Sunday, October 13, 2013

Where you gonna go? Where you gonna hide?

Thanks to Tim Hansen for reminding me of the greatness that is the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Most people remember it for the terrifying ending, and that certainly is worth remembering. But for my money, the scariest thing in the movie is Brooke Adams as a pod person. Remember this?

I saw another version of the story in 1993. It can't match the '78 version for scares, but it does have an insanely creepy performance by Meg Tilly (first up below), plus a bathtub tentacle scene and a really lovely pair of natural breasts (both in the bottom clip).

I know none of this is really mind control; it's squick plus cloning. But can you really fault me for posting these videos? I think not.


Tabico said...

Oh, I can't count the number of times I've savored those scenes from the '93 version. Wore out the VHS tape.

I have a long-held fantasy which I'd really like to turn into a story, wherein I (or protagonist) have a crush on a girl; the girl is mean in addition to totally non-reciprocal, but then I find one of these alien seeds and deliberately plant it next to her bed.

It clones and replaces her (although my fantasies don't go in for death, so like in 'Pea' the original simply becomes a mindless slave-shell or similar, regardless she's gone) and the clone is entirely amenable to my affections and a much better person in general.

Of course, although I now have this wonderful kind, sexy girlfriend, I'm wracked with guilt about what I did (not too wracked for lots of sex though) and of course fearful about the other shoe dropping - what's the pod girl going to do?

And the story proceeds with the pod girl gently luring me into doing things for her, and my guilt pushing a "you deserve what is coming" mentality, so step by step the alien plant woman sets up for her nefarious takeover plan.

All because my crush was mean!

Sadly, I lack a good ending. So I haven't written it.

thrall said...

Sounds to me like you already have the ending! ;-)

Tabico said...

What is it? Tell me!

thrall said...

Sorry, I'm not trying to be mysterious. It just sounds to me like you've got a surprise ending, with the aliens turning out to have been manipulating the protagonist into helping them take over the planet.

Anonymous said...

I find the ending of the 78 version very interesting. When Sutherland goes around in the city or his working place, we see what a society full of pod people/drones would really be like.
His girlfriend is just sitting in the lab with a blank stare.

I'm not sure which one of the mental alterations I like best:

When all are equal, like in Body Snatchers.

When all are members of a hive mind or collective, but otherwise being like pod persons.

Drones connected with each others, but who is controlled by a single queen on top.

thrall said...

For me, there has to be someone sexy at the top, someone whom I can fantasize is worthy of total devotion.

I won't spoil the ending of the '93 Bodysnatchers in case anyone wants to see it, but it has its own kind of social commentary.

Anonymous said...

I read Tabico's comments about a story she wanted to write, and decided to come up with a little suggestion or input that perhaps could be of interest. If she has changed her mail address, if my post had ended up in the trash or if she didn't like the idea, I don't know, but I could try to post it here if it's possible:

What if there is an A.I. or something, made by humans, from another dimension or from outer space, that is not too familiar with complex structures such as the human brain. The purpose of the seeds the main character finds is to inject nanites into the bloodstream of the victims, and converting the whole body into a syntethic organism. Only in this form can the thing inside the seed read and convert all the information about shape, memories and personality into data that will be used to build its own human looking body. After the process is complete, there is one copy and one old body (an android looking drone that now has new goals in life). The drone looks too alien to walk among normal humans, so the purpse of the copy is partly to pretend to be the original. Second the copy contains all the knowledge about its own origin, it's purpose and goal, as well as the memories of the original person. The original ones have all their memories and "soul" intact, but not their will and decisions. Other than assisting and doing as they are told, they are not too useful for the moment.

The basement or another kind of room has been turned into a lab contained all the required equipment (found where the original seed was found, wherever that is).

The goal is to assimilate all humans, to gain more knowledge, experience and other unknown reasons. The process of turning a human into a drone and the effort in making a copy is too much work and too risky to do on a large scale if using the standard procedures. To achieve the goal, the copies needs more humans they experiment on, and the still human partner agress to provide more people (which are also turned into copies and drones), one by one, collegues, friends, neighbours and/or strangers. With each attempt, they learn something new, and keeps coming closer to their goal, which is to find a way to convert humans while making them appear as if they are still made of flesh and blood and still being both loyal to their new purpose (with no need for copies if this succeeds, and no need for building materials, everything goes faster). If their mind can also be provided with the same information (or programs) as the copies, it's even better, but is probably not fully required. The copies are just tools for the force behind it all, just as the drones, and is only needed at the early stages of the plan. Once they succeed, the process will be much smoother and spread all over the society, without anyone noticing. And once a sufficent number of pople have been converted, the final stage of the transformation can finally occur.

The ending of the story could be that the copies have at last perfected the process of transforming a human without changing its appearance and to be able to download data into its mind. As "reward", the still human helper will be the first to join the new drones, which would be deserved. And also a way to finally join again with the original girlfriend, in one way or another.