Combustible Celluloid
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With: Gabrielle Anwar, Terry Kinney, Meg Tilly, Reilly Murphy, Billy Wirth, Christine Elise, R. Lee Ermey, Kathleen Doyle, Forest Whitaker
Written by: Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, Nicholas St. John, based on a story by Raymond Cistheri, Larry Cohen, and on a novel by Jack Finney
Directed by: Abel Ferrara
MPAA Rating: R for violence, nudity and language
Running Time: 87
Date: 05/15/1993

Body Snatchers (1993)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

No One Like You

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Three legends of "B" and horror movies teamed up, in an unlikely way, for this second remake of Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Filmmaker Larry Cohen (It's Alive) is co-credited with the "story," which means that something he wrote was probably re-written. Director Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) is co-credited with the screenplay. And Abel Ferrara wound up directing. However jumbled the movie's creation, the result is the real thing, intelligent, with genuine spine-tingles.

Teen Marti (Gabrielle Anwar) moves to an army base with her dad (Terry Kinney), who is a consultant. Her nasty stepmom (Meg Tilly) is there, as well as her nice stepbrother (Reilly Murphy). As with the previous movies -- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) -- aliens come in the form of mysterious pods that infiltrate human bodies. Exact duplicates are made, but without a certain kind of humanity. The setup here is insidious, since military men are trained not to display any individualism anyway, and Marti's family is already made up of replacements and duplicates.

The movie may not be filled with gruesome shocks or rampant horror, but it definitely serves up a decent number of strong chills. Former Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey plays a gruff general, and Forest Whitaker plays a major.

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