Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not 100: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Today's 'Not 100' comes to us from 1978 version of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It will include pictures that I find terrifying and I can promise that once I post this page, I'll not be revisiting it.

It's from the last five to ten second of the movie, so probably don't click if you want to have that little bit of fun kept unspoiled for your pleasure.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Sutherland Screams!

I'm not a dude who gets freaked out by movies. Very, very few horror movies have scared me in such a way that I slept uneasily that night, and only one has accomplished that feat since I turned 16.

That would be Invasion of the Body Snatchers, of all movies.

I only really decided to check the movie out in the first place via retrocrush's pretty awesome "100 Scariest Movie Moments" list (it's a fun read, and there's a few entries that will show up on my list, as well). Body Snatchers was one of the higher ranked movies that I had any interest in, and I remember a co-laborer from some church camp mentioning two things:

a) This movie had boobs in it.
b) This movie was actually halfway creepy.

That was good enough for me. When I saw it in a dollar bin one day, I figured it was worth it, so I picked it up and forgot about it for a few years, finally deciding to pop it in when nothing else in my DVD tower looked particularly appetizing.

It all starts out slowly enough, people are turned into emotionless copies of themselves, and the movie's heroes skulk about trying to figure out exactly what's going on. It has decent atmosphere but seems to take forever to get to its destination. Suddenly, Spock lets out a blood curdling scream, and the movie starts meaning business.

This is business. Sort of.
The group finds out that as long as they don't show any emotion, the pod people don't know who they are. This predictably fails miserably, shit goes down, and we end with girls crumbling into dust, only to be reborn as naked pod persons. Donald Sutherland hides underneath a bridge, but it looks like someone might have find him then.... cut to the next day. Sutherland is chilling at his old workplace, looking forlornly at his love, who is now a pod person. As he leaves work, some hippie chick who was part of the group before comes up to him, overjoyed that someone else survived the night. Sutherland turns to her, and scream his bloody head off. The hippie chick falls to the ground wailing, knowing that she's about to become a pod person. Roll credits.

I slept maybe two hours that night.

Keep in mind, I was 23 when this all took place. I'm not even sure what it was - something about being lulled into a false sense of security, the completely unhuman sound, the creepy as all hell face that he makes when he screams. It all added up to nightmare salad for me.

So, why didn't this obviously potent scene make the list? Because I never want to see the scene again, much less want to see it over and over again. This is '100 favorite' scenes, not 'scenes that were effective that I never want to see again. Here's the scene, devoid of any further context.

I'm not proofing this to see if it's actually the right scene (I would certainly assume it is, given those creepy as fuck eyes). The fact that Donald Sutherland is standing there looking all screamy is already making my skin crawl.

We're done here.


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