Review Date: November 14, 1999
Released by: Warner Brothers
Release date: 11/9/1999
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 2.35:1 | 16x9: Yes | P&S: Yes (Side B)
Body Snatchers, the second remake to the 1950's classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, gets a standard DVD release from Warner Brothers. This film really falls into the mixed category, containing both sci-fi and horror elements just as John Carpenter's The Thing does.
Marti (Gabrielle Anwar), a young teenage girl, is traveling to a military base with her father Steve Malone (Terry Kinney), who is an inspector for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The base has a large amount of toxic chemicals stored there, and it's Steve's job to determine whether the military is properly handling the storage of the toxic chemical. Marti's younger stepbrother Andy (Reilly Murphy) and stepmother Carol (Meg Tilly) are also on the trip.
Strange things start to happen in town after the family arrives. Andy's daycare class has a drawing project, and all of the kids draw identical pictures except Andy. The class tries to make Andy go to sleep but he leaves the classroom before that happens. On his way home he is picked up by a military officer named Tim Young (Billy Wirth). When dropping Andy off at home, Tim meets Marti and they agree to see each other in the near future, on a date perhaps. Later that evening Andy sees his mother shrivel up before his eyes. After seeing this, a figure emerges from the nearby bathroom that is an identical clone of his mother. Knowing this figure is not really his mother Andy runs from the home in fear. He's caught by his stepfather Steve and is assured that all he had is a bad dream.
Marti meets a local teenager named Jenn Platt (Christine Elise). They becomes friends and go off to the local club where they meet two military officers, including Tim Young, the officer who brought Andy home. They grow closer to one another as the night progresses. The next day at Jenn's home, Jenn explains to Marti that her mother is an alcoholic, but for some strange reason her normal vodka glass only contains water now. This pattern continues as people begin to change their normal behavior and slowly Marti begins to find the truth; it's not the behavior that's changing, it's the actual person being changed. The Malone's must escape this town before it's too late and they are transformed into one of them!
This was an enjoyable movie for me but it's not a movie that's going to have a lot of replay value. It's great for a rental but there's just nothing groundbreaking or different here. The whole concept of body snatching is fairly old now and unless the movie offers something groundbreaking it's not going to have that replay value we all desire in a film. The effects were good enough when they were used, and there was some minor tension that built up for me but that isn't enough to make the movie good. After all, this is the SECOND remake to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The only thing a 90's version can offer is better effects, and this movie does deliver when effects are shown, but unfortunately there aren't many effects shot in the film. And I'm not saying it's a bad film, the acting was good and the story was decent; it's just not a film that I'm going to treasure and consider a "must have" in my collection.
Body Snatchers is presented in its original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced for widescreen TVs. WB delivered the goods here with an exceptional transfer. Colors are rich and well balanced, blacks are solid; no scratches or film blemishes were seen at all. I think I saw maybe one speck appear throughout the entire film.
Dolby 2.0 Surround sound was terrific. Rear speakers were fairly active throughout the film, which was impressive. The sound was crisp and clear with no audible problems detected.
Zilch I'm afraid. Not even a trailer.
Enjoyable film with a top notch DVD treatment in terms of quality from Warner Brothers. My advice would be to rent it and decide for yourself if it falls into the keeper category for you. At $9.97 retail it's not too much of a risk either way.
Movie - B-
Image Quality - A
Sound - B+
Supplements - N/A
- Running time - 1 hour 27 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- Chapter Stops
- Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound - English, French, Spanish dialogue
- English and French subtitles