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Blu-ray Review: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

 Invasion of the Body Snatchers Blu-ray Review

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Philip Kaufman
Screenwriter: W. D. Richter
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Art Hindle
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG | 115 Minutes
Release Date: August 02, 2016

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. They were right. It’s painless. It’s good. Come. Sleep.”

Remake. Say the word and you’ll no doubt spark a conversation about the death of originality in Hollywood and how brand recognition is more important than storytelling. While it’s easy to throw up half-hearted retreads like Total Recall (2012), RoboCop (2014), and Point Break (2015) as reasons to banish the remake altogether, there are a few great remakes that are arguably better than their predecessors. 1978’s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers kicked off a decade of great remakes, including John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), Brian De Palma’s Scarface (1983), David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986), and Chuck Russell’s The Blob (1988).

Directed by Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff), Invasion Of The Body Snatchers features an all-star ensemble, including Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, and Veronica Cartwright. Like Don Siegel’s 1956 film, Kaufman’s remake is an adaptation of Jack Finney‘s 1954 novel, The Body Snatchers. The story involves a San Francisco health inspector (Sutherland) and his colleague (Adams) who discover that earthlings are being replaced by alien duplicates, devoid of human emotion. The aliens are gelatinous “space flowers” that drift on the solar winds, beings from a dying world, spreading their seed across the galaxy.

With stirring cinematographer by Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), repulsive special effects by Dell Rheaume (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Amityville Horror), and unnerving sound effects by Ben Burtt (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark), Kaufman’s superb, paranoia-inducing film is the culmination of some of the greatest artists working in Hollywood at the time. With terrific performances and an unforgettable score by Denny Zeitlin, 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers not only legitimizes remakes, but expands on the themes and ideas of Siegel’s classic film.

Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray provides fans of the film with a stunning 2K high-definition transfer. As someone who has owned this film in its many home video incarnations, I can say without a doubt that this is the best presentation of Kaufman’s film I’ve ever seen. Like so many of Scream Factory’s offerings, this is a definitive release. I doubt even the folks at Criterion could add anything to this gorgeous restoration. If you haven’t seen Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, or you’re simply looking to upgrade your own DVD or Blu-ray, this is the version to get!

Special Features

In addition to a new 2K scan of the interpositive film element, this Collector’s Edition comes with a bevy of new bonus materials, as well as special features from previous releases. Star-Crossed In The Invasion and Leading the Invasion feature interviews with actors Brooke Adams and Art Hindle while Re-Creating the Invasion and Scoring the Invasion focus on writer W.D. Richter and composer Denny Zeitlin. There’s also a new audio commentary track with author and film historian Steve Haberman, in addition to an older commentary with director Philip Kaufman.

Also included is Re-Visitors From Outer Space, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pod, a 15-minute featurette on the production history of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well as the film’s socio-political overtones. The film features interviews with Kaufman, Richter, Sutherland, Cartwright, and others. Additional bonus materials include Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod, The Man Behind The Scream: The Sound Effects Pod, and The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod. There’s even an episode of Science Fiction Theater, “Time Is Just A Place,” based on Jack Finney’s short story and directed by Jack Arnold (Creature from the Black Lagoon).

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is now available at Amazon.

Cover Art

 Invasion of the Body Snatchers Scream Factory Blu-ray Cover Art

Trailer

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