I saw the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers last night. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
"It initially received varied reviews from critics, though its critical reception has significantly improved in subsequent years, receiving a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and also being hailed as one of the greatest remakes ever as well as one of the best science-fiction horror films of all time."
Here's what I have to say:
It's shit. Absolute total shit. Despite having at least 3 A-listers on board, it was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The acting was worse than some school plays I've seen, with some of the top actors of all time phoning in some of the absolute worst performances in the entire history of cinema.
Absolutely zero money was spent on wardrobe, as everyone wore the exact same outfit (as if they were me) over the course of about a week, with at least two or maybe three of the characters wearing the exact same coat, as if they were on sale at K Mart or something at the time.
The last third of the movie was shot in near total darkness from some of the worst angles I have ever seen. The sound quality was shit, the dialogue was shit, the effects were sub-par for movies made during that era, and there's a scene where a dog with a man's face appears out of butt fuck nowhere, for no other reason than to scare the humans and out them in front of the aliens, and then disappears with no explanation and is never spoken of again.
Now the two worst aspects. First, the movie breaks its own rules. When you have a movie where something impossible happens, like alien plants invade and duplicate people or zombies come back to life, you have to establish the rules early on and stick with them to the very end. It's already been established two things: 1. the aliens just float in from space and 2. it takes hours for a person to be duplicated. If we take 1 at face value then why do the aliens need to establish a base in San Francisco and then have pods trucked out to everywhere else? Couldn't they just waft in anywhere and everywhere on the planet simultaneously? This does not make sense. This is a major plot hole. The other major plot hole is 2, it takes hours for a person to be duplicated. For 3/4 of the movie this is a major plot point, because three times people have fallen asleep and we watch the pod grow a duplicate very slowly, slow enough that the person can be woken up and the duplicate will die. Yet somehow, for "drama" or lack of time or whatever, near the very end when Brooke Adams' character falls asleep for like a second, despite there being no pods in the vicinity, she crumbles to dust and a new perfectly formed duplicate appears naked in the bushes instantly to scare Donald Sutherland. This is the second major plot hole, and taken together they absolutely ruin this movie.
And the second worst aspect is the script. This is some of the absolute worst writing I have ever seen. Okay, so we begin the movie, the beginning, the very beginning, where the aliens invade. Maybe two characters are very partially introduced, and then in the next scene hundreds of people have already been replaced. It's like the whole first act was cut out. Brooke Adams (I don't remember any of the characters names except Donald Sutherland was Matthew because they said his name seven, eight thousand times) goes to Donald Sutherland and says "My boyfriend has been replaced, his personality is totally different!" Let's not introduce the character and spend 20 minutes getting to know him so we the audience can be sure he's different, let's introduce him out of nowhere already replaced and just take it as given he's different. The same thing happens with everyone. Characters are not introduced until after they are replaced and we're supposed to take as given that they are different. There's zero chance of getting into the movie because the entire first third, where the world and the characters are introduced, was omitted for whatever reason. It wasn't run time, because the movie was almost 2 hours long and they had time enough to repeat several plot points three times, just so we would get it.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 shouldn't have been released to theaters, it shouldn't even even have been released straight to video, it should have been released straight into the garbage.