24: BODY SNATCHERS (Abel Ferrara Version)

Its a clever commentary on McCarthyism you know.
Oh, its also a critique on the evils of communism.

The problem with The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is that it has been held up as a poster boy for B-movie film theory greatness for, well forever (quite possibly before it was made). The idea that B-movies made it possible for those critiques to be made behind closed doors, because no-one really cared about B-movies. All well and good, but Invasion, like a lot of these sci-fi cheapies, can easily be read in any number of ways, usually contradictory. While you are using the film to back-up your current political bugbear, youa re missing the real reason it has lasted fifty years. Its a bloody good story.

It is not something that Abel Ferrara missed, in this the second remake of the film. Certainly a needless remake, the late seventies version certainly essayed the simple dumb remake furrow and ended up looking like The Stepford Wives. The seventies version is these days touted as a classic satire on capitalism, but then every film in the seventies was. Ferrara takes the tale back to the small town, adds an army base and then gets his hands dirty with the effects.

The problem with the previous two versions of this plant based chiller always had a slight problem with the “snatching” angle. It was rather invasion of the body replacers. Ferrar not only rectifies this, suggesting the idea of virtual eviction from your own body, but also plays up the paranoia aspect. Perhaps having his protagonists as outsiders was a mistake, and there is not a lot in the way of suspense, but for sticky, gooey, body snatching fun, this version requires you to stop inventing allegories (the army alienation one is so full centre it requires no thought) and enjoy the ride. Sometimes a squiggling body snatching aliang is really just a squiggly body snatching aliang.