One Paragraph Movie Review: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Two hundred and sixty-fourth film: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the original 1956 version (and the 1978 version straight afterwards, but let’s focus). Old sci-fi/horror is fun to watch, partly because of the high-schlock melodrama, and partly to see early tropes and concepts that re-emerge elsewhere. A simple Cold War paranoia flick about plants that take over humans and drain them of all emotion gives Stepford Wives (imitation happy families), A Nightmare on Elm Street (don’t fall asleep or they’ll getcha) and The Matrix (gardens growing thousands of human seed pods). This thing spews out inconsistency and implausibility at every turn but it’s not even an hour and a half long, includes the fanciest strapless dress any lady ever visited a doctor in, and shows a terrified man screaming “You’re next!” directly at us from the middle of a busy highway, so I’ll allow it. Plus the special effects dollars the film studio saved by having hundreds of monsters who look exactly like normal human beings were spent instead on half a cup of dishwashing detergent and not much else. Everything bad about it is good. Three and three quarter mid-crisis bourbons out of five.

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