Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

MGM

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams.

Rating: PG.

Run time: 115 mins

Genre: Science Fiction.

Verdict: Bland (see rating system)

Scary it ain't, despite the promising title.

Like the recent dud remake starring Daniel *James Bond" Craig and Nicole Kidman (The Invasion) recently, this is a rather dull treatment of an interesting story.

The best version was the first, made back in 1956 and starring Kevin McCarthy who gets a brief cameo in the 1978 remake.

It starts off well enough: a group of alien beings (more like seeds) drift through space looking for a new home. Naturally they stumble upon Earth, which is just perfect.

After floating down to the surface, the seeds grow as strange plants that make robotic replicas of humans, killing the originals.

By the time San Francisco Health Department workers Matthew (Donald Sutherland) and Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) find out what is going on, thousands of their fellow citizens have already been "alienated". But it's a hard sell trying to convince the authorities what's going on, especially psychologist Dr. David Kibner (Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy), who thinks it's all mass hysteria.

On a psychological level it works to a degree as a warning what alien lifeforms might be lurking out there in the Universe - no wonder NASA was so careful with the rock samples brought back from the moon in case they harboured microbes that could wipe out life on Earth.

While the struggle of Matthew, Elizabeth and others to fight back against the invaders is sometimes suspenseful, there aren't any shocking moments or scary scenes. No wonder it got a PG rating.

The 2-DVD collector's edition includes cast interviews and featurettes on the making of the film.

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