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as of: 10/12/06

Body Snatchers (1994)



out of 10


Abel Ferrara


Gabrielle Anwar .... Marti Malone
Terry Kinney .... Steve Malone
Billy Wirth .... Tim Young
Christine Elise .... Jenn Platt
R. Lee Ermey .... General Platt
G. Elvis Phillips .... Pete
Reilly Murphy .... Andy Malone
Meg Tilly .... Carol Malone


I am a HUGE fan of the original 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the 1978 remake starring Donald Sutherland.  I consider the original to be one of the finest examples of fear and paranoia ever filmed.  This film has an incredibly tough lineage to follow, but it holds up surprisingly well considering.  Gabrielle Anwar is the main protagonist, starring as teenager Marti Malone.  She and her newly cobbled together family are traveling to an army base for one month.  Her dad is a member of the EPA checking into some poorly stored chemicals.  Little do they know that these are the least of their worries.  Base doctor Forest Whitaker comes up to Marti's father early in the film, asking him if the chemicals could have caused mass hallucinations and paranoia.  Apparently many patients have been coming to the doctor complaining of "changed" family members.  Soon Marti's young step-brother Andy notices some strange doings in pre-school.  Apparently he doesn't share the same taste in finger painting (and I mean the EXACT SAME taste!) as the other little children.  Things go from bad to worse when Marti's step-Mom Carol (played in an unusually subdued manner by Meg Tilly) is taken over by the pod people, with poor Andy looking on.  Marti and her Dad don't believe him at first, but events soon prove the little boy all too right.  With the help of a helicopter pilot, Marti fights to save her family.  But what can you do about an army of aliens?

I enjoyed this one for several reasons.  First, Meg Tilly wasn't her usual over the top self, and one scene of hers in particular sticks out (no, not the brief nude scene, perverts! ;-) ).  Second, Anwar carried the lead role pretty well, much better than I thought she would.  Third, I enjoyed the change of location to an army base.  This ups the ante and makes one whole heckuva lotta sense!  If the aliens take over the military, the regular civilian humans would be in a bad spot.  And lastly, we have an extended cameo by the one and only R. Lee Ermey.  That guy is one awesome SOB!  Fans of sci-fi horror and the series of Invasion movies will greatly enjoy this one.  The slowly growing paranoia sticks with you.  With all of these positives, this movie is still not close to the first two versions.  I give it a solid 6/10.  It's not spectacular, but it does hold its own.


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