Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of the quintessential American movies. Now, I know that is saying a lot. But, what other film captures Post-War paranoia so well. Name any other picture that manages to blend Science-Fiction into our daily lives. Any possible answer you might have is a derivative of this movie. Sometimes, that’s the benefit of getting out of the gate first. Other times, it’s a curse. So, what did Siegel get right that Ferrara and WB couldn’t later replicate?
Kevin McCarthy is an everyman who could blend into a crowd in any metro area. By making him the lead, Siegel calls attention to his plainness. Why would an average Joe even put up with a story about alien pods replacing people? Hell, are we supposed to expect that peas from outer space are going to eliminate humanity? That’s the way that these kind of events happen. A story so sinister slips through the cracks of rational thought.
Before too long, an odd amount of people discover that bad things are afoot. Not everyone learns of a threat at the same time. However, the villains that wait underfoot continue to grow and grow as you waste time educating people. Either you succeed or become a Cassandra for a new age. The Olive Signature Edition releases continue to impress. While I wish that Olive could afford these same special features for all releases, I appreciate these Criterion level deep dives into classic works. Check out the special features below.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS SPECIAL FEATURES
- Audio Commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith
- Audio Commentary by actors Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, and filmmaker Joe Dante
- “The Stranger in Your Lover’s Eyes” – A two-part visual essay with actor and son of director Don Siegel, Kristoffer Tabori, reading from his father’s book A Siegel Film
- “The Fear is Real” – Filmmakers Larry Cohen and Joe Dante on the film’s cultural significance
- “I No Longer Belong: The Rise and Fall of Walter Wanger” – Film scholar and author Matthew Bernstein discusses the life and career of the film’s producer
- “Sleep No More: Invasion of the Body Snatchers Revisited” – Never-before-seen appreciation of the film featuring actors Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, along with comments from film directors and fans, John Landis, Mick Garris, and Stuart Gordon
- “The Fear and the Fiction: The Body Snatchers Phenomenon” – Never-before-seen interviews with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, along with film directors John Landis, Mick Garris and Stuart Gordon, discussing the making of the film, its place in history, and its meaning
- 1985 archival interview with Kevin McCarthy hosted by Tom Hatten
- “Return to Santa Mira” – An exploration of the film’s locations
- “What’s In a Name?” – On the film’s title
- Gallery of rare documents detailing aspects of the film’s production including the never-produced opening narration to have been read by Orson Welles
- Essay by author and film programmer Kier-La Janisse
- Original theatrical trailer