This film is another interpretation of The Body Snatchers from 1955. A novel written by Jack Finney. And a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956. Though the story is expanded in Invasion '78 and it gives you a larger scope of just how far the pods must reach. It has a more graphic and intense look and feel. It has a much larger political view and explores that side of the film a lot more. You get the feeling that this outbreak is on a much larger scale.
The film stars Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and even Leonard Nimoy. As in the usual story line, pod-plants from outer space descend on Earth and make clones of all humans that come in contact with them. Then when that human sleeps their clones absorb (?) them and kill them.
These clones are mostly emotionless. However, they look and sound just like everyone else. In fact the copy is just like you in every-way, except devoid of feeling. It's apparent that sometimes there are mistakes. My case in point is the freakish man-faced dog. Yeah. Man-faced dog.
Of course in this version you get a longer look at where the pod-plants come from and how they attack. It gives a realistic look at what would happen when the pod's hit a city-level size area. You get the feeling that this epidemic is much bigger than just the couple of people that are trying to survive. From the first frame to the last, something is just completely off. People in the background are infected and you see them everywhere. Just look for all the extras that are staring at your main-leads.
The cinematography is great for this feature. It's realistic and gritty look at seventies life in San Francisco is done really well and makes for uneasy shots. That paired with the cast make for a pretty neat little feature.
- Donald Sutherland insisted on performing his own stunts in the film's climax. His scenes at the pod factory were filmed without harnesses or nets. In the shot of a fireball erupting from the factory, Sutherland barely missed it. However, an extra missed his cue and was seriously injured from the explosion.
- The leather half-glove that Leonard Nimoy's character wears was deliberately used for the sole purpose of making the character more distinctive and recognizable. Nimoy got the idea from a friend who wore it to cover a burn on his hand.
- At the beginning of the film, as the alien spores rain down on earth, you see them presumably landing on the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco - the headquarters of what was then the parent company of United Artists, which produced the film