Why not a space flower?

Saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 1978 version) for the first time yesterday, at a drive-in at Pier 70. It was honestly the best way I can think of to spend a Halloween night in quarantine. Similar to the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema drive-in we attended earlier in October, the event was super well organized. It was especially impressive watching volunteers coordinate the parking logistics amongst San Franciscan drivers who aren’t the best at parking in straight lines. :P As a bonus, we got tacos from Mi Morena delivered right to our car, and a commemorative poster to take home!

This wasn’t the poster we got, I just think it looks cool.

I’m not really a horror fan, but a sci-fi horror based in 1970s San Francisco I can definitely get into. I loved all the shots featuring the Transamerica Pyramid (which was only 6 years old at the time, still probably a novelty) and various areas around Civic Center. It’s too bad we hadn’t seen this movie before our wedding; we took photos among the sycamores in front of City Hall and it would’ve been perfect for recreating that last scene (***obvious spoiler alert).

So yeah, the San Francisco setting is an obvious reason why I loved the movie. But also?! Just look at these faces:

That’s Leonard Nimoy as a psychiatrist in a tweed suit, Donald Sutherland as a Public Health Department inspector with a ‘stache and perm, and baby Jeff Goldblum as a poet with a nosebleed. I meeeeannn, you really can’t go wrong.

Some other bite-sized observations and questions:

  • Why does Donald Sutherland say “bo-dy” like that? Is that a Canadian thing? (Also, YIL Donald Sutherland is Canadian.)
  • Why doesn’t anyone have a nickname in this movie? They’re all Elizabeth, Geoffrey, Matthew, David…I guess maybe it’s more effective when the characters are constantly screaming each other’s names in terror.
  • For some reason, the dialogue in this scene tickled me just right. “Like a fetus.” “You just said it was an adult.” “I said it was an adult because it was tall.” (also, Jeff Goldblum’s last “why?” at the end.)
  • The “why not a space flower?” dialogue is excellent, too.
  • The unsettling camera angles are very effective and I loved how at one point you got that uneasy feeling for free when the camera was angled straight on a steep SF hill.
  • If only Brooke Adams hadn’t worn heels.
  • It’s 24 hours later and I still can’t get over the man-dog. The film should be rated PG-13 AT LEAST for that.
  • I’m already looking forward to watching this again. Next Halloween, perhaps?

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