Monday, January 28, 2013

Body Snatchers: A Short Review

I watched "The Body Snatchers" recently, the one with Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams. It is a remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," a 1956 American science fiction film directed by Don Siegel and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. It has been a popular theme and there have been several remakes, one with Meg Tilly. The original story is the 1955 science fiction novel by Jack Finney, which describes the fictional town of Santa Mira, California being invaded by seeds that have drifted through space to Earth. The seeds replace nearby sleeping people with perfect physical duplicates grown from plantlike pods, while their human victims wither to dust. (The biology of all this should not be thought on too hard.) The original book had an ecological bent with the invaders being intergalactic scolds; the films have all been just really scary. All eventfully have a few perceptive and very human empathetic individuals alone in a city filled with emotionless copies of men, without ambition, anger or love, plodding zombie-like through the day doing their routine as routine alone. Their only real devotion seems to be expanding their influence through replacement.They have a mild philosophy: The very thing that makes humans unique is painful and fatal. The new copies have no emotion and live without emotion's pain and danger. The humans, on the other hand, struggle to maintain their humanity and the risk that entails.

Unanswered in all versions is the question, how does a society of individuals who are just going through the motions advance? Or even survive?

So, if this were a political allegory, which group would be the citizen and which the body snatcher? Ambition aside, of course.

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