Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vintage 1950s Halloween Film: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Life as they know it is just about over, but Becky still wears a bitchin' dress

Becky, Miles and Jack look over Jack's evolving double, with Teddy at a safe distance

I saw the 1978 version of this film with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright, not too long after it came out, and it had some chilling moments. Granted, I was young and I hadn't seen too many Sci Fi/Horror films at the theater, but I can vividly remember several key scenes. But, until yesterday I had never seen the original.

The 1956 film stars Kevin McCarthy as local doctor Miles Bennell (my husband and I recognized him from The Twilight Zone, Wikipedia identifies that episode as Long Live Walter Jameson), Dana Wynter as his girlfriend Becky, and King Johnson and Carolyn Zones (of The Addams Family TV fame) as their friends Jack and Teddy. Miles is surprised to discover that he is being urgently summoned to treat patients, only to have them calmly brush him off when he sees them. There is also a growing "mass delusion" among the townsfolk that their loved ones are no longer who they used to be. They have all the familiar thoughts and memories, but no displays of emotion. When Jack finds a partially developed, fingerprint less, body in his home, the friends know that something is terribly wrong.
Alien pod people are taking over the town!

But, you already knew that. Although this version didn't make me jump like the 1978 one, the basic premise is still deeply frightening: the one you love has changed into someone unrecognizable and the capper is that you will be losing your self hood and probably your soul to a "human" vegetable.

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Guinan 1990?-2009

Griffin ?-2010