It's podcaster versus pod-people as The Unenthusiastic Critic's 2021 Halloween Movie Marathon continues with Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy.
Jack Finney's 1954 novel The Body Snatchers has been adapted for film no fewer than four times, with each era expressing its own anxieties through this all-purpose metaphor of conformity as a communicable disease. Philip Kaufman's creepy, shaggy conspiracy story is arguably the best of the bunch, staging the invasion of the pod-people in America's cultural epicenter of 1970s San Francisco, and making it a war for the soul of the Baby Boomer generation.
Will The Unenthusiastic Critic be able to resist the seductive tendrils of this iconic sci-fi horror masterpiece, or will she, too, become one of the converted?
00:00: Prologue: from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
00:42: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
08:21: Interlude: Original Trailer
10:12: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:01:13: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (dir. Philip Kaufman, United Artists, 1978).
—References and Resources: "Was Invasion of the Body Snatchers Intended as Political Allegory?" The Take; "Why Invasion of the Body Snatchers Still Haunts Its Director," David Weiner, The Hollywood Reporter; "American Scream: The Other Scariest Movie of the 1970s," Adam Nayman, The Ringer; Film Remakes, Adaptations, and Fan Productions, Kathleen Loock, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; "Pods," Pauline Kael, When the Lights Go Down, Henry Holt & Co., 1980; CDC #HealthySwimming Graphic, @cdcgov, Twitter.
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—Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0.