Movie Review: INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

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INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) was directed by Philip Kaufman and stars Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum.

The seed is planted…terror grows. This 1978 remake of the 1956 original takes place in San Francisco and follows two Department of Health employees, Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) and his close friend Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams), who is complaining about her husband’s strange mood in the beginning of the movie. It’s played off as a marital issue but a startling reveal is quickly made and this allows Matthew  to be more alert of what’s going on around them and he’s able to spot more people with similar characteristics/behavior. There’s also Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) who join Matthew and Elizabeth as they watch people get replaced by mysterious alien life forms that have set up shop on planet Earth. Beware of the space flower!

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There’s also Dr. David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy), a friend of Matthew’s who is just way too calm considering all the chaos that’s going on and this is ultimately explained. Let’s just say the guy is shady and he isn’t who he appears to be. Get it? As the population is slowly replaced one by one, the small group begins to learn more about how this is happening and what they can try to do to prevent from falling into the mix. The one rule is to stay awake because the invaders snatch your body while you’re sleeping.  If you go to sleep, an alien clone rapidly grows inside this giant pod, leaving the human body destroyed. Yeah, this is how it all goes down and the seeds are being planted all over! As the invasion grows, it’s a race for Matthew and Elizabeth to simply try and find a way to survive this terrifying takeover that threatens the future of the entire human race.

This reimagining of the classic horror film is already a classic in its own right. The updated story is dark and unsettling and takes place in an entirely different location than the original so there’s a much bigger scale this time around. The cast was absolutely amazing and all of the characters were interesting and fun to follow. Some of course were more likable than others but that’s intentional. Philip Kaufman captured everything he needed to deliver the gloom, doom and dread that this movie offers. There’s also some great cinematography as well as some eerie sounds in this sci-fi horror feature. While the blood and gore are kept to a bare minimum, there are some creepy cool special effects/makeup effects that are very well done. The pods are frightening and the clones that hatch from them will give you the heebs. Let’s don’t forget about that creepy dog with the human face. OMG!!!

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the all-new artwork by Justin Osbourn that you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some similar artwork. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your choice of which side you want to use on the outside. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this new 2K scan of the interpositive were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for the new HD transfer. Another job well done by Scream Factory.

Bottom line is, this 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers continues to be one of the best remakes ever made to this very day. We all know that remakes can be hit or miss but this one here hits on all cylinders and is a classic in its own right, just like the 1956 original. My take is that it’s a doomed love story that tries to blossom during an alien invasion. In my opinion it’s also the scariest PG movie that has ever been made. The movie features one of the creepiest scenes in cinematic history. It’s be hard to forget Donald Sutherland pointing his finger at Veronica Cartwright in the final scene as he lets out that terrifying scream. We’ve gotten several Blu-ray and DVD releases for this title over the years but this one here is easily the cream of the crop and I want to thank Scream Factory for sending this over for me to review! This Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray releases on August 2nd and is a must have.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 115 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras on this Blu-ray include lots of new interviews and commentary as well as imported bonus features from previous releases.

  • NEW 2K scan of the interpositive
  • NEW Star-Crossed in The Invasion – an interview with actress Brooke Adams (9 minutes)
  • NEW Leading the Invasion – an interview with actor Art Hindle (25 minutes)
  • NEW Re-Creating The Invasion – an interview with writer W.D. Richter (16 minutes)
  • NEW Scoring the Invasion an interview with composer Denny Zeitlin (15 minutes)
  • 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 (15 minutes)
  • Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod (4 minutes)
  • The Man Behind The Scream: The Sound Effects Pod – an interview with Ben Burtt and sound editor Bonnie Koehler (12 minutes)
  • The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod  (5 minutes)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Photo Gallery
  • An episode of SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE, Time is Just A Place, based on Jack Finney’s short story. Directed by Jack Arnold.

 

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