horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

April 28th, 2019 Movie – Monster From Green Hell

monster from green hell

You know, I was going to try and pick another great classic sci-fi movie to watch today, but then I watched a bunch of giant insect movies and that just got blown out of the water. So instead, I decided to focus on this little gem of a movie. Now I first learned of this movie from the Attack Of The 50 Ft. Monstermania special that I own. That became a sort of a shopping list for me and I would try to buy, or at least watch, as many of the movies featured on that special but today’s movie eluded me for a long time. While I still haven’t managed to obtain a DVD of this movie, I am at least able to finally watch Monster From Green Hell.

The plot: As the U.S. prepares to send manned missions into space, Dr. Quent Brady and Dan Morgan send various animals into space in order to test survival rates among them. During their tests, one of their rockets malfunctions and they determine that it will crash some where off the coast of Africa. Some time later in a remote part of Africa, villagers bring a dead man to Dr Lorentz and his daughter Lorna, who run a clinic in the area, and ask if he can explain how the man died. After performing an autopsy, Lorentz says the man died of a massive dose of venom, though no known animal is capable of producing the quantities found in the dead man. Arobi, Lorentz’s assistant, says that it is the work of the monster from the volcano the natives call Green Hell but Lorentz dismisses it, saying the monster is nothing but a legend and something real must be behind this. Several months later, Brady sees a news article about the unrest in Africa, with people claiming to see monsters. He shows the article to Dan and tells him he believes that the wasps they sent into space on the missing rocket are behind this. Dan is skeptical about Brady’s theory but when Brady shows him a crab that is twice the size of it’s mother and explains that the mother had been exposed to cosmic radiation for only 40 seconds but the wasps would have been exposed for a much longer period of time. Brady and Dan head to Africa and when they arrive in Liberville, the territorial agent directs them to see Lorentz and arranges a safari, though Brady is frustrated at the slow pace he takes in getting things done. Meanwhile, Lorentz, Arobi, and two villagers head to Green Hell to see if they can discover what is killing people. As they split up, the two villagers are killed by one of the giant wasps and carried off. Lorentz and Arobi carry on and when they get close to the volcano, Lorentz goes on ahead, leaving Arobi behind in case he needs help. Back in Liberville, Brady and Dan argue over how big the wasps could be and whether they will need the grenades that Brady insisted on bringing. When their safari, guided by a man named Mahri, finally gets underway, Brady says that it will take them close to a month to travel the 400 miles to Lorentz’s clinic. After 2 weeks of travel, they hear the sound of native drums and Mahri says they are war drums. They continue through the jungle and are soon attacked by the natives, but manage to get away with minimal losses. Forced to change course, the safari now continues on through a section of waterless plains, causing many of the men, including Dan, to suffer from dehydration, but they are saved by a tropical rainstorm. As they continue on their journey, Brady is injured and eventually collapses but they manage to make it to Lorentz’s clinic, where Lorna is able to treat him. As Brady recovers, he learns that Lorentz had left to go find out what is happening and he waits for his return. A few days later, Arobi returns and tells Lorna that her father is dead, showing Dan and Brady part of the wasp stinger that was left in Lorentz’s shoulder. Brady and Dan decide to head to the volcano to deal with the wasps and Lorna argues to go with them but as they prepare to leave, Mahri informs them that the villagers have all left in fear. Lorna says that she is able to shame some of the men into going with them but as they make their way towards the volcano, they come across another village that is littered with dead bodies and the villagers all flee in terror. Brady, Dan, Lorna, Arobi, and Mahri continue on their way and eventually reach the volcano, where they hear the wasps’ buzzing the closer they get. Brady goes to check the volcano and sees the wasp queen and her soldiers inside the cauldron. Heading back to the others, they split up and throw the grenades into the volcano in an attempt to kill the wasps but the grenades only make them angry. The group is forced to run and take shelter in a small cave where the wasps can’t reach them. Brady uses the remaining grenades to seal the cave and they explore the tunnels to find another way out. They eventually manage to find a way out, just as the volcano erupts and the emerging lava kills the wasps. As they watch the insects’ fiery demise, Brady contemplates how nature finds a way to destroy it’s mistakes.

Of the rash of giant insect movies that came out in the 50’s, this one didn’t really get a lot of recognition and for good reason. There really wasn’t anything remarkable or noteworthy about this movie. The acting was honestly a little stiff all around, with nobody really standing out, or honestly offering much emotion during any of their parts. The story was pretty decent, taking the excitement of space exploration and the space race that was occurring in the real world at the time, and adding everyone’s favorite mystery substance, “Radiation”, this time of a cosmic variety, to make for an interesting idea for some monsters. The monsters themselves looked too fake to really be scary, which might be why you barely saw them during the whole movie. In fact, a large portion of the movie focused more on Brady and Dan’s safari to reach Lorentz’s clinic than the actual monsters themselves. If anything, this can be used as a sort of breather while binge watching some of the other, and definitely better, giant insect movies of the era.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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drama, movie, movie review, sci-fi, Uncategorized

April 21st, 2019 Movie – The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

the day the earth stood still 1951

“Klaatu Barada Nicto”. Arguably one of the most famous three word lines in all of science fiction. Now let me let you all in on a little secret; I have never seen today’s movie all the way through in one sitting. Don’t get me wrong. I have seen the film in it’s entirety, but it was done by managing to catch it at certain parts when it was on. I have long considered this to be a massive oversight that I needed to rectify sooner, rather than later, but would always get sidetracked by other things before I could rectify it. Well that all ends today as part of my classic sci-fi month so let’s get right into a true classic of the sci-fi genre with today’s movie, The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951).

The plot: All around the world, news stations are reporting about an alien spacecraft that is circling the Earth, eventually landing in Washington D.C. As the military and police rush to cordon off the area around the saucer, a doorway opens and a humanoid figure emerges from the craft, saying he comes in peace and good will. As he approaches the soldiers, he pulls a device from his suit, causing a nervous soldier to fire on him, damaging the device and wounding the alien. Suddenly, an large robot appears and begin disintegrating the soldiers’ rifles, as well as a tank and some cannons, until the alien orders it to stand down. The alien, Klaatu, tells the soldiers that the device was for the President so that he could study life on other planets, then is taken to a hospital for treatment, While there, Mr. Harley, the President’s Secretary speaks with Klaatu, who tells Harley that he must speak with the leaders of all nations at once, and Harley says he will relay the message to the President but doubts it will get anywhere. Meanwhile, the military tries to get into the saucer but is unable to pierce the saucer’s hull. The next day, Harley returns and tells Klaatu that the world’s leaders can’t agree on a common location for the meeting and when Klaatu suggests he go out among the people and see how things are for himself, Harley tells him that he is not permitted to leave the hospital. Klaatu manages to escape the hospital and gains lodging at a boarding house, telling the people there his name is Carpenter, the name on the suit he stole. The next day, Klaatu is at breakfast listening to the other lodgers giving their opinions about the alien and while most of them are suspicious about the alien coming to Earth, one of them, Helen Benson, says that the alien probably was sincere in his coming in peace and is simply scared now. When Helen’s boyfriend Tom shows up to take her on a picnic, she asks if her son Bobby can come, as she has nobody to watch him, and Klaatu offers to watch him for her. Bobby has Klaatu take him to Arlington Cemetery, where his dad is buried, then they walk around D.C., visiting the Lincoln Memorial and then the park where the saucer is. As they are walking, Klaatu asks who the greatest person in the world is, Bobby mentions Professor Barnhardt and so they go to pay him a visit. When they get there, they find Barnhardt isn’t home and Klaatu decides to work on the formula Barnhardt had been working on as way of a calling card before they are sent away by Barnhardt’s housekeeper. That night, a government agent appears at the lodging house and takes Klaatu to Barnhardt’s house, where they find Barnhardt working on his formula. After Barnhardt dismisses the agent, Klaatu reveals his identity to Barnhardt and reveals his mission on Earth. He tells Barnhardt that his planet has been observing Earth and knows that they have discovered a rudimentary atomic power and beginnings of study into rockets. As long as they contain their wars to their own planet, their won’t be a problem but if they decide to place their atomic power onto their rockets, then they will be considered a danger and the Earth will be eliminated. Barnhardt asks that Klaatu speak to some scientists that he will try to gather and Klaatu agrees to do so, as well as provide a harmless demonstration of power to prove his threat is real. The next night, as Helen and Tom are about to leave, Tom voices his suspicions about Klaatu, which Helen brushes off but causes her to ask Bobby not to spend too much time with him. That night, Klaatu sneaks off to the saucer, unaware that Bobby sees him and follows him and sees Klaatu signal the robot, Gort, to render the two guards unconscious, and then Klaatu enters the saucer. Bobby returns back to the house and when Helen and Tom return, Bobby tells them what he saw. Helen is skeptical but when Tom goes to see if Klaatu is in his room, he finds one of Klaatu’s diamonds and takes it, as his suspicions about Klaatu are growing. The next day, Klaatu goes to see Helen at her work, wanting to talk to her about what Bobby said. The two get into an elevator, just as the power goes out, and Klaatu says it will be out for the next 30 minutes. As Klaatu explains who he is to Helen, the whole world panics over the fact that the power is out everywhere, except for hospitals and planes in flight. Meanwhile, Tom had gone to a jeweler to get the diamond appraised and when he is told that it is like no diamond on Earth, he realizes that Carpenter is Klaatu and rushes back to his officer, telling his secretary to get the Pentagon on the phone for him. Helen goes to see Tom and when she realizes he is trying to contact the Pentagon to have them get Klaatu, she breaks up with him, then heads home to try and warn Klaatu, managing to leave with him before the army arrives. The army begins to close in on Klaatu and Helen and Klaatu, worrying about what Gort might do if something happens to him, teaches Helen the phrase “Klaatu Barada Nicto” and tells her to go to Gort and say that if anything happens. The military manages to box in the cab and Klaatu attempts to leave only to be shot and he tells Helen to get his message to Gort before he dies. At the park, Gort had been encased in a block of super strong plastic but he disintegrates it, then proceeds to do the same to the 2 guards. Helen approaches Gort, who turns his gaze on her and she manages to shout out the phrase before it attacks her, causing him to lower his visor and carry Helen into the saucer, then leave and head to the police station to retrieve Klaatu’s body. Gort is able to revive Klaatu but he admits to Helen that it is temporary and he has no idea how long it will last. Outside the saucer, Barnhardt is told that his meeting must be cancelled and he is in the process of telling his fellow scientists when the saucer opens and Klaatu and Gort emerge. Klaatu tells the assembled crowd that he belongs to an interplanetary organization that developed a race of super power robots to protect the peace, giving them absolute authority to deal with aggression. He tells them that the choice is simple, join them and live in peace, or continue on their present course and face obliteration. After giving a sad look goodbye to Helen, Klaatu and Gort enter the saucer and it takes off back into space.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) has been well received by the critics, currently holding a certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.” Some reference works state that George Reeves, who played Superman in Adventures Of Superman (1952), had a cameo as a glasses wearing reporter during one sequence but this was debunked by director Robert Wise and it is assumed that someone simply jumped to conclusions because the reporter was wearing glasses and roughly looked like Clark Kent. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $1.85 million domestically off of a $995,000 budget and would be considered one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. In 1995, the movie would be selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and a remake starring Keanu Reeves was released in 2008.

This is a fantastic movie on several different levels. The acting was really good, with Michael Rennie doing a fantastic job as Klaatu, while Patricia Neal (Helen), Billy Gray (Bobby), and Sam Jaffe’s (Barnhardt) performances helped accentuate his character. The story was great on a couple of levels. For one, you got a different story involving a flying saucer coming to Earth, as the occupant did not want to take over the planet, but simply came with a message to promote peace. You also had the Cold War paranoia creeping into the film with everyone’s suspicions about the alien’s “true intentions”. The drama in Klaatu trying to get a better understanding of humanity and also his search to find someone that would be willing to believe him really helped drive this movie, as the drama and tension kept building in the last half hour once Klaatu had caused the power to go out all over the world. The only real special effects were mainly centered around Gort and his disintegrating items but the limited special effects helped as this movie needed to focus more on the story and not effects. Definitely one of those must-see classic sci-fi movies that should be on everyone’s bucket list of movies to watch.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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April 14th, 2019 Movie – The Thing From Another World

the thing from another world

1982’s The Thing is one of my all time favorite sci-fi/horror movies, ranking right up there with the original Alien for the best such movie ever. However, as much as I loved the movie, it would be years before I learned that it was not the first such movie and was actually a remake…to a degree. After learning about this, I always wanted to watch the original movie but the only time I had a real chance, I only caught about 5 minutes of it. Still, I had always heard that the movie was an incredibly well made movie so I finally found a way to watch it today. So let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, The Thing From Another World.

The plot: Journalist Ned Scott arrives at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska and heads to the officer’s club, where he meets up with his friend; Lt. Eddie Dykes. Eddie introduces Scott to Capt. Pat Hendry and Ken “Mac” MacPherson andwhen Scott tell them he is there to try and find a story, Eddie tells him he should try writing about a research station up in the arctic, Polar Expedition Six, that is led by Dr. Arthur Carrington. Pat is summoned to see the base commander, General Fogarty, who tells him that Carrington had radioed about a strange aircraft that had crashed close to their base. Fogarty orders Pat to take a dog team up there to investigate the crash and allows Pat to take Scott with them. When the group arrives at the station, Scott is introduced to some of the scientist and crew while Pat goes to see Nikki Nicholson, Carrington’s secretary and whom he had a romantic interest in. After the two talk about what happened the last time they were together, and Pat asking her for a chance to start over, Nikki takes him to see Carrington. Carrington explains the situation to Pat and they soon leave to locate the crash site, eventually finding it almost 50 miles from the station. After landing, they find the ship has crashed down and been buried under some ice and after some initial observations, they realize that they found an alien flying saucer. As they work to clear the ice away from the ship so they can look inside, Pat and Scott argue over whether Scott would be allowed to publish anything he sees there. As the team attempts to free the ship from the ice, they inadvertently end up destroying it with their thermite explosive but discover that an alien being had attempted to leave the ship after the crash and had ended up being frozen in ice as well. The team manage to cut out the ice containing the creature and fly it back to the research station just as a storm moves in on them. Pat assumes command of the station and refuses to let Carrington and the other scientists study the creature until he gets further orders from Fogarty. Pat orders a watch set up on the creature but during the night, Barnes, the man on duty, covers the ice with an electric blanket so he doesn’t have to look at the creature, unaware that the blanket is plugged in and begins melting the ice. When the creature is freed, It attempts to attack Barnes but he manages to get away and alerts Pat and the others. When they head back to the room, they find the creature has escaped, killing two dogs in the process but losing an arm as well. Carrington and the scientists begin studying the arm and determine that the creature is some sort of alien plant life. Pat leads a search to find the creature and they find evidence that was in the station’s greenhouse but find no sign of it. As Pat and the soldiers move on, Carrington and three scientists, Vorhees, Stern, and Laurence, stay behind and find more evidence that the creature was there when they discover another dead dog with all of it’s blood drained. As Pat and the soldiers return to the station, a wounded Stern arrives and tells him that the creature had returned to the greenhouse and killed Vorhees and Laurence. Pat leads the men to try and kill the creature but instead are forced to barricade the creature inside the greenhouse. Pat then chastises Carrington for not reporting what he had discovered and allowing the two scientists to die, then orders him confined to his lab, quarters, and the mess hall. In the lab, Carrington tells Nikki and the other scientists that he had planted the seed pods they discovered in the arm and fed them some plasma from their supplies, causing them to rapidly grow. Later, Pat goes to see to find out what happened to the plasma that was supplied to the base, as he wanted to use it to help treat Stern, and Nikki lets him see Carrington’s notes that she took. Pat goes to confront Carrington about his actions and as they argue, they receive a communication from Fogarty, telling Pat to keep the creature alive and contained until he arrived. Some time later, as Pat and the other soldiers discuss what they can do to defend themselves against the creature should it try to attack them, they notice the Geiger counter lighting up and realize the creature is on the move. When it breaks into the room, they use kerosene and a flare to set it on fire and the creature runs back out into the snow while they take cover in the mess hall. After regrouping with everyone in the station, Pat decides to try and secure their position when Nikki notices that she can see their breath, indicating that the heat is off in the station. Realizing that the creature had sabotaged the furnaces in an effort to subdue them, Pat orders everyone to the generator room, which is the only place they can still get some heat, while also arranging to make a trap in the corridor leading to it to try and kill the creature. As they work on setting their trap, Carrington argues with Pat about his plan to kill the creature and when the creature finally appears, Carrington turns off the generator. Carrington is subdued and Pat orders the generator turned back on and Carrington rushes past Pat and the others and attempts to plead with the creature. The creature back hands Carrington and continues advancing on the others and Pat throws the switch and manages to electrocute the creature, reducing it to ashes. Later, as they work on regaining contact with Anchorage, Nikki begins giving Pat a hard time about settling down. When they make radio contact, Scott gets on the radio and tells the reporters in Anchorage a brief summary of what happened, warning them to “Keep watching the skies.”

The Thing From Another World was well received by the critics when it was released and currently holds an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “As flying saucer movies go, The Thing From Another World is better than most, thanks to well-drawn characters and concise, tense plotting.” There is debate as to who was actually the director of the film; Christian Nyby or Howard Hawks, with several actors have stated their own opinions and reasons as to who was the actual director. During an interview, Nyby said that he was the director, though did admit that he did consult Hawks often on how to do particular scenes. The movie would end up making $1.95 million at the domestic box office, making it the highest grossing science fiction film of 1951 and is considered one of the greatest films of the genre to come from the 50’s.

I can see what all the fuss is about this movie because it really was a great movie to watch. The acting was pretty good, with Kenneth Tobey (Pat), Margaret Sheridan (Nikki), and Robert Cornthwaite (Carrington) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story was pretty good and I can see the similarities between this movie and John Carpenter’s interpretation. The only thing I feel worked against it is that they had too many characters, which didn’t allow them to do as good of a job developing them than they could have if there were less people. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects outside of the creature design, which was good from a story telling aspect because it led to them relying more on tension to carry the movie, which was done exceedingly well. Definitely a movie that is worth watching if you ever get the opportunity.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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April 7th, 2019 Movie – Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

invasion of the body snatchers (1956)

As many of you reading this blog know, I do love some classic sci-fi movies. However, even though I have seen many of these movies, there are plenty of them that I don’t own. So this month I decided to watch and review some of those movies that have yet to make it into my collection and to start things off, let’s take a look at a movie that is on just about every must see list of sci-fi movies. Now a few years ago, I had reviewed  The Invasion, which is the most recent remake of today’s movie that I picked up during the Blockbuster days, but though I have seen every version of this movie, I never got around to picking any of them up. One of these days, I am going to rectify that but for now, let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956).

The plot: Late one night, psychiatrist is called to the emergency room of a California hospital, where Dr. Bassett hopes he would look at a man that was just brought in. As they approach the room, the man tries to break free from the police officers restraining him, saying he has to warn them before it is too late. As Dr. Hill calms the man down and says he will listen to him, the man says his name is Dr. Miles Bennell and begins explaining what led him there. Last Thursday, Miles had returned from a two week medical conference to his home in Santa Mira and was met by his secretary/nurse Sally Withers. As they make their way back to his office, Sally tells him that several towns folk had been by the office wanting to see him, including his ex Becky Driscoll, but wouldn’t say what was the reason. Later in his office, Becky stops by as Miles is about to leave for lunch and tells him her cousin Wilma thinks that her Uncle Ira is no longer her uncle, though Becky had been by to see him and says he looks the same as always. Later, after dealing with a terrified young boy who says his mother is not his mother, Miles decides to stop by and see Wilma. As he talks with her, Wilma says that the person she claims is not her Uncle Ira sounds like Ira and has all of his memories, but lacks any emotion. Miles thinks she might just be imagining things and suggests she talk to Dr. Dan Kauffman, his psychiatrist friend, and she agrees but says it won’t help as she knows there is nothing wrong with her. As Miles and Becky go to dinner, they run into Kauffman, who tells them that several other people have claimed similar ideas as Wilma and the boy over the past few weeks and he chalks it up to some sort of mass hysteria. Miles and Becky head into the restaurant but before they can order, Miles receives a call that his friend Jack Belicec needs him to come to his place right away so the two head off. When they get there, they find Jack and his wife Teddy waiting for them and Miles asks him what is the problem. Jack takes him inside and asks that he take a look at a body on his table, one that looks like an unfinished copy of Jack. Miles wonders if this has something to do with the panic that seems to have infected some of the townsfolk recently and asks Jack and Teddy to keep an eye on the body during the night and let him know if anything changes, then he leaves to take Becky home, where they see her father coming out of the basement. Back at the Belicec home, Teddy is staring at the body and sees that it has become an exact duplicate of Jack, even down to a recent cut on his hand, and she screams out for Jack and they quickly leave the house. The two head over to Miles’ house and tell him what happened and Miles calls Kauffman and asks him to come over. When Jack asks about Becky, Miles gets worried about her and heads for her house. He starts to ring the bell but changes his mind and sneaks down into the basement, where he finds a copy of Becky in a container. Miles quickly heads upstairs and grabs the sleeping Becky, taking her out of the house and back to his place. After telling Kauffman and the others what happened, Kauffman says that he wants to see one of these bodies but when they get to Jack’s place, they find the body is gone, as is the one in Becky’s basement. Kauffman doesn’t believe them about the bodies, saying that they are suffering the same hysteria that the others are suffering from. The next day, Miles sees that Wilma and the boy both seem to have changed their minds over what was bothering them, but that makes him more concerned. That night, as Miles, Becky, Jack, and Teddy are cooking at Miles house, Miles discovers 4 large seed pods in his greenhouse. As the 4 people watch the pods burst open, they realize that this is how the bodies must have appeared and Teddy says they don’t take full shape until the victims fall asleep. Leaving Jack and Teddy to watch the pods, Miles and Becky go inside to try and call for help only to be told that they can’t get a connection to any of the outside lines. Miles tells Jack and Teddy to get in the car and leave while he stays by the phone, in the hopes that nobody will realize they have left. When Miles is still unable to get an outside line, he decides to go and find a place to stay safe. Miles decides to try and head to Sally’s place but when they stop at the gas station to phone her, Miles notices the attendant closing his trunk and quickly leaves. After getting out of sight, he stops the car and opens the trunk to find two pods inside, and he quickly takes them out and lights them on fire before speeding off. Miles heads to Sallys’ but when he sees all of the cars there, he tells Becky to get behind the wheel and he goes in alone to see if it is safe. Looking in the window, he sees Sally, Becky’s father, and some others discussing placing a pod in the room of Sally’s baby and when Miles is noticed, they try to bring him inside but he escapes and jumps in the car with Becky as she drives off. The police are ordered to detain Miles and Becky, with roadblocks put in place to keep them from leaving town, so Miles and Becky manage to hide in his office, using caffeine pills to stay awake. The next morning, they see the bus arriving and people that get off are quickly picked up by the police and taken away. Then, three produce trucks filled with pods arrive at the town square, and Miles realizes that they are being taken to the neighboring towns so the invasion can spread. Not wanting to wait for Jack and Teddy to show up with help, Miles wants to leave when he hears Jack outside the door. Miles quickly opens the door to grab Jack and tells him the whole town is taken over when Kauffman steps in and says that Miles and Becky still haven’t been replaced. Miles and Becky try pleading to Jack and the others to let them leave but they are locked in a room until the fall asleep, while two pods are placed in the next room and looked after. Miles manages to cause a distraction and then use a sedative on Jack and Kauffman, while Becky sedates the police officer with them, then they quickly flee. Pretending to show no emotions, they attempt to make their way out of town but when a dog is almost hit by a truck, Becky screams out, bringing attention to themselves. As the townsfolk chase after them, Miles and Becky manage to make it out of the city and into the desert until Becky collapses from exhaustion and Miles carries her into a cave. The two manage to hide from their pursuers and after they are gone, Miles and Becky try to figure out what their next move should be. When they hear some singing coming from outside, Miles goes to investigate only to discover the singing was from the radio of another truck being loaded with pods nearby. Returning to the cave, he goes to find Becky and is worried that she had fallen asleep and when he kisses her, he realizes that she had been replaced. Miles runs from Becky and manages to reach the highway, where he is screaming at the passing cars for help and when he sees a transport truck filled with pods that is bound for Los Angeles and San Francisco, he starts yelling out “You’re next!” before the police arrive. Back in the present, Dr. Hill and Dr. Bassett find Miles’ story hard to believe but when a truck driver is brought into the emergency room, who was in an accident and buried under giant seed pods that he was carrying, Dr. Hill and Bassett realize that Miles was right and Hill quickly orders a roadblock preventing any traffic in or out of Santa Mira, then contacts the FBI.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) was initially ignored by the critics, but has since become recognized as one of the most influential movies of it’s time, holding a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.” Despite Kevin McCarthy and author Jack Finney’s denials that the story is a statement against McCarthyism and Communism, director Don Siegel says the political references were almost inescapable, though he tried not to emphasize them. The original movie had a bleaker ending, that of Miles running on the highway screaming “You’re next!” but the studio wanted a happier ending to the movie, resulting in the additional scenes added to the opening of Miles telling his story to the doctors, and the end where the doctors realize he was telling the truth and calling the FBI. The move was a box office success, earning $3 million off of a $416,911 budget and would spawn several remakes while becoming highly ranked among the most influential and must see movies of all time. In 1994, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry while the term “Pod People/Person” would become an everyday slang term for an emotionless person.

Every bit of praise that is directed towards this movie is honestly well deserved because this is a fantastic movie. The acting was pretty good, with Kevin McCarthy (Miles) and Dana Wynter (Becky) doing great jobs displaying the multitude of emotions that the stress of their situation dictated while being surrounded by the emotionless townspeople trying to replace them. The story was great, bringing a different take to the alien invasion theme that was popular at the time. While they aren’t overly blatant, the political Cold War comparisons are kind of hard to miss in this as well. The special effects were minimal in this movie, mainly consisting of a few scenes of the pods opening up to reveal the duplicates inside, as the movie focused more on a large amount of suspense building up to the climax to carry it through to amazing effect. Every bit the classic movie it is dubbed and a movie that is worth seeing.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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