Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Philip Kaufman
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy
Rated: R/Region A/2:45/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory

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Under cover of darkness, while an unsuspecting city sleeps, an alien life form begins to sow the seeds of unspeakable terror. Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum star in this shocking, “first-rate suspense thriller” (Newsday). One by one, the residents of San Francisco are becoming drone-like shadows of their former selves. As the phenomenon spreads, two Department of Health workers, Matthew (Sutherland) and Elizabeth (Adams), uncover the horrifying truth: Mysterious pods are cloning humans — and destroying the originals! The unworldly invasion grows stronger with each passing minute, hurling Matthew and Elizabeth into a desperate race to save not only their own lives but the future of the entire human race.

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I admit I was late to the party for the original Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and I might be even later for the remake that Scream Factory is releasing on Blu-ray here. The original might have shown its age but it was overflowing with that midnight movie vibe. The remake switches things up a bit, keeps that midnight movie feel to it, but also manages to legit creep you out more than once. It is what I’d call a LEGIT scary movie. One filled with likable characters and dread from nearly start to finish. I mean just look at the cast we have here. These are great actors who seem to be having fun with the film. The on-screen chemistry between Brooke Adams and Donald Sutherland is off the chart. Jeff Goldbloom is Jeff Goldblum, but that is never a bad thing. And this is perhaps the first time I’ve seen Lenord Nimoy playing a character not named Spock, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t do a great job and make it work. Everyone makes this material work and while one could say the story was creepy anyway this is at least a remake that manages to do what any remake needs to do to make it stand neck and neck with the classic original. This movie came along during a time when “remake” wasn’t a dirty word to most horror fans. The Thing, this film, and later The Blob, all showed that remakes can be done and done right without taking a bite out of the dignity of the original. And in many cases, like we see here it even manages to improve on some things. Maybe overall it doesn’t top the vibe of the first one but it takes the story on a bigger scale and makes things feel very boxed in despite being in the big setting of the city. The characters never seem safe and as a result, it drags you through their ordeal and often kicks you right in the gut as well.

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This is also a movie that has some really good effects on display for the time. We see the nasty pods and the pod people, but we also see some blood here and there. Perhaps the movie’s goriest moment comes at the expense of some pod people but the movie has other neat effects and ways to make your skin crawl as well. The movie also packs perhaps one of the more well-known final moments in a horror film you’ll see out there. I admit I had seen the spot before even without having seen the entire movie before now. That kinda gave me an idea where it was going but I wasn’t sure the cause of it or what it actually meant. Regardless I very much enjoyed the fire remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and I think it gives the original a good run for its money. I know this isn’t the first time this movie has made its way to Blu-ray but I will say it looks good. I’m not saying it looks as good as a new movie or even a top of the line retro film on Blu-ray transfer, but I don’t think you’ll complain. I’ve not seen any other version to compare this to but I have faith in Scream Factory that this is the best you’ll ever see this one look. It also comes with a whole list of extras to dive into that includes interviews from stars of the film to effects people and so much more. Some people can call it fan boy-ish for me to say this but I’ve never seen a bad Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory and this is no different.

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Extras

– NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
– NEW Star-Crossed In The Invasion – An Interview With Actress Brooke Adams
– NEW Leading The Invasion – An Interview With Actor Art Hindle
– NEW Re-Creating The Invasion – An Interview With Writer W.D. Richter
– NEW Scoring The Invasion – An Interview With Composer Denny Zeitlin
– NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman
– Audio Commentary By Director Philip Kaufman
– Re-Visitors From Outer Space, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pod – Including Interviews With Director Philip Kaufman, Screenwriter W.D. Richter, Director Of Photography Michael Chapman And Actors Donald Sutherland And Veronica Cartwright
– Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod
– The Man Behind The Scream: The Sound Effects Pod – An Interview With Ben Burtt And Sound Editor Bonnie Koehler
– The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod
– An episode of SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE, “Time Is Just A Place,” Based On Jack Finney’s Short Story, Directed By Jack Arnold
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Radio Spots
– Photo Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 87%

3_halfbrains