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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Review

invasion of the body snatchers blu ray review

Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) notices that her lover has become strangely distant, she tries to tell her good friend Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland), that something is wrong and that more and more people seem to be “different”. When her friends Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) find a lifeless, half-formed doppelganger covered with plant fibres in the mud baths they own and operate, the group of friends finally begins to understand that a sinister alien transformation is sweeping their city.

Remakes can be a dodgy concept, especially these days when every other film seems to be one, but in 1978 director Philip Kaufman decided to set his Invasion Of The Body Snatchers in the big city, San Francisco instead of a small town as in the original making the film much bigger in structure.

The cold air of paranoia is well realised and the acting by a great cast is excellent. The special effects hold up well by today’s standards and the music and sound fx really bring the horror to life. In many ways this remake is superior to the original and fans of sci-fi and horror, in general, will find much to enjoy.

invasion of the body snatchers lobby card

The Blu ray released by Arrow uses the same MGM master as the Region A release but tweaks it a little. Overall the picture quality is very good, especially in close-ups although some shots do look very grainy. Colour are nice, subdued as intended and the picture is free of any dirt or print damage. Audio has two options a PCM 2.0 track and a remixed DTS-MA 5.1 both sound excellent, the 5.1 mix is done well, its still mainly front prominent but does make the soundstage much more enveloping.

Extras are as always from Arrow excellent.

  • Audio commentary with director Philip Kaufman. Great listen, goes into detail about all aspects of the production.
  • Pod Discussion: A new panel conversation about Invasion of the Body Snatchers and invasion cinema featuring critic Kim Newman and filmmakers Ben Wheatley and Norman J. Warren. OK if a little bland sit-down conversation about the film.
  • Dissecting the Pod: A new interview with Kaufman biographer Annette Insdorf
  • Pod Novel: A new interview with Jack Seabrook, author of Stealing through Time: On the Writings of Jack Finney about Finney s original novel The Body Snatchers
  • Re-Visitors from Outer Space: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pod – a documentary on the making of the film featuring Philip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, writer W.D. Richter and more
  • The Man Behind the Scream: The Sound Effects Pod a look at the film s pioneering sound effects
  • The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) discusses the look of and influences on the visual style of the film
  • Practical Magic: The Special Effect Pod A look at the creation of the special effects from the opening space sequence
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
  • Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Cairns, as well as reprints of classic articles including contemporary interviews with Philip Kaufman and W.D. Richter, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

A great package and another winner from Arrow (Also available as a limited edition steelbook).


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