Plot: Marti (Gabrielle Anwar) has traveled to a military base with her father Steve (Terry Kinney), an inspector for the EPA. He has been assigned to the base to take samples and assess any environmental impact, but he isn’t given a warm welcome by the base staff and personnel. Marti can relate, as she feels like an outsider herself, as she hasn’t connected well with her stepmother, Carol (Meg Tilly). Since the death of her mother, Marti hasn’t been able to feel that familial bond like before. On the base, Steve learns that numerous staff members have experienced paranoia and delusions of late, which has the medical staff curious about toxic chemical exposure. Some feel like their friends and family just aren’t the same, as if some radical change has occurred. While this all seems rather odd, it is true that some strange vibes can be felt at the camp and some shifts are more than obvious. But is this all just rampant paranoia, or is there a darker force at work within the base?
Entertainment Value: This movie has had a rough road, between being rushed in and out of theaters and given lackluster home video releases. All that has changed now, so I think Body Snatchers might be able to wrangle in a decent fanbase and I do think it deserves that. The movie has an effective atmosphere of dread and creepy vibes, not to mention some great visual moments. I do think the wind up is a little slow, but once we arrive at the base, things fall into place quickly. The narrative is presented in simple doses and the atmosphere/visuals are allowed to carry the story, which I think was a wise choice here. The intense paranoia the body snatcher movies have been built on is ever present here, especially given Marti’s perspective, as she already feels like an outsider in her own family unit. Abel Ferrara’s direction is on point, while the cast is solid as well. Terry Kinney, Gabrielle Anwar, Forest Whitaker, and R. Lee Ermey all turn in passable performances. But of course, the real stars are the paranoia and pod people, so the fun special effects add a lot. I wouldn’t call Body Snatchers a landmark horror movie by any means, but it is a well made, fun to watch genre picture. Well worth a look for fans of pod people, Ferrara, or practical effects.
There’s a scene with breasts and bare ass toward the finale, but the real star of the naked flesh is a nude pod person showing it all off. Breasts and a full, luxurious bush are given a long camera shot, so bless those body snatcher boobies. While not as goopy as some might hope, the movie does have some fun effects and they’re practical, thank the maker. The spaghetti strand tentacles are a lot of fun, slowly grasping their victims and sucking the life essence from the hosts. I also love the scene where a pod person is killed, which leads to a well made deflating of the corpse. So not a lot of blood, but some nice effects that genre fans will appreciate. The dialogue is mostly well written, but not all that memorable outside of one famous phrase. The “there’s no one like you left” speech is quite iconic and deserves a couple points alone. This is a serious movie, so no camp or outlandish exchanges. A few little moments of weirdness pop up, such as the spaghetti tentacles and a toddler thrown from a helicopter, but overall this one sticks close to the horror conventions.
Overall Insanity: 1/10