Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a reference to a 1956 science fiction horror film, and its 1978 remake.

The film’s storyline concerns an extraterrestrial invasion after alien plant spores fall from space and grow into large seed pods each reproducing a duplicate replacement copy of a human. As each pod reaches full development, it assimilates the physical characteristics, memories, and personalities of each sleeping person placed near it; these duplicates, however, are devoid of all human emotion. Little by little, a local doctor uncovers this “quiet” invasion and attempts to stop it.

Episode Reference

When Ben confronts Director Vance (106.18)  about the missing passengers and tells him everything he knows (even accusing Vance of stealing Kelly’s body), Vance responds, “You hear yourself? This isn’t ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.'”

Significance

Visions of paranoia disguised in the veneer of science fiction abound in the 1956 and 1978 versions of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. But while the 1956 film is an allegoric warning of the dangers of Communism, its 1978 remake focuses on conspiracy theory paranoia in the post-Watergate era.1

Should we take Director Vance at his word? Or could Manifest be focusing on some type of paranoia disguised in the veneer of science fiction or religion?  If not aliens or angels, then what about a multinational billionaire company conducting collective consciousness experiments?

Just as alien plant sports fell from the air in the movie, 828ers (angels? demons?) have fallen from the sky and reentered their families and society. But something is not right. As the 828ers continue to develop their newfound special sense (i.e. the callings), how effective will they be in influencing their physical surroundings? How are these callings connected with their memories and experiences? What will happen to their emotions and personalities? What about Cal? How has he been affected? Is their a “quiet” invasion of some kind going on?

Watch 1978 Trailer
Endnotes:
  1. Paranoia Strikes Deep: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Cracked Rear Viewer)
Categories: Culture & Society
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Wikipedia)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Film1956-InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers-OriginalPoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDon Siegel
Produced byWalter Wanger
Screenplay byDaniel Mainwaring
Based onThe Body Snatchers
by Jack Finney
Starring
Music byCarmen Dragon
CinematographyEllsworth Fredericks
Edited byRobert S. Eisen
Production
company
Walter Wanger Productions
Distributed byAllied Artists Pictures
Release date
  • February 5, 1956 (1956-02-05) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$416,911
Box office$3 million

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American science fiction horror film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, that stars Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The black-and-white film, shot in Superscope, was partially done in a film noir style. Daniel Mainwaring adapted the screenplay from Jack Finney's 1954 science fiction novel The Body Snatchers. The film was released by Allied Artists Pictures as a double feature with the British science fiction film The Atomic Man (and in some areas with Indestructible Man.)

The film's storyline concerns an extraterrestrial invasion that begins in the fictional California town of Santa Mira. Alien plant spores have fallen from space and grown into large seed pods, each one capable of reproducing a duplicate replacement copy of each human. As each pod reaches full development, it assimilates the physical characteristics, memories, and personalities of each sleeping person placed near it; these duplicates, however, are devoid of all human emotion. Little by little, a local doctor uncovers this "quiet" invasion and attempts to stop it.

The slang expression "pod people" that arose in late 20th century American culture references the emotionless duplicates seen in the film.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was selected in 1994 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

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