CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.
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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie Last Weekend - INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)
Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956). This was suggested by Kevin Coon, Twin Falls, Idaho. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe! Let's all Synch-Up Saturday nights at 7:30PM, or catch this week's movie sometime over the weekend!
I saw this one first of Channel 9 (WOR) out of New York City, when I was living in State College, PA back in he early 1970s. Even though I was about twelve and there were no giant, hideous monsters, this movie still held me in a vice-like grip! What a powerful, and scary movie as people are slowly replaced by parasitic aliens that have no face (except for our own). Wow!
I found the lead character, Miles (played by Kevin McCarthy) to be so cool and likable on screen. Never did I image that thirty some years later he'd be in my cell phone and I would host him at two Monster Bash conferences. Ironically, he passed away this weekend, as I write. This weekend I had the movie playing on a monitor behind me as I worked at a Drive-In show. He played the "grumpy old man" in real life (with a wink and tounge planted firmly in his cheek).
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) is a landmark film. It came to us in the heat of Communist threat and the fear of atomic world war. It wove a spell upon America. Even after that scary period it still worked and works. A perfect film, that operates on layered levels.
I'll never forget, vicariously feeling frightened, not wanting to be found as McCarthy and Wynter hid below the plankings in the cave. The tension was profound!
Three cheers for INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, Kevin McCarthy, and the entire crew for that film. They made magic back in 1956.
-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA
Kevin McCarthy and lovely Dana Wynter headline one of the greatest films of modern American history.
Wow, what a great movie. It still packs a terrific punch all these years
Hey Bash Synchers!
I will never forget the first time I saw it. I was like 10, 11 years old. It was on a double bill at a little art house theater in Eugene Oregon with Night of the Living Dead. I went with a friend to a matinee, mainly to see Night, as I had seen the trailers on Creature Features (with Bob Wilkins) but was too afraid to watch it at night. I knew nothing about Invasion at all, so it was totally fresh. Well, while we were watching Night, there was this girl sitting behind us with a turtle neck sweater, and during the whole movie she had the collar over her face and she was moaning and groaning in absolute terror. We were so tickled by her reaction that we were paying more attention to her than the movie. When Night was finished, we conspired to scare her about Invasion, and made up all lots of horrible things about it. Needless to say, she left the theater, so we sat back and watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the first time, and we were scared to death.
So, this is my, I don't know, maybe tenth time to see it?
Next up, Tomb of Ligeia.
Lots of familiar faces in this one – King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Virginia Christine, Dabbs Greer, Whit Bissell, Richard Deacon.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS still holds up for me. The film is a wonderful cautionary tale about the loss of humanity in the modern world. But, unlike most modern films, the message doesn’t hammer you over the head. The thrills come first. Four stars in my book.
“But when they’re finished, what happens to our bodies?”
Realizing that we are choosing these movies months in advance makes it even more eerie that we picked IOTBS to coincide with Kevin McCarthy's death.. such a great talent.
While there are many, many fun and entertaining "B" Science Fiction films of the 1950's, a few have become true classics by rising to true "A" levels, Howard Hawks "The Thing" , "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" form a triumvirate of those that are so reflective of their cold war era roots but remain relevant. The script is so good it works as either parable or parody of the era. The great lead by Kevin McCarthy is such an everyman we pull with and for him through the creepy paranoia and the claustrophobia and fight against loss of identity. beautifully shot and paced, true Sci-Fi Noir. Some have complained of the ending but I think he deserved some hope and I'm for anything that includes Whit Bissell and Richard Deacon. It's still better than any of the 2 (or is it 3) remake attempts and really, it's also the inspiration for the Roy Thinness series "The Invaders." Always hold up to repeat viewing and has scared three generations of my family. I'll never forget Grandmother Darden almost jumping off the sofa.
-Michael Joyner, Mechanicsville, VA
Hi Ron And All Fellow Fanmates, While I am writing this heartfelt review of "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" (1956) -MY 2ND FAVORITE SCIENCE-FICTION FILM OF ALL-TIME (after 1951`s "The Day The Earth Stood Still" I can`t help but think of the recent passing of our dear friend- the wonderful and truly talented Kevin McCarthy, who was truly blessed to be able to grace ALL our lives with his immense and intense body of wonderful filmwork, stage performances and TV credits - beginning FIRST and FOREMOST with his GREAT PERFORMANCE in this classic, truly timeless tale of an alien and evil invasion from outer space. I remember first watching this gripping motion picture on Superhost`s "Mad Theatre" back in 1975 when I was a young whipper-snapper of only 8 years old! TIMELESS MEMORIES TO CHERISH FOREVER!
-I remember being absolutely MESMERIZED by the story and performances of this one- as well as the intense music(al) cues used by Carmen Dragon in this perfect production of fright and film-noir. Then, there is the fantastic direction by the GREAT Don ("Dirty Harry") Siegel to consider, as well! (Consider the tight close-up shots of Kevin`s face when he discovers the hatching seed-pods in the greenhouse OR when he kisses his beloved girlfriend BECKY in the abandoned mine-shaft after they have fallen down together in the mud- ONLY to realize to his ULTIMATE horror that SHE has become ONE of THEM- BENT to HIS and OUR ultimate destruction! (A TRULY CHILLING SCENE AND ONE WHICH SCARED MY OUT OF MY WITS AS A KID!)
Of course, the supporting performances add SO MUCH to this film as well!- A virtual who`s who of science-fiction and horror actors help to make this film what is is! - Consider that King ("The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms") Donovan, Carolyn ("The House Of Wax" "The Addams Family") Jones, Larry ("The Twilight Zone" episode-"The Shelter") Gates, Virginia ("The Mummy`s Curse" "House Of Horrors" "Billy The Kid Vs. Dracula") Christine, Sam ("The Wild Bunch") Peckinpah, Richard ("Piranha") Deacon and Whit ("The Creature From The Black Lagoon" "I Was A Teenage Werewolf") Bissell ALL appear in this film! WOW!
-Whoever was the talent scout for this film SHOULD have been given an OSCAR for their efforts!---That being said- there is no doubt that this is Kevin McCarthy`s TOUR-DE-FORCE performance of his film career! We empathize with him on EVERY level- At first we are mystified at his patients odd behavior in his small doctor`s office in Santa Mira AND then WE become slowly CONCERNED and then FRIGHTENED and then, finally, TERRIFIED at the ultimate ramifications of what is really going on in this small, bucolic "PEACEFUL" small town in California- (thematically, his town could be OUR town, when you consider the BASIC MESSAGES inherent in this story!) The messages of what it means to be really HUMAN and how we can sometimes become cold, insensitive and even cruel to one another are at the TRUE CORE of this film`s sincere message to all film fans and ultimately, to all mankind.
Notable accolades should also go to Dana ("Sink The Bismarck!) Wynter for her performance as Becky Driscoll!- as wonderful as Kevin is in this film- it is Dana`s role as his former girlfriend and soon to be lover THAT really makes you care about the characters in this film (from a relationship angle) and adds an extra intense element to the ominous, brooding and unsettling atmosphere of this story........
Lastly,.I remember watching this film also with my late, beloved father back in the early 1980`s and after the film was through, I looked up at him and he appeared to be quite shaken, as I was!- when I asked him what was wrong- He replied to me- you know what`s scary about this movie, son?- WE/YOU CAN`T WIN!- WE ALL HAVE TO SLEEP SOMETIME!! (THINK ABOUT THOSE RAMIFICATIONS, PEOPLE!!!!).....
My rating: 5/5 (Did You Honestly Think Anything Else?!)
----Dan Brenneis-Monster Bash Staff Member And LifeTime FilmFan Extroadinairre.
As a child most "monster movies" put some kind of scare into me. Whether it was a feeling of tension, as if I knew something was about to happen but just didn't know what or when, or if it was a feeling of horror at the sight of the monster, my sense of security was always in jeopardy. House on Haunted Hill is a prime example of a movie that instilled both of those moods. The feeling of dread invoked by the bleak setting and ominous piano music would put me on the edge of my seat. The infamous moment when the old hag is suddenly there would drive me over the edge and before I knew it I was out the door and into the safe sunlit world. It took me years to finally make it through that movie.
However with most of these movies, when they were over, my return to a secure safe place would be quick. The feeling of horror would soon melt away and life would once again be normal. Well, as normal as it could be in my house back in the early 70's. I had four older sisters.....so.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers was different though. For hours after hours, possibly days after days, I could not shake the unease that it left me with. What I realized years later was that this was a movie that I did not watch for the monster, or the fight. This was a movie that was story driven. In fact, this may have been the first movie I ever watched that was totally story driven. There was no cool rubber suited ,or even better, animated monster. There were no wild fights or battles. There were no eye popping special effects, and it still held my attention from beginning to end. Was it possible that little Mikey Adams was growing up? Yes, I guess I can safely say that this may have been my first serious Sci Fi movie.
Here was a movie that robbed me of my safe secure world. Even mom and dad couldn't protect me this time. I won't discuss all the allusions. As a child I had no idea of the true life theme involved so it didn't matter. But, none the less, the theme is there of the silent enemy who looks like us, and to an adult, that's true life horror. Invasion of the Body Snatchers will never lose it's effect on those that watch it. It is not dated like so many other movies from that time, and because of that it continues to be remade through the years. Remake it as often as they must, but the original will always remain the best version.
Post Script um
I'm sure we all gave a gasp when we heard the sad news of Kevin's passing. How ironic and wonderful that we could honor him in this way. Some people say there are no coincidences. Well done Kevin Coon and my fellow Bash Synchers. This was our 21 Gun Salute. Rest In Peace Mr. McCarthy...you're safe now.
You can get the DVD of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) in the Complete DVD Catalog in-line at Creepy Classics.