Newspaper article The Florida Times Union


Newspaper article The Florida Times Union


Article excerpt




A while back, I wrote rather optimistically about how it hadn't really been that hot and humid this summer because my glasses hadn't been fogging up when I leave air-conditioning for the sultry outdoors.

I take that back.



Jack Finney had a fine imagination, but it's unlikely he would have dreamed that his 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers, would inspire four movies, including one in that far-off summer of 2007. The Invasion, based on Finney's story of an invading alien force of pods that takes over the sleeping bodies of humans, comes out Friday with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (but strangely enough, without the pods).

No word yet on how good it will be, although it looks as if it's been a troubled production. Anyway, it's going to have to be awfully good to live up to its predecessors. Here's a look at the Body Snatchers that came before.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956): Brilliant and scary black-and-white terror set in small-town Marin County, Calif. Even 51 years later, it still works - as seen by a crowd at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville last weekend. Often perceived as a metaphor for McCarthyism and Cold War paranoia, rightly.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978): Shaggy-haired Donald Sutherland notices that the San Franciscans around him are acting even odder than normal. Often perceived as an indictment of New Age psychobabble, but I watched it again recently, and that didn't really come through. Still a good thriller, though, and Leonard Nimoy as the chief pod person seems thoroughly appropriate.

Body Snatchers (1994): Pods begin to take over an Army base in Alabama. The lesser-known third version, by Abel Ferrara, isn't as ambitious, but it's definitely worth checking out. Includes one of the great Body Snatcher scenes, in which a preschooler's sunny fingerpainting picture is nothing like all the other students' nightmarish, identical pictures. …

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