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SEVENTIES REMAKE OF 'INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS'

Leonard Nimoy takes an invading stroll YEAR: 1978
Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake of the 1956 cult film INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is full of dark locations, eerie zoom angles, an ominous soundtrack, and leaves plenty to be desired and admired: which is entirely (and obviously) on purpose...

The main characters aka our central heroes who... in a film about mankind stealthily taken over by aliens through the result of cloning pods, which, unlike the original, we actually witness and experience in grotesque goopy glory... are narcissistic and aloof in the human world, and hardly the kind of characters to really feel for or even, initially, sympathize with before the slow, calculated takeover (already in progress)...

Snatcher Score: ****
Yet it works since there’s little countenance-transition when Donald Sutherland’s impatient health inspector Matthew Bennell, and classy yet earthy and contented Brooke Adams as Elizabeth Driscoll, both realize that something's not right (a scene involving a napping Jeff Goldblum reveals the alien's cloning process perfectly, and yet there's still plenty of mystery involved)...

Although Elizabeth, after picking a flower at a park where Robert Duvall is a priest on a swing-set, gets the ball rolling… Her boyfriend, Dr. Geoffrey Howell, played with a reptilian precision by underrated THE BROOD and PORKY'S actor Art Hindle, is the patient-X on board – and he’s only a dentist...

Spock & Sutherland
The true doctor is a kind of Motivational Speaker/Messianic author psychologist, Dr David Kibner. In this role, STAR TREK icon Leonard Nimoy, who died today at 83, is a person that folks within the city trust but the viewing audience is fitfully suspicious…

Why else would such a distinguished actor be cast without a significant reason behind the not-so-mysterious curtain? So it's not too much of a revelation when we learn what Dr. Kibner is hiding...

But the late great Nimoy turns in a wonderfully energetic performance (the most charismatic of the "pod people," raising the question of, perhaps he's the only unaltered human being used by the aliens, or else, why would only he lack the non-robotic, more obvious traits) as an unspoken, philosophizing leader of this surreptitious alien outbreak, coaxing residents into how he'd probably want patients to wind up sans the otherworldly transformation...

Star cameo Robert Duvall as a swinging priest
And Kibner’s sole detractor is played by another tall black-haired one-of-a-kind actor, Jeff Goldblum, who, as the jealous artistic failure, Jack, questions the revered doctor’s motives before things get serious and eventually, body-count fatal...

Jeff Goldblum hates Kibner
With a shifty/shaky camera serving as a benign perspective for the underlying threat, and special effects effectively story-boarding the takeover process (campy and memorably dated and gloriously awesome – like a banjo playing folk singer's head on his dog’s body), this reworked and superior INVASION takes us into a cold dark city that actually starts to improve...

As the hustling/bustling is relaxed and harmonized, our survivors, including Veronica Cartwright’s Nancy, remain flawed and frantic examples of mankind: Thus, centering on unsympathetic leading roles gives an ultra-realistic beat-the-clock peripheral full of edgy suspense, despite the third act relying too much on characters running away as spooky music blares. Overall, it's a film that takes its time and gets better with each and every viewing.
Leonard Nimoy takes a meticulous nap in SNATCHERS Year: 1978
Brooke Adams realizing her boyfriend Art Hindle isn't quite himself in Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Art Hindle and a snatched garbage man in Invasion of the Body Snatchers Art Hindle
Why would brilliant aliens from an other world want hairstyles like that? Well, it was the 70's...
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