Movie Reviews: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)

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Starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, & Leonard Lemoy.

The plot for this 1978 remake is very similar to the 1956 version. Sutherland plays Matt Bennell, a man who works for the Department of Health. When his co-worker friend (and secret love interest) Elizabeth complains that her husband is acting strange, the two of them start to notice that many other people are complaining of the same problem, that their loved ones are not really their loved ones.

I think where this remake shines most is in the last half where they try to flee the terror. It really builds on what the 56′ version started. It’s tense as hell, more violent, and more sophisticated. Sutherland makes a great horror lead. I wish he had done more films like this.

While plot remains mostly the same, this remake has a very different vibe from the 56′. It’s a perfect remake in that it takes the story and makes it it’s own without trying to be the original. It also has a bigger budget. Entire streets are lined with “them” chasing our heroes. Police, businessmen, women, children etc all transformed and on the prowl.

Lastly I think that the ending of this film is one of cinemas great endings. It’s truly memorable and shocking. Its even been parodied on “Family Guy.” What does that tell you? All in all, this stands alone, and on par with the original. This is what all remakes should aspire to be.

4.0 out of 4.0 stars.

Film Reviews: “M.A.R.K.-13”, aka “Hardware” (1990)

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Starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, Iggy Pop, and Lemmy Kilmister.

“Hardware” takes place in a radiation filled, futuristic post-war wasteland. Moses Baxter wanders around in search of treasure he can sell. It’s Christmas eve, and for his girlfriend he brings back the head of an old robot that she can use in her sculptures. The head comes alive andĀ rebuilds it’s body using parts from her apartment. The android has one purpose in mind… To kill.

What a strange movie! The set design, and style of “Hardware” is fantastic, but with little substance or story to accompany. If I was to compare this to anything, it would be “Fallout 3” meets “The 5th Element” meets “The Terminator.” It’s a crazy artsy industrial rock n roll horror sci-fi slasher. I enjoyed it for what it was. Great to look at, but wish there was more story.

2.5 out of 4.0 stars.