Paramount Pictures’ Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the original adaptation of Jack Finney’s alarming science-fiction tale released in 1956, will be back on the big screen from 31st October.
Immensely influential on its genre, the film will screen as part of the BFI’s ‘Days of Fear and Wonder’ sci-fi season, opening at BFI Southbank and selected cinemas nationwide. 60 years after the story’s serialisation, Don Siegel’s acclaimed adaptation maintains its power to unnerve.
In the sleepy Californian town of Santa Mira, strange happenings are afoot. Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) finds residents experiencing an epidemic of mass hysteria, imagining their relatives replaced by detached, emotionless copies. As Bennell gets closer to the horrifying truth – that the substitutions are part of an extraterrestrial invasion scheme and the copies are emerging from giant seed pods – the ‘pod people’ begin to close in.
Spawning several remakes, the original remains the most recognised and was selected for historical preservation by the Library of Congress in 1994. Its themes of alienation and desensitisation of society have echoed across the decades as loudly as Kevin McCarthy’s shout of “You’re next!”.
• Paramount Pictures’ Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is re-released from 31 October, opening at BFI Southbank and cinemas across the UK. Day of Fear and Wonder Info: www.bfi.org.uk/sci-fi-days-fear-wonder