Directed by Don Siegel. Written by Daniel Mainwaring, based on the novel by Jack Finney. Starring Kevin McCarthy and Carolyn Jones.
Plot: A doctor learns that his small town is being taken over by pod people
If you want to write reviews for one Invasion, I believe you should watch ALL invasion movies. So, that’s what we did. And DJ had a hell of a time because he doesn’t like most of these movies, but I’ll get to that. The first Invasion happened in 1956 and let’s face it, it wasn’t a miraculous piece of film making, but it was fun.
In your classic invasion plot, pods are setup somewhere in the vicinity of a sleeping person. During their sleep, they disappear and their form is re-imagined inside the pod. Now they are pod people, alien, and they want everyone to be JUST THE SAME!! All individuality is gone. Free will is gone. And huge plot holes abound.
For instance, how is it that everyone can be changed? We’re all so different. Other invasion movies will tackle this subject thankfully. And SPOILER ALERT!!! …. If the pod becomes you and steals your mind and your body, how did Becky wake up in the cave? She fell asleep in the cave, shouldn’t she have woken up somewhere else? And how do the pods replicate people without ever coming in contact with them?
All these questions and a few other things are why DJ didn’t like the movie. He hated the lack of Freddy Claws. He hated that people couldn’t win. And while I take the end as an optimistic sign, he takes it pessimistically. It was an original concept at the time, but it didn’t follow rules. He had to stretch himself way too much to enjoy it.
So, as you can imagine, DJ does not recommend the 1956 Invasion. He only gives it a 29/100. I do enjoy it though. Not very very much, but enough to recommend seeing it before – or even after – you’ve seen the other Invasion movies. I give it a 61/100.
And if watching with a party of people, play this simple drinking game. Drink every time someone on the screen does. Back in the 50’s, it was all about smoking and drinking on camera. It’s a fun way to make the movie even better. But please, have a designated driver to take you home safely.