A strong cast and an avant-garde director make “Body Snatchers” — a remake of a remake — different than most of the regurgitated swill.
Alien clones infiltrate human life on a military base in the southern United States. Let’s dig into 1993’s BODY SNATCHERS, directed by Abel Ferrara!
As I See It
I’ve never been able quite to figure out Abel Ferrara. His films fill a broad spectrum, and it’s always easy for us to be able to box up artists and go, “This is what they do.”
I have no clue what Ferrara does beyond making art. He gets the eye of a lot of high-integrity actors, and that counts for a lot, so I stay intrigued. All that said, I was very interested to dive into a genre film by him. Especially since the two movies I am very fond of that he has done are specific genre stories as well: the underappreciated crime thriller King of New York and the corrupt cop story Bad Lieutenant.
So, I was excited to see how Ferrara did with a remake of a remake.
The ’78 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starring Jeff Goldblum and Donald Sutherland, is a favorite and has created long-lasting memes, especially of Sutherland.
With story credits going to schlock master Larry Cohen and Lovecraft expert Stuart Gordon, there was hardly any room for this not to be at the least an average film. It may be the weakest of the iterations, but it is shot well, cast well, and executed well.
Billy Wirth (Tim) played the raven-haired vampire in David’s brood in the seminal teen vampire film of the eighties, The Lost Boys.
Gabrielle Anwar (Marti) first popped on the radar alongside Richard Grieco in the too-cool-for-school spy comedy thriller If Looks Could Kill. She then became a real young talent to watch, starring alongside Al Pacino in Scent of A Woman.
Meg Tilly (Carol) was in Psycho II, The Big Chill, and the new Syfy Chucky series. She is the sister of Bride of Chucky star Jennifer Tilly.
R. Lee Emery (Gen. Platt) made a hell of a career out of being typecast. He’s responsible for some of the most quotable lines from a military film ever in Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam epic Full Metal Jacket.
Christine Elise (Jenn) was also in the new Chucky series as well as Child’s Play and Cult of Chucky as Kyle.
Forest Whitaker (Dr. Collins) needs little to no introduction. He’s starred in everything from Star Wars (Saw Gerrera) to the MCU (Black Panther) and tons of hit, cult, and award-winning movies in between.
Of Gratuitous Nature
A brief nude scene with Meg Tilly. Gabrielle Anwar also has a bath scene, though no nudity, and they actually utilize it for a horror scene. Later on in the film, Anwar has a nude scene, writhing on a hospital bed.
Gabrielle Anwar is a fresh-faced twenty-three and had just made a big splash with Scent of A Woman, which was shot after this film. She has the looks of a model and a strong emotive talent.
Ripe for a Remake
A remake of a remake of a remake?
No one has tried the sequel yet with this unlikely franchise.
Where to Watch
The Warner Archive Collection, which is usually produced on demand, released a Blu-Ray in 2016. You can rent Body Snatchers on Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon, Red Box, and YouTube.