Episode 3: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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Sean and Cody’s tickets back from San Francisco somehow don’t get punched and they’re forced to settle down for another tour of the city by the bay as they discuss and review the 1978 science fiction horror thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the first (and probably best) remake of the classic 1956 film. Directed by Philip Kaufman, the film features Donald Sutherland as a dauntless health inspector, Brooke Adams as his beautiful but badly-matched moll, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright as husband and wife mud bath entrepreneurs, and Leonard Nimoy as a self-absorbed pop psychologist and possible alien pod person. After a bunch of strange flowers appear all over the city, San Franciscans start freaking out thinking their neighbors have been replaced with clones. Depending on your point of view, the film could be read as an allegory for Communism, climate change, invasive species, lead pollution, or possibly all of them.

How would the human race react to an invasion by alien plants? How do they reproduce? What does it mean that both L.A. and San Francisco have been destroyed so often by environmental disasters in fiction? How do you keep your house clean if you run a mud bath parlor as your business? Why did San Francisco become such a gay mecca? What does rat poo really look like? Can any real human being less wealthy than Mark Zuckerberg actually afford to live in San Francisco? What’s that weird thing on Nimoy’s hand? These questions and many more will be answered in this pod-tastic episode of Green Screen.

Trailer for the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Here’s the trailer for the 1956 original.

Additional materials:

2018 Hollywood Reporter interview with director Philip Kaufman (quoted in the episode): https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/invasion-body-snatchers-ending-still-haunts-director-1170220

Free full text version of Ward Moore’s 1947 novel Greener Than You Think (referenced in the episode):

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24246

Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (Amazon link): https://www.amazon.com/Ecology-Fear-Angeles-Imagination-Disaster/dp/0805051066/

Listings for studio apartments in San Francisco (Apartments.com), check the prices for yourself: https://www.apartments.com/san-francisco-ca/studios/

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) on Letterboxd

Next Movie Up: How Green Was My Valley (1941)

The screenshot from Invasion of the Body Snatchers is presumably copyright (C) 1978 by United Artists. Its inclusion here is believed to be permissible under fair use. We are not the uploader of any YouTube clips embedded here.

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