Body Snatchers (Ferrara, 1993)

Both Don Siegel’s iconic original and Philip Kaufman’s sleek 1970’s remake succeed as haunting tales of slow conformity through a the less-is-more philosophy. Each of those films linger with the respective protagonists as their way of life rots away from the inside. Abel Ferrara utilizes a more genre specific approach, and his third incarnation of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers feels somewhat tired and obvious as a result. This time the story deals with an Army base in the South post Operation Desert Storm and the chemical/biological weapons influence on the invading aliens. Body Snatchers works during it’s slow, intimately scary buildup of creeping pods invading nostrils and mouths, deflating humanity with short bursts of suction. But the film falters as it dives into overblown George Romero territory for the explosive climax. Ferrara rightfully considers modern influences on the timeless material, such as military oppression, the deconstruction of the family unit, and government ignorance, however, through a series of repetitive action scenes the film becomes more convincing as a B-horror film than any political commentary, becoming overwhelmed by the slime on it’s mind.

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