of American's during this period, in a country not completely at ease with itself in the first place.
There is little in way of gore, although what shocks do occur are effectively dealt with,with creepy camera angles which shows a weak society slowly and unconsciously surrendering to superior extraterrestrial forces, which manifest themselves in an unlikely yet frighteningly realistic manner. The depressing, final scene with Veronica Cartwright and Donald Sutherland is one of the most haunting endings of all time. Overall, this comes highly recommended.
on 16 May 2009
Just caught up with this, having seen snatches on the TV I ordered the DVD. It seems ubelievable that it was made in 1978. It has what so many modern films lack, tension and special effects that don't dominate but that contribute to the narrative.
It is tense, edge of the seat, portays the sort of paranoia that has can seem to be there, just under the surface at times of terrorist threat or similar, and it also captures the feeling of isolation.
Extremely good, very unsettling and a real surprise ending. Recommended.
on 19 July 2015
A classic 1978 remake of the 1958 version of the same name
the plot is the same as the 1958 version only difference is filmed in 1978 San francisco
plus you have Donald sutherland in the Lead role along with Brooke Adams
the 1978 version is more of a Psychological thriller brilliantly directed by Phillip kaufmann
but some of the scenes do seem to Drag a little
meaning the excitement does not start until maybe 60mins into the film
so the 1st hour builds up alot of suspense, still hell of a Good thriller anyway
Arrow films have released their blu-ray version
with the exact same HD transfer as the U.S. MGM blu-ray version which has both 2.0 stereo mix & 5.1 master audio mix options
the picture quality in 1:85:1 ratio is very sharp & clear, like i said the same transfer as the MGM blu-ray
Arrow films have carried over all the special features from the MGM blu-ray, but have also added new extras aswell
the extras carried over from the MGM blu-ray
RE-VISITORS FROM OUTER SPACE-retrospective featurette with Phillip kaufmann, Donald sutherland & Veronica cartwright
Brooke Adams & Jeff Goldblum, & Leornard nimoy are not interviewed for some reason
THE MEN BEHIND THE SCREAM, interview with sound effects man Ben Burtt
THE INVASION WILL BE TELEVISED, interview with Cinematographer Mark chapman
PRACTICAL EFFECTS- THE SPECIAL EFFECT POD,a featurette about the special effects in the film, the Pods mainly
plus AUDIO COMMENTARY by Phillip kaufmann from the DVD release, for some reason this commentary track
was not carried over to the U.S. blu-ray version so it's on this U.K. blu-ray instead
plus collectors booklet as usual
the new extras from Arrow video,
DISCUSSING THE POD, interview with Kim newman about the different Body snatcher films that have been made over the Decades
the original 1958 version, the 1990's Abel ferrara film Body snatchers is talked about and of course this 1978 version
WRITING THE POD, is about Author Jack finney and his Novel Invasion of the body snatchers
and other stuff to
so if you have ALL regions player then it's not going to matter which blu-ray version to buy, the U.S. or U.K. blu-ray
or buy both up to you, this Arrow films blu-ray does have additional new extras thou.
5 stars for this new blu-ray, 4 stars for the MGM blu-ray
on 27 December 2013
Well ill start by saying I did order this and something else before xmas but this did not turn up from amazon so I had bought it else where.
The movie has always been one of my fav movies, it is for me 1 of the best remakes ever made that is way way better than the original, it creepy, stylish and just great :D
The Blu-ray is packed with tons of extras so fans will love this inc a thick booklet in the case.
The sound is fabulous, this is down to this movie having some of the best uses of music, scores and sound effects ive heard specially for a movie form the 70s.
NOW the picture quality I will now say I pretty great for a movie from the 70s, arrow have done a great job
I will say PEOPLE CHECK YOUR TV SETTINGS
im saying this because for some time ive bought blu-rays from newer movies to old movies and a lot have had tons and tons of grain, this movie when I put it in my player was filled with grain it looked like someone had tipped white bits over my tv screen, I was about to stick to my old dvd copy the grain was that bad BUT I checked mt tv settings and I set it all to default then in the MODE section it was automatically set to DYNAMIC so I flicked through and I kept it on NATURAL mode and BANG 90% of the grain was gone
I couldn't believe the big difference just because of 1 setting on my LED tv, I will say its 90% better and 90% of the grain has gone and everything looks great and sharp, the 10% of grain that's left is simply because its a old movie
I checked my other blu-rays and they are all grain free now :D
on 22 December 2013
This is a review of the blu-ray steelbook edition from Arrow Video.
The image quality on this release is excellent, especially for a movie that was made in the 1970s. The closeups of plants in the opening sequences are pristine, and in general the image quality makes it easy to appreciate the superb camerawork that is in evidence in so many scenes. (But a warning to those with an LCD TV: the many night scenes don't look that great on my LCD: the blacks are only a middling darkish gray. On a friend's plasma TV the image in these scenes was much better, with deep, eerie blacks that made the scenes much more effective.)
Aside from the extras listed by Amazon, this edition contains a 52-page booklet with an (apparently original) article by David Cairnes, "We Came From Outer Space" plus the following reprints:
- "Pods Over San Francisco" which originally appeared in Film Comment in 1979
- an interview with Philip Kaufman which originally appeard in Film Comment in 1979
- an interview with W.D. Richter, the screenplay author, which originally appeared in Cinefantastique in 1978
These are in-depth articles with a wealth of information on the film.
on 11 November 2013
I got my Steelbook last Friday, I might have wet myself a little with excitement!
The steelbook artwork is beautiful, nice and subtle.
Arrow have gone above and beyond again, the picture quality is awesome for a film of it's age. The fine details are really clear, but the film retains it's almost soft mist appearance. Atmospheric and amazing.
The sound is superb, very clear. Will be checking out the bonus featureslater this week, so no comment regarding those.
This movie has never looked so good for me.
I recently saw the re-make of this film starring Nicole Kidman, which was not as bad as reviewers would have you believe, but in comparison to this masterpeice of horror, starring Donald Sutherland, really is trash.
The paranoia and suspension in the film are captured particularly well. The horror is created, not by gore and sharp shocks, but by the constant atmosphere of things going wrong and the sense of impending doom. Donald Sutherland acts particularly well and you feel his struggle to escape to the bitter end.
The final scene is probably one of the finest ever captured by film, but be warned, it will not make you feel good.
Absolutely wonderful. A cinematic masterpiece
I've seen this sci-fi/horror film (a superior remake of the 1956 effort) quite a few times on TV, but when it was given the HD treatment for this recent Blu-ray issue AND I could get it as a steelbook it was just too tempting.
Arrow have produced another gem here. The soundtrack is not that lively, being mostly dialogue, but when the occasional creepy music plays it is bounced around my surround setup very well courtesy of the clear DTS Master Audio 5.1 choice (make sure you have it selected as there is a DD2.0 option...). The picture is just as impressive, being pleasingly sharp, blemish-free and wonderfully bright - with solid black-levels for the frequent nighttime scenes.
Amazon have a decent synopsis for this product, so if you need to know more about the film or disc extras take a peek...
The 50-odd page booklet is great addition and, for once, us Brits get a superior release with stacks more (worthwhile) extras !
I've attached a photo of the steelbook interior and accompanying booklet, Amazon show the outside well enough already...
So, whilst this film may be approaching it's 40th year it still manages to scare and provoke, largely due to the foundation in a strong story (based on a novel of the same name) supported by good acting and strong production-values. There may well be newer 'anniversary' issues in the pipeline BUT it is difficult to see how they could improve on this release, since it provides exemplary sound and image, a decent booklet and an impressive steelbook option.
There is a lot more, to the film than you'd think from just reading the movie title.
This is the first remake of assimilation and covert Alien infiltration classic of the 1950s, the new setting for the invasion from a small town to the city of San Francisco, in the late 1970s, and starts as Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way changed. This is a solid speculative fiction narrative tinged with within a horror context with rather good production values. Those values include good direction by Philip Kaufman, camera-work by Michael Chapman in the form of the facial close-ups and interesting camera angles. The acting of the cast of main characters was comprised of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and last but not least the late Leonard Nimoy whose characterization; as the all explaining psychiatrist was exceedingly well done, as you really want to believe his explanation of events, as the truth is all too frightening. Donald Sutherland had quite a lot of the dialogue and was the most notable. All of it added up, for me anyway to a very good re-make that really brought the original themes to a more modern setting and a much darker closure.
--------------------Dare you take a nap?-------------------------
For me, this movie did so well in the build-up, with the uncertainty and suspense that translates into a real crescendo, and proved you don't need a lot of violence and body parts to scare the viewer. In fact the creepiest thing of the movie - and it WAS scary too - was the eerie guttural sound - the piercing pod scream. The film is a visual treat. The star of the first film, by the way - Kevin McCarthy, makes a great cameo appearance, which was a nice touch. Due to Kevin McCarthy's appearance and warning, some viewers have seen this movie as possible sequel to the 1950s movie.
If there is anything to dislike about the film, it's the fact that it seems to be shown on TV late at night, which makes this viewer very apprehensive about going to bed.
on 12 February 2010
I admit that I haven't seen the original 1956 sci/fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers but this remake was fantastic. This was a solid horror/sci-fi story with good production values. Those values include outstanding direction by Philip Kaufman, camera-work by Michael Chapman and acting. The cast of main characters was comprised of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright. Of the group, Sutherland had the most lines and was the most impressive. All of it added up to a pretty intense and suspenseful film. Spores from outer space fall in San Francisco where they begin to hatch flowers, which eventually ends up in peoples homes. City health department employee Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) confides in her colleague Matthew (Donald Sutherland) that her boyfriend seems to have changed. Matthew soon encounters similar situations, including two friends who find a body in their bathhouse, which takes on features as they sleep. Matthew's friend, psychologist David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek), insists that is all well. But it isn't and as the city quickly gets taken over, everyone will become one of them. Invasion of the Body Snatchers had some really nice and memorable scenes, good scares and a good atmosphere and the ending was brilliant, probably one of the best endings to a horror thriller film ever. The effects of the alien pods was pretty good and quite effective, theres not that much blood and hardly any gore but still it had a creepy atmosphere and dealt with issues like paranoia and distrust. It starts off good but then regressed with the social commentary on relationships and all the transitioning through the psychologist. Great film though, worth a viewing, especially to see all the stars: Jeff Goldblum, Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy.