Film: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a series of Sci-Fi Horror films revolving around an invasion of "pod people" who infiltrate the Earth by replacing humans with duplicates. Originally a 1956 film (which was itself based on a novel), the concept seems to resonate particularly well with new generations. It has been remade no less than three times since with various changes to the plot.

The films are:

The original film also provided inspiration for the 2005 ABC series Invasion.

Not to be confused with the horror movie The Body Snatcher.

These films include examples of:

All versions

  • Alien Invasion: Sounds like it.
  • Assimilation Plot: All of them. Discussed in the 1978 version.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The 1956 version, along with the 1993 and 2007 ones
  • Cleanup Crew: The garbage men in the 1978 movie are implied to be this for when the duplicates fail to develop. Garbage trucks are also glimpsed in the '93 version.
  • Cassandra Truth
  • Evil Twin: Kinda. The pod people are exact physical and mental duplicates of the originals, but are coldly logical and driven to ensure their species survives by converted all of humanity.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted multiple times in different versions, as children are either shown having already been replaced or about to be. One notable example comes from the '93 version with Marti's younger brother.
  • Informed Attribute: The supposedly emotionless pod people aren't always so emotionless.
    • In the final scene, Matthew sees a group of school children who are behaving just like regular school children.
    • Forest Whitaker's co-workers are angry or giggling over how they can't be beat.
  • Invisible Aliens: The pod people, technically. Their original alien forms are protoplasmic — they're sapient germs in the 2007 version — and they take over people by absorbing their memories, forming perfect replicas of the bodies, and destroying the originals, so they seamlessly step into the original's life.
  • Kill All Humans: And replace them with lookalikes.
  • Never Sleep Again: The Pod People can only replace you when you sleep.
  • Replicant Snatching: The entire premise of the series.
  • Stepford Suburbia: What happens to society as the pod people take over. There's no fighting, fuss, crime or problems... but there's no laughter, smiling, or human warmth, either. The pod people, once in control, are like zombies of the old-school Voodoo style: fleshy automatons that just robotically do their tasks without any individual thought or drives.
  • Vampiric Draining: While not explicit, it is implied that in order to copy a living being, the Pods take something fundamental and necessary from the original as after duplication, the original disintegrates into dust.
  • We Are Everywhere: How the films work; because the pods show up all over, by the time anyone has figured out what's going on, there are pod people in all sorts of positions, from lowly street people to police officers, phone operators, doctors, psychiatrists, everywhere. And of course the pods in authority can get even more people converted before they realise what's happening, so their numbers just keep growing, and growing...
  • Twist Ending: The 1978 (Matthew was transformed) and 2007 (the alien virus is curable) remakes.

2007 version

The Invasion (2007), another Gender Flip version with Nicole Kidman. Amongst many other changes, they dropped the idea of alien replacements entirely, going for a simple and reversible version of The Virus. It also worked in The War on Terror and, with it, questions regarding The Evils of Free Will.

  • Covered in Gunge: The 2007 version.
  • Creepy Child: Two of Oliver's friends in the 2007 version. Both were infected by the virus.
  • Remake Cameo: Veronica Cartwright, who was in the 1978 film, has a small role in the 2007 film.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Pod People in the 2007 version are changed to this, being microbial organisms rather than the duplicating plant-things of earlier films.
  • The Virus: The 2007 version. It still causes a pod people transformation when the victim sleeps, though.

Alternative Title(s):

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Invasion, The Body Snatchers