VIDEO: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

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In this episode of the award-winning Terror Obscura, the Fear Fan tackles 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, possibly the greatest adaptation of Jack Finney’s classic novel. A group of people in San Francisco (Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy) come to realize that everyone around them is slowly being replaced by alien clones with no emotion, leading to one of the most famous endings ever. Also in this review: see old ladies get punched in the face, and find out where Cabbage Patch Kids come from!

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  • edharris1178

    Great review, I always dug the poster for this one.  Creepy as hell, just like the movie.

    • fearfanforever

       Yup, it’s awesome in all the right ways, great acting, writing, directing, and even the music’s fairly effective. Not often you get a total package like that.

  • Arcadiassx999

    Hey Mr. Rice thanks for reviewing this. I remember it was panned by the critics when is was released, so my first viewing was on HBO. I though it was okay, but over the years this film has hooked its roots into me.  Heh heh heh. 
    I like this film a lot and is a great example of creating nerve wracking suspense. Funny how i never recognized Robert Duvall in the beginning, maybe he was already one of the first duplicates? Anyway  Fun review and big grats on that award you received, you deserve it.

    • Arcadiassx999

       P.S. What was the award for? please give us the details! Thanks!

      • fearfanforever

        Glad you liked the show, and I’ve learned never to trust the critics when it comes to horror. Seriously, despite how beloved the remake of “The Thing” was, the reviews and resulting poor box office were a kick to the nards for John Carpenter’s career. As for the award, it was for Best Horror Review.
        The awards were for another site I post on, and apparently folks REALLY liked my review of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
        Actually, Mendo had the honor of being one of the presenters.

  • MIKE

    First of all GREAT REVIEW and possibly even greater choice for end credits song. 
    It’s been a while now since your previous video, so I’d gotton around to seeing this movie myself well over a month ago in preparation. Like yourself, I could just heap on a ton of praise and that means a lot since I was already such a big fan of the 1956 version. However about half way through, it got me thinking something odd about the whole story that never occured to me before.
    You notice how that pod people scream laudly and attack in groups when they find someone interfering in thier invasion process. That’s find of an odd reaction from creature who claim to be devoid of emotions! The pod people are clearly aware of the need to reproduce and are therefore aware of death, since they exhibit a real fear of death or at least of not contiuning their reproduction. I’m know convinced that either they aren’t being honest when they tell their captaives that a life without emotion awaits them or they  don’t fully comprehend themselves.
    Oh and about that Jurassic Park clip. Shouldn’t you have said “…always works out for Jeff Goldblum in the future!”

    • fearfanforever

      That’s an interesting theory, and there are actually other things in the film to support it. For example, in the scene where she’s playing the music in the spa, Mr. Gianni, obviously a plant person, actually tries to hold an awkward conversation with Mrs. Belacic. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the noise is just designed to draw other pods attention to a danger, and the pointing is to specify what the danger is.
      Either way, it’s something interesting to think about.

  • Monterey Jack

    One of the finest remakes ever. Here’s my review of the 2007 DVD release, which says all I need to say about it:

    http://www.dvdinmypants.com/reviews/H-N/invasion_body_snatchers.php

  • Cristiona

    Welcome back.

    • fearfanforever

       Good to be back, and glad to see that you’re still watching!

  • Monterey Jack

    Erm, that ain’t Philip Kaufman as the cabbie, that’s Don Siegel, director of the 1956 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Kaufman *does* cameo as the guy who comes up to Donald Sutherland in the phone booth and knocks on the glass. Also, Even Janitor Guy (dun-dun-dun!) is cinematographer Michael Chapman.

    • fearfanforever

       Yeah, I got a ton of e-mails on that, I should probably include a correction somewhere.

  • StevePotter

    It’s so wonderful to have you back. Words cannot describe how sorely I’ve missed your beautiful face.

    Oh, and your amazing review skills… That’s what I meant to say… Damn, I think I’ve said too much.

    • fearfanforever

       I am flattered, confused, AND glad to be back.

  • Thomas Stockel

    Welcome back, Fear Fan!  And another great review.

    • fearfanforever

       Thanks! Hopefully, the next one won’t take so long.

  • Russell Brin (Facebook sux)

    You aren’t forgotten Fear Fan, in fact I like your series.  That ending shot is just haunting and pretty scary; more disturbing than the entire film.  I notice no one has touched the best Friday the 13th movie ever: Jason Goes to Hell the Final Friday, will you ever recap it?

    • fearfanforever

       At the end of the next episode all will be revealed…
      (Tries to look mysterious)
      (Fails miserably)

  • Zorha

    Is it just me or is Fear Fan pretty nonchalant about the incoming tentacle rape in title card above?

    As always, great review, although on the second watch through it struck me as odd that you didn’t show the creepy dog with the sleeping bum’s face. I know you say you were running out of time, and it must be difficult deciding what finds it’s way on the cutting room floor.
    Can’t wait for the next review / Fearcast!

    • fearfanforever

       Yeah, basically, I had to choose between a throwaway line about how the dog guards from Freddy’s Revenge were still getting work, or the gag about how the pods go down faster than a $5 Thai hooker. Decisions, decisions.

  • Allison

    I’m terrified of Donald Sutherland, and it has nothing to with this movie, though that final screaming scene does make me squirm inside a little. I’m actually terrified of him because of the nightmare scene in “Disclosure,” when he says to Michael Douglas’s character in an elevator “Tom, you have what I want,” and opens WIIIIIIIIDE, only to make Michael Douglas’s character, Tom Sanders, wake up screaming. Ugh, that still gets me.

    Oh, and there was the unsettling shot of his naked ass in Animal House. I was ten years old when I saw that movie (did I mention my DAD encouraged me to watch it with him?), and it stuck with me…almost 20 years later.

    Leonard Nimoy…wow, what can I say except the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins is beyond words. It ranks up there in creepiness with the legendary Rocket Man. One of my friends is terrified by both clips, and refuses to watch them.

    As for this movie, just may have to see it. I actually forgot Jeff Goldblum is in this…playing Jeff Goldblum. Because when you’re Jeff Goldblum, who else can you successfully play but…Jeff Goldblum?

    • fearfanforever

      Not that we’d ever ask him to stop. Because, lets face it, no one else could do it half as well.

  • Bart_Fargo

    A couple fun facts that I learned from the commentary track:

    Robert Duvall refused a salary for his cameo as the podified priest, so Philip Kaufmann gave him a jacket from Eddie Bauer instead.

    Donald Sutherland insisted on doing his own stunts in the pod-farm climax. This terrified the crew, as Sutherland is a notorious klutz.

    • fearfanforever

       Yeah, a dude was actually hurt during that last sequence. When one of the pods chasing after Sutherland gets hit by a ball of fire, the stuntman was actually seriously injured.

  • FullofQuestions1

    Did you ever hear Nimoy’s story about his clothes getting stolen by some insane fan during the shoot of this movie?

    • fearfanforever

       That’s a new one, but given how insane some hardcore ST fans can get, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  • John Sco

    Fantastic review of one of my favorite movies. You really have a lot of charisma on screen. Also, I’m jealous of your incredibly awesome facial hair.

    • fearfanforever

      Thanks, John!
      I’m glad that you feel I did it justice, and I only hope that you like the rest of the series just as well.
      As to the beard- it’s the source of my powers.

  • Goblin1001

    Good to see you review what I consider to be an oft overlooked classic.

  • TheMonolith

    This was a well put together video on one of the best science fiction films of the 70s, but one glaring flaw needs to be adressed. That was not Kaufman in the cab, but Don Siegel, director of the original film.

  • DeanD

    This video won’t play. “Sorry, we’re unable to play this episode”.

    • fearfanforever

      Sorry about that, Dean! There seems to be an issue with the original file. I’m working on it now, but it’s kind of a low priority comparatively speaking. Still, it’ll hopefully be available before too long. :-)

  • DeanD

    Yay! I saw on your twitter feed the episode was fixed and it was worth the wait! Great job. I only watched the film this year when I saw it on a youtube countdown of Halloween movies to check out and though it spoiled the ending it did look interesting and it was a fun ride. Has Jeff Goldblum ever played anyone other than himself in a movie? I watched the Altman film Nashville not too long ago and even in a very small (and early) role all his famous tics were in tact. I’ve been a big fan of Veronica Cartwright since her scene-stealing performance in The Witches of Eastwick (and vaguely remember her from The Birds) so I’m always happy to see her in a movie because she always delivers. Anyway, thanks for fixing this review for your fans and Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2015!