it is sep 1st so basically happy halloween
“Horror takes us into the minds of the victims, explores the threats, disseminates fear, studies how it changes us. It pulls back the curtain on the ugly underbelly of society, tears away the masks the monsters wear out in the world, shows us the potential truth of the human condition. Horror is truth, unflinching and honest. Not everybody wants to see that, but horror ensures that it’s there to be seen.”
Muslims are making history, but not in a way of which the world can be proud. Christians have lived in Mosul, Iraq for at least over 2,000 years, according to historical documents. That has all changed with the threats that any Christian who stayed would be slaughtered.
*tucks green day in* goodnight sweetie
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
American science fiction films have only become more commonplace at the multiplex in recent decades. With that glut of science fiction, many filmmakers delving into subjects of aliens, new technologies, new areas in outer space, and intriguing adventures have forgotten what so many early science fiction films in the 1960s and before accomplished - asking questions pertinent to human existence or tinkering with structure and the state of knowing. Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (based on Jack Finney’s novel The Body Snatchers), though often perceived to be an anti-communist or anti-McCarthyist in the United States, is a suspenseful piece that delivers a chilling thrill ride. A box office failure on its release, the film’s reputation has only further blossomed with each passing decade and has been aided by the success of the 1978 remake.
Within the opening few minutes of the film, a screaming, sweaty man is about to be interrogated by local police while stationed in the hospital. The film is told in flashback alongside the narration of Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) as he recounts the hours leading up to his arrival at the hospital. Bennell is from the small valley town of Santa Mira, California (which resembles the Hollywood Hills area in Los Angeles County) and has overheard stories from patients who believe their children, spouses, and relatives have been replaced by less human, less emotionally responsive copies. Bennell responds to telephone calls about patients not feeling well and when he arrives at their residence, they instantly feel better. The trend happens far too many times to count as a coincidence and Miles’ ex-girlfriend Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) reports of the same phenomena occurring within her own family. Later, Bennell’s friend Jack Belicec (King Donovan) and wife Theodora “Teddy” Belicec (Carolyn Jones) find a body with his exact physical features. However, the features have been underdeveloped and more bodies start appearing out of veiny, seed-like pods. Bennell and Becky soon find themselves on the run as the source and intention of these copies are more sinister than they first anticipated.
But the gripping power of Invasion of the Body Snatchers lies within the terror of smaller, individual moments. To describe anymore would to undermine the suspense and the surprise for those who have never even heard of the film. With a barebones of around $300,000-$400,000 ($2.6 million-$3.5 million in 2014’s USD), Siegel is forced to concentrate on lighting, mood, and atmosphere rather than visual effects. In crisp, high-contrast black-and-white, Siegel adopts a film noir approach while employing extensive use of deep staging in the outdoor nighttime scenes that dominates the second half of the film. The lighting scheme is horrifyingly simple yet its effect is unmistakable - so many of these scenes contain pitch-black voids that always suggest something malevolent may yet appear. Nighttime scenes inside the homes are particularly evocative and - without a single word spoken - reminds the characters and the audience that even in the comfort of their home the titular body snatchers (no formal name for is ever given and we never see the aliens whose tactics are threatening the local populace) Contrasts between light and dark are extreme for this era and Siegel could not have chosen a more effective aesthetic.
Siegel also isn’t afraid of the Dutch angle and extreme close-ups. Both cinematographic techniques were frowned on by major studios (Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an Allied Artists - a “Poverty Row” film studio - production) but embraced by many filmmakers working for less prestigious, more independently-minded film studios. Often considered a feature of camp films, Dutch angles are used brilliantly in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Certainly overuse of the Dutch angle has been a hallmark of camp-value cinema and television but is utilized only during a moment of physical disorientation or a perceived pursuit. Its use implies imminent danger and forces the viewer to pay attention as the film is otherwise unremarkable in its geometry. A low-height camera angle during the first reveal of the pods offers room for investigation and grim curiosity. With few visual effects providing the flourishes, Siegel necessarily had to distinguish Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the immense amount of B-pictures emerging in this decade. He does so successfully.
Though the performances are overall sufficient for this quintessential B-sci-fi, it should be said that Kevin McCarthy - handsomer than 95% of most Americans but 90% less handsome than the Hollywood ideal leading man - carries himself well physically during his more traumatic scenes and his “ordinary” looks make him a more believable protagonist than most leading men in B-sci-fis. One feels through McCarthy’s performance that he is truly maneuvering through a nightmarish turn of events. Otherwise, everyone else is a set of B- and C-list faces who are performing par for the course.
Unlike the human stars of the film, the real stars of the film are the menacing pods in which the human duplicates emerge from. As the duplicates are copies of humans slated for “replacement”, production designer Ted Haworth concocted an idea to have a handful of the actors assist in the creation of their respective full-body molds - all of which were made of thin, extremely tight latex. The process to create the full-body molds took hours and the actors could only breathe through two nostril holes. Haworth’s idea is ingenious and the final result is one of the definitive images of American science fiction films pre-2001: A Space Odyssey. It is also, when one reads the physically demanding requirements of the shoot, an encapsulation of how stressful a process filmmaking can be.
Arguments continue to rage over a potential political allegory behind Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Almost all the principle creative minds behind the film - especially author Jack Finney - have disavowed any intentional allegories. Siegel further claimed that such analyses - given the political climate of the time - were inescapable and maintains that Invasion of the Body Snatchers is but a richly tense thriller. For those who refuse their statement, I personally think that the anti-communist and anti-McCarthyist (not the actor, but the Wisconsin senator who became a figurehead of the Second Red Scare in the United States) explanations are too interchangeable in the context of the film to be valid. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is instead commenting on a loss of human connection and capacity for behavioral comprehension - for the pursuers and the pursued - when resorting to simple political or other identity-based labels. Yet it also acknowledges that certain situations call for an uncompromising, absolutist response, even by violent means. No matter what Cold War-era connections one draws from the film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is extremely open to personal interpretation as the closing third of the film invites speculation and inquisition.
Two versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers exist. Originally released with a more optimistic ending, Siegel’s initial intention was to have a downbeat ending with loose ends left untied. But the pessimistic variant of Siegel’s film is rarer to come by. The version released to theaters contains additional footage and McCarthy’s narration (a move that Allied Artists forced upon a rebellious Siegel) and is the one I saw. Both versions are valid and the difference in concluding tone has little significance when judging either version. For Siegel’s mastery lies within the tension-building and his monochrome palette.
Science fiction ought to consider ideas of humanity as it - more than any other genre of narrative storytelling - represents a humanistic idyll that humans aspire for or a hell that one would hope to avoid. Such thoughts are not lost in Invasion of the Body Snatchers despite its lowbrow title and obvious lack of acting talent and funds. For a decade awash with forgettable, painfully pedestrian science-fiction films, it is a stinging, memorable shock to the senses. And almost sixty years later, it remains just that.
My rating: 8/10
^ Based on my personal imdb rating.
Me getting up in the morning like
Hittin’ the keyboard like
Friends comin’ online like
DID YOu SEE tHE THINGg MY GOD
reblogging cause this seems strangely accurate
kitten wiggles ears while eating
i don’t even care if i reblog this twice a day every single day for the rest of my life
a serious fucking problem in society that needs to be stopped immediately
this is too fucking accurate
Every conversation with my mother. Ask mrkenyon about it.
"They’re too close to be "just friends"!"
"Look! They care for each other! They must be in love!”
"They talk to each other a lot! Its so cannon that they’re gay for each other!"
STOP DEVALUING FRIENDSHIPS!
ROMANCE/SEX IS NOT SUPERIOR TO FRIENDSHIP!
PEOPLE CAN LOVE AND CARE FOR EACH OTHER WITHOUT BEING ROMANTICALLY/SEXUALLY INVOLVED!
PLATONIC RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT INFERIOR TO ROMANTIC/SEXUAL ONES!
Here’s a list of problems that SJWs have helped solve:
Designed a little Halloween shirt, even though it’s only August. I like drawing ghosts.
credit for t-shirt found here!
What do you guys think? Would you buy it?