Monday, October 06, 2008

I just finished watching all of the special features that came with this 2 DVD Collectors Edition of one of my favorite films, the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers directed by Philip Kaufman. A year ago I blogged about the movie here. I have always been a huge fan of this film from the first time I saw it and it still holds up very well now 30 years later. The original film and the 78' remake are both marvels of innovative film making that builds a sense of horror with little need to rely on special effects. There is no need for a giant alien monster to rip the head off of the Statue of Liberty and fling it on to the street outside your apartment (as cool as that was). This is not the world ending with a bang, but with a whimper.

Watching the film and listening to the directors commentary you gain an appreciation for how well Philip Kaufman conveys the idea of the story visually. The viewer is aware as the film begins that the world within the film is changing before the protaganists do. This along with the skewed perspective, the creepy sound track, and the juxtaposition of the weird against the mundane makes the film so much fun to watch. You are always aware in every scene of something that is wrong with every picture, something that doesn't belong. A wonderful tension is created as the film unfolds between what the viewer is seeing and the characters are missing. This is often as hilarious as it is horrible as when Donald Sutherlin, playing a San Francisco Public Health Inspector, is walking to work excited about finding a Rat turd in the soup at a fancy restaurant is oblivious to a man in a suit running past him looking nervously over his shoulder or Brooke Adams waking up to see her husband/lover sweeping up the dusty remains of his former self in to a dust pan and then carrying the remains out to the sinister garbage trucks that are waiting for it on the street. It is this sinister quality that has infected the mundane that provides much of the films horror in the early parts of the film and creeps me out more then the web covered fetuses popping out of pods as the film approaches its climax.


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