Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J Blake are taking on one of their top 10 favorite films of all time. A movie they’ve frequently spoken about doing since the inception of the podcast. Well, that day has finally arrived. This go around, the boys are covering the 40th anniversary of the Sci-Fi/Horror Philip Kaufman classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, from 1978.
Blake and Dion knew from the outset this episode would be a long one. After their big announcement about partnering with the CLNS Media Network, they jump right in utilizing the original Jack Finney 1955 novel The Body Snatchers, and the original 1956 classic film by legend Don Siegel. They analyze the relationships between the 1978 movie’s stellar cast and all the elements–from sound design to the guerrilla-style cinematography–that contributed to making every second and inch of this film to be intentional and help further the plot; setting the tone of this incredibly horrifying narrative. They dissect the themes and motifs within and discuss why this story works brilliantly in any decade it’s set within. So, keep a close eye on your friends and family, make sure those around you are not suddenly becoming ‘strangers’, and whatever you do, don’t fall asleep, because they get you when you sleep–as the boys prove on an all new exciting and informative installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
As discussed in the podcast, to purchase the newly released the 3rd edition of The Twilight Zone Companion: Revised and Expanded, click here!
Check out the original trailer to this classic!
Take a look at this great featurette about the Special Effects in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, called Practical Magic!
Have a look to Sigourney Weaver discussing the terror of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers!
Also brought up in the podcast, the boys wholeheartedly recommend checking out the Suspense radio show classic adapted from a short story by Ray Bradbury, called Zero Hour!
Welcome back to week 3 of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ October Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza! This episode finds Dion Baia and J. Blake going way down the alley, visiting the “Creature Feature” sub-genre, and tackling a film that in their opinion, exemplifies that niche of Sci-Fi/Horror films from the 1950s. And with this very week marking the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the boys discuss Hollywood‘s fear of the unknown in a Nuclear age with the classic film, Them!, from 1954.
The boys setup the conversation about 1950’s Sci-Fi by chatting about Dion‘s particular affinity and personal connection with these type of Science Fiction and Horror Films of the era. They chat about the Cold War politics of the decades that proceeded WWII, like McCarthyism or JFK vs. Khrushchev and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to try and put into some kind of perspective and context, the mindset of a postwar society who thought nuclear war was probably inevitable. Blake and Dion track the evolution of these type of “Creature Features“, by analyzing Hollywood’s output at the time, which it could even be argued leads the viewer down a path all the way to the iconic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, which changed everything. The fellas then dissect this classic, Them!, which starts almost like a Crime Noir- a widely popular subgenre at the time. They go over the suspense that is set up within the movie and discuss the filmmaker’s very modern and realistic approach to telling this story. They also observe how superb the entire cast is within this film- all amazing feats when one realizes how this basically is a tale about radioactive insects. So, how do the Special Effects hold up some 60+ years later? Was this film originally planned to have a very popular gimmick (at the time) employed that was scrapped at the very last minute? How many Wilhelm screams are in this movie? And what is actor Edmund Gwenn‘s connection to Friday the 13th? Well you better hide your sugar, make sure your city and state maps are up to date, because the guys are taking you on an adventure to find some gigantic monsters in this all new installment of their October Halloween Horror Extravaganza on Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here is the more widely known Theatrical Poster for Them!, which kind of tips the film’s hand to what the plot’s ‘twist’ actually is.
Have a look at this rare, behind the scenes footage from Them!
Check out these awesome original Lobby Cards for Them!
As brought up in the cast, check out this article elaborating on the Urban Legend that John Wayne and the film crew from the 1956 film The Conqueror died of cancer because of A-Bomb testing, and also the ‘Downwinders‘ who actually had to deal with the then-unknown effects of radioactive fallout.