Dr. Miles Bennell returns to his small town practice to find several of his patients suffering the paranoid delusion that their friends or relatives are impostors. He is initially skeptical, especially when the alleged doppelgangers are able to answer detailed questions about their victim's lives, but he is eventually persuaded that something odd has happened and determines to find out what is causing this phenomenon.Written by
Mark Thompson <[email protected]>
Filming was supposed to commence in Mill Valley, north of San Francisco, but the budget wouldn't allow it. In fact, several locations made up the town of Santa Mira, including the actual towns of Sierra Madre, Chatsworth, and Glendale and the areas of Los Feliz, Bronson Caves and Beachwood Canyon, the latter two in the hills above Hollywood. Some interiors were also done on the Allied Artists lot on the east side of Hollywood. See more »
The gas attendant took the keys out of the ignition to open the trunk to place the Pods. After leaving, Miles stops the car, takes out the keys and opens the trunk to burn the Pods. But although the car has been turned off, there continues to be exhaust smoke exiting the pipe. See more »
This was the first part of a double bill with Phil Kaufman's remake as the follow-up. I'll say that Siegel is ten times the action director that Kaufman could ever dream of being, that the original Body Snatchers has a cool, thoughtful tone that makes the shock scenes even better. The remake, even though in color and with a bigger budget, is so nervous, so lacking in pace and mood, that your impulse is often to laugh instead of sinking deeper into your seat.
Take just one scene: Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter are barricaded in his office, trying to stay awake. Morning comes, and the weirdness begins; people shuffle towards the square to pick up their packages, the leaders calling out the districts. Now in daylight the suspense is made more potent, the threat to humans seems greater. Kaufman does this scene at night, losing the mundane horror that Siegel evokes so well. The studio imposed the flashback structure, having McCarthy brought in to talk to a therapist at the beginning and end of the picture. That's the only weakness in the story.
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