The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.
This is a film that seems to be a cult classic at best, when it should really be an all-time classic. I find it puzzling how difficult it is to get a hold of this film in a physical format. It’s not impossible, and it’s affordable, but you have to go out of your way to do it. Any DVD version that got a release went quickly out of print. The only Blu-Ray versions tend to be “Limited Releases”. And it doesn’t exactly show up on television all that much, even though there is no sex, there is a brief amount of nudity (men’s asses in the showers), and the violence isn’t exactly excessive, especially when compared to films we get today. Hell, this movie is rated R, and PG-13 films get released today that have much more violence and foul language than this film does. Guess we’ve become desensitized to the violence. Ironic, given that this relates to one of several messages contained within the film. Both the being desensitized to violence, and the seeming hindering of historical knowledge. The messages within this film are more relevant today than they were when the film was made.
The film starts off with an eerie title sequence, beginning with a full moon with some dark clouds around it, which disappears as a lone blue 2D drawn house comes into view along with the title words “Home Alone,” as the single window of the house lights up. It emanates a light creepy and paranoid vibe, with a sense of isolation, a lone individual surrounded by the darkness. If I didn’t know any better, I would say this is setting up for Night of the Living Dead or some werewolf movie. The HOME ALONe title only has the lone letter “e” not capitalized, intentional to foreshadow that it is a young immature individual who will be isolated rather than all the mature people who are capable of being independent and looking out for themselves. A line is underneath these words and the house to give a comforting ground to stand on, but soon disappears at the same time as the title, leaving the house alone, as it grows smaller and smaller within the surrounding darkness. It wouldn’t take much to convince audiences that this could be a slasher film, like this:
Thankfully it gets more cheerful right away, showing a well decorated and lit house. With a cop inside trying to get anyone’s attention. On the one hand, this could be seen as a way to show that (spoilers) villains won’t disturb this family’s fun/holiday. But on the other hand, at least one of the adults could have noticed that a POLICE OFFICER was in the house, which is something that demands attention.
“Kevin, out of the room!”
“Hang up the phone and make me why dontcha?”
The appropriate response would be, “Hang on I’ll call you back,” and then start smacking the shit out of that little asshole so he can learn some discipline and respect his parents, so that he doesn’t grow up to be an even bigger asshole. But that doesn’t happen. Even his dad doesn’t provide any sort of discipline, and it becomes obvious that Kevin is a spoiled brat with irresponsible parents.
“All kids, no parents! Probably living in a fancy orphanage.”
More indications on the theme of parents being around for their children, to raise them/discipline them properly. Or a lack thereof in this case. All the children in the household are living breathing walking representations of the result of irresponsible parenting, and because of that they are selfish with no thoughts of helping others, because their parents never acted accordingly towards them. This is indicated even later on when they’re on the plane to France, where the parents are all in first class, but all the kids are in coach. Only Kevin’s mother questions this, though to be fair first class tickets are expensive, but on the other hand the family seems to be fairly wealthy, what with all the items they have at their house, and that they can even afford to take such a large trip with so many people. The kids are being setup to be the next Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
The first individual seen outside of the household is Marley, a man dressed in black, including black rubber boots, who is shoveling snow off the sidewalks and sprinkling salt so that they won’t be slippery. One of the on-looking kids states, “Maybe he’s just trying to be nice,” which is exactly what he’s being. But Buzz, the owner of the tarantula and BB gun in the house (symbolizing his fascination for things that are creepy and dangerous) builds up paranoia for the two kids looking on the man, including Kevin, by telling them a false urban legend about him. This unfounded gossip builds up an unnecessary sense of dread, which makes them want to keep themselves isolated from the dangers that lay beyond the familiar, a callback to the title screen earlier with the lone house and the darkness surrounding it. Therefore the darkness can have 2 meanings in this case, a sense of dread, or a sense of comfort. There can be nice things, or bad things, in the dark unknown. There are some things to be afraid of, but it’s no good having paranoia add to the legitimate fears, especially when they’re misplaced, such as with the crook disguised as a cop at their house.
This isn’t the first time Buzz has made Kevin terrified of something, as the scenes in the basement show later, where Kevin imagines the radiator as a monster.
“I don’t want to see you again for the rest of the night.”
“I don’t want to see you again for the rest of my whole life, and I don’t want to see anybody else either.”
“I hope you don’t mean that. You’d feel pretty sad if you woke up tomorrow morning and you didn’t have a family.”
“No I wouldn’t.”
The way Kevin is acting, this could be attributed either to a light abusive family, or a lack of discipline making him spoiled, or a combination of both. Then again, there are other films and real life scenarios that have kids who act the same way, even if only for small amounts of time. For example, Tree of Life. Either way, the problem’s with Kevin’s attitude can be associated with the parenting. And once he gets his wish for not having any parents around, getting his wish, he celebrates, doing whatever he wishes around the house, having a ball.
1990. Back then, airport security wasn’t too bad, because you could drive from your house, and get to your flight within an hour in that amount of time. Also, plenty of groceries only cost less than $20 bucks, which can get someone by for at least a week. And this movie was made. God the 90s was so fucking awesome.
The film Kevin watches, “Angels with Filthy Souls”. Right after that scene ends, we see Kevin’s dad on the plane reading the book “Nobody’s Angel”. I believe this implies that many children, Kevin included, are angels, but they are naughty on the inside. They are capable of doing much good and providing much love, but Kevin at the start of the movie is dirty on the inside. Watching this film makes him shocked and scared at what he sees, a reflection of later when he realizes how terrible he has been to his family. And the father, well, I guess it’s implied that there’s not much left to him. And let’s not even get started with the uncle.
Eventually Kevin’s mother is the first to realize that Kevin isn’t on the plane with them, after a long amount of time, an unusual amount of time. It soon dawns upon her that she’s a neglectful parent, just like her husband. But she is now in a situation where she may have realized this too late.
As for more consequences of neglect and fear, this is exemplified by Kevin unintentionally stealing a toothbrush from a store. He accidentally stole it by running out of the store with it because of his unjustified fear of Marley, thanks in part to Buzz. There is a twofold message here. One is that paranoia can cause one to do bad things that they normally wouldn’t do if they weren’t afraid. The second is an indirect reference to parental neglect, how that can drive a child to a life that is not respectable, such as a life of crime. The latter scenario is not something that is a plot point or direct lesson in the movie, but simply a subtle lesson within the movie that can be found if one looks hard enough, like the adult humor in an episode of Freakazoid. Or with Marv stating, “We’re the wet bandits.”
Despite how much of an asshole Buzz is, he does have a point when he says that Kevin could use a couple of days in the real world, implying that this would be a way for him to learn some self-responsibility and be less helpless. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens to Kevin through the ordeal. He learns how to run the house responsibly, go shopping (without stealing), become less afraid of the outside world (and the basement), and learn to appreciate family as the loneliness gets to him.
“Have you been a good boy this year?”
“Swear to it?”
“Yeah, I had a feeling. Well, this is the place to be if you’re feeling bad about yourself.”
The scene in the church, where Kevin confesses his faults to the man he had been afraid of the entire film, even on how there are times where he says he hates his family, even thinks he hates his family, but really doesn’t. Every child tends to have moments like that during their life.
“You can be a little old for a lot of things. You’re never too old to be afraid.”
And that’s the thing. Fear of the unknown isn’t limited to criminals and monsters. It’s also about what could happen with relationships, if they could get worse, or become irreparable. The fear that you could lose what hope you have left of reconnecting with someone and become more alone than you were before.
I have to admit, for a kid who didn’t know how to pack a suitcase, he sure does know how to lay traps for the burglars. And that’s the part of the film everyone remembers. And it is glorious. The stuntwork combined with the hilarity. That said, this movie is responsible for spawning the terrible kids films that would follow suit for the rest of the decade. The 90s were full of children’s films that had bumbling criminals/jerks who are outdone by kids or animals and their ingenious methods. And they all had the same thing in common, they had some dumbass fucks who are much more stupid then the protagonist(s), and/or the protagonist(s) were ridiculously smart. The 90s had the worst of it. Unfortunately, the 2000s weren’t exactly victimless of this either, but at least less and less of them made it to theaters. This includes Home Alone 4 and 5 (I can’t believe they made that many of these fucking unnecessary sequels).
One other thing. Is that “M” on the doorknob a tribute to the movie M?
Now, I believe I’ve got a critic’s review that I near to tear to shreds. I’m talking about Aaron and his negative review of this movie. He had this to say: “Home Alone is terrible because it is a mean-spirited film populated by nasty people that emotionally manipulates its audience in the most cynical, unconvincing ways possible. It is a misanthropic hatefest masquerading as a jovial holiday jaunt.”
Alright then, show me.
“The McAllisters, we may stipulate, are awful people.  They treat each other deplorably with little-to-no regard for the impact of their actions on others.”
Well, yeah, especially the uncle and Buzz. But you may be exaggerating that a bit.
“This creates several problems for Hughes’ and Columbus’ goals. For one, little Kevin is supposed to be the put-upon youngest child, alternately pestered and ignored and viewed as a burden, such that he has our sympathies. But little Kevin, disrespectful budding sadist that he is, is no more sympathetic than his self-absorbed, hate-filled relatives. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too harsh toward Kevin—after all, he has learned his behavior from a pack of howling mongrels—but a child who says to his parents things like, “Hang up the phone and make me, why don’t you?” and “I am upstairs, dummy,” is not some meek, beleaguered urchin. He is a child who has willfully entrenched himself on the naughty list and deserves at best a stocking full of coal (or perhaps hot manure), not our rooting interest.”
Most children who get raised like this do turn out this way. But I would say it’s too early to be rooting for Kevin. More importantly, the intention was to have the audience shocked at the current relationship between Kevin and the family. It’s not until later in the movie when he learns to take a look at himself and realize how terrible he has been, and tries to be better, starting with taking some responsibility.
For another, this deplorability makes the entire goal of the story—the reuniting and reconciliation of the McAllister family—an impossible proposition to desire.
Or to see that at least some members of the family learn the neglect is not a good trait to have. The biggest problem is lack of discipline, which we never see any parent do. Well, not do well enough, as the worst they did was a “Go to your room!” type of line, but even then Kevin had to be escorted there. That’s not just a fault of the movie, but I feel a fault with society in general. When’s the last time you’ve seen a children’s film where the kid gets punished, a film made within the last decade? At least A Christmas Story kept that element in, and used it well.
Even if one overlooks the thorough reprehensibility of the protagonists, contrivances and inconsistencies of convenience abound. The McCallisters, for example, apparently live on the only street in America where every single family (save one deus ex old man) leaves home for Christmas
Well, 5 families. But for a film with a concept like this, there’s going to have to be some contrivances. Hell, I can find a bust-load of contrivances in the Kill Bill films, that doesn’t make them terrible (at least not for you).
And not only is the street deserted, but it has no small amount of bad luck, what with power and phone outages that are, incidentally, central to the film’s plot–  We need the McCallisters to seem like concerned parents, after all, even if nothing that goes before would so indicate. And we need Kevin to be phoneless so as to make the central dilemma harder to solve—until, of course, Kevin needs to demonstrate what an “adorable scamp” (read: entitled enfant terrible with unchecked anger issues) he is by ordering a pizza solely for purposes of torturing the delivery boy. How, with no phone and no internet, does Kevin order that pizza?
Good point. Only thing I can say in the film’s defense is that the phone lines were repaired at that particular time, and the parents never bothered to call back when the lines were repaired, because they assumed they would be down for the holidays. Even so, you could argue for another contrivance, which again is one that a film like this needs in order for the concept to work. Otherwise, the concept would either have to not be tried at all, or the film would need to be set back a century or two, back in the day where if there were robbers, the kid could probably easily get a hold of a gun his papa taught him to use and blow the crook’s heads off if he didn’t kill them with bear traps first. As for the pizza thing, I think he just wanted pizza, and figured he could do so with help from the video tape, and thought he mine as well as have fun with it in the process. I mean come on, you have to admit, that would be really tempting for anyone age 13 and under. People do pranks like that (or worse) all the time, even people who are older and more mature than Kevin.
Even worse are the character inconsistencies. Granted, Home Alone is not intended to be King Lear (though its implications are just as tragic), but requesting some sort of plausible character arc is not exactly asking for the moon. At the beginning of the film, Kevin is presented as something of a dullard (what the French might call les incompetents), so thoroughly inept that he is panic-stricken at the thought of having to pack a suitcase. Yet once left to his own devices, Kevin becomes something of a wunderkind, able to leap tall plot contrivances in a single bound. As Roger Ebert put it, Kevin “single-handedly stymies two house burglars by booby-trapping the house. And they’re the kinds of traps that any 8-year-old could devise, if he had a budget of tens of thousands of dollars and the assistance of a crew of movie special effects people.”
That part can’t be defended. I wouldn’t exactly call being able to lay such elegant traps a character arc so much as a flat out impossibility for a kid that age in that time period to do without the aid of the Internet. I certainly wouldn’t call it a character arc, it’s a skill capability. The character arc of him turning from asshole to less of an asshole, on the other hand, was handled well.
“Kevin needs to hate his family? Eh, sounds good. Now Kevin, for no apparent reason, sorely misses them? Great, alright, swell.  But Kevin’s wild veering from ill-tempered holy terror to wise-beyond-his-years lover of family is so obviously driven by cynical plot manipulation that it rings utterly hollow.
I wouldn’t say it’s wild, but it is cynical plot manipulation. I’ve seen the same type of arguments made against just about every Steven Spielberg movie ever made, and especially against Forrest Gump. When it comes to this, it’s more a matter of personal taste. What some may find cynical, others may be ok with, and vice versa. But I can see where you’re coming from with this, such as when he sees a family in a house all happy and celebrating. Or when he’s at the church. That said, it is not for no apparent reason that he misses his family. The first indication is when he shouts for his mom after watching that scene from that movie. The second is when he’s watching television, again, but is starting to get bored with it (and at the same time is starting to do less and less crazy “freedom” stunts because after a while the excitement is bound to wear off), and he starts to get lonely. So no, it isn’t for no apparent reason. It’s due in small part to fear, in large part to loneliness.
“But the mercenary emotional contortions of Hughes’ and Columbus’ story and its myriad gimmicks wouldn’t grate so intensely were it not for the mendacity of their true (not pretended) central thesis: That how you treat others doesn’t matter”
On that I disagree. Kevin eventually realizes that he treated his family like shit, and his mother realized how far she has gone with her negligence. Both make a journey to fix these flaws in their traits. I doubt either one has fully succeeded in completely fixing these flaws, but they’re not as great at the end of the film as they were in the beginning.
Guess I didn’t shred the review as much as I’d hoped I would, but I do believe I’ve left some scars.
This review is ported over from Letterboxd. Just you you understand the context of some criticism I make later on in the review.
“Maybe we could paint the house with vanishing cream. Then it would be invisible.”
“That is the stupidest idea I ever heard. What if it rains? Ding-dong! You ever think about that, Kokoshka? It’ll wash the vanishing cream off, and then everyone’ll see us.”
Wow was this a lot of fun! Every single character was great (especially Ernie, the guy with the red hair who had dynamite hidden under his bed). It masters the craft of blending serious moments, down to Earth moments, with over-the-top cartoony and hilarious moments. I was surprised this movie managed to make me laugh as much as it did.
“You have to take time to enjoy these moments in life.”
“I think you enjoy these moments too much.”
It’s films like these that are a bit difficult to review for me. Yeah it’s a solid film, one of the best Eastwood has done since Gran Torino, which was a decade ago. But trying to find things to talk about when I enjoyed the film, and padding it out to a respectable length, I find that difficult for something like this.
I could talk about how there’s a surprising amount of comedy in this, with his anti-PC quips that I know for a fact several people knew ahead of time were coming.
I could talk about the crowd I saw this with, which was made up primarily of old people, Vietnam and Korean War veterans. And how there was this one old lady who laughed too often a little too loud.
I could talk about how this is loosely based on a true story (ie inspired by), where the film mainly gets the jist of the real-life events and character, but took plenty of liberties with it. But that’s why the film itself never really prides itself on being a true story. It’s not trying to be that per-se. It is its own thing.
I could talk about how crazy it is to see Eastwood directing and starring in a film at his age. How I keep thinking that this is the last film he’s going to do, and then he does another one. I always keep wondering just how many more he still has in him.
But the fact of the matter is that this is a fairly straightforward movie, without any real twists and turns. So I figure it’s more important to focus on the message Eastwood is trying to deliver here.
The film starts off in 2005, where Eastwood’s character Earl Stone (name changed from the real life individual Leo Sharp; that’s how loose of an adaptation this is) is doing his usual florist business. But he sees an early sign of things to come, with cell phones and the Internet offering a new avenue of selling and purchasing products. Sure enough, 12 years later (roughly a year after Leo Sharp actually died), his home is foreclosed due to his business doing terribly with everyone opting to buy flowers (among other products) online rather than in-person. His business is over, and other businesses are closing down as a result. There is always suffering to come with change. Out with the old, in with the new.
Thankfully, the film also doesn’t shy away from the other downsides to the Internet. As efficient as it makes things for various businesses, whether it be retail, talking/texting over cell phones, among other things that can also be used to help drug cartels run their business; it also makes people too reliant on it. This is demonstrated in this one scene where Eastwood helps this black family out who suffers from a flat tire… who don’t know how to swap it for a spare. Becoming too reliant on one thing has its downsides.
While change has its upsides with more efficient business with technologies and ways of social life have their upsides, there are also downsides, as demonstrated with the drug cartels who have no problem killing off one another to gain a higher position of power, who may not be as intelligent as they think they are when it comes to running a business. Just as the drug business has its upsides and downsides. In this film’s case, on the one hand one can make a lot of money in the business. On the other hand, many tend to have a short life expectancy doing that sort of business.
So the film is partly a reflection of the past, and taking jabs at the way things are now, while also having a sort of acceptance to it regardless. While showcasing that times have changed with how people are meant to speak to one another (by “filtering” their words), it also doesn’t have a problem showing that there are still some towns that are still about as xenophobic as they were in the 60s, where Earl stops at one point to have a sandwich with his Mexican “friends,” and the whole time everyone is giving them “looks;” and a cop shows up who is about as racist of a caricature as many would have you believe is the rule rather than the exception nowadays. But the reflections mainly happen with the people Earl hangs out with, those he financially supports; and the songs he sings during his drug runs while taking in the scenery.
And, of course, there’s the whole issue of family. This usually tends to be Eastwood’s weak point when it comes to film-making. He never seems to be able to pull off family aspects without coming off as way to sentimental, overdramatic, etc. The prime example of this can be found with True Crime. The black daughter in that movie needed to die; the mother/wife needed to take a chill pill and shut the fuck up; but the dad was ok. Let alone that stupid zoo scene.
Thankfully, in this film, the family drama is actually solid. Which is something I honestly wasn’t expecting. Especially with Alison Eastwood, Clint’s daughter, playing the role of his actual daughter. It worked. Which helps, considering the other major theme revolves around the consequences of putting family second to work. The film doesn’t go as in-depth with this as I would’ve liked, considering how work is usually necessary, financially-speaking, to keep a family together. But it’s implied that it was prioritizing his time socializing with others and being the center of attention at parties, rather than prioritizing his time with his family, so it’s not exactly a weak section of the film. Just wanted it to be a bit stronger is all.
And yes, the film does get tense at times; but there’s plenty of laughs to be had too at many points throughout the film. The kind of laughs those of us can appreciate who aren’t overly sensitive. And honestly, the quips aren’t anywhere near as anti-PC as in Gran Torino (I wish they were, but that’s not where the film has its priorities). The humor, in fact, acts as a good way to cut the tension, especially considering that Earl is naive to just how out of his depth he really is, until much later on in the film. To the point where when someone attempts to intimidate him for the first time, he starts making jokes about the guy being a dictator for several minutes. The film is as funny as it is tense as it is dramatic.
All around solid, albeit straightforward. Recommended.
Alright, time to give women their due. There is a movie in existence from the 90s (well duh; you’ve probably read the title) directed by the Wachowski Brothers (as they were known as back then), which has two female protagonists.
A couple weeks ago we were challenged by Anomalous Host to find a film for him to review. And he suggested, which is what we kicked off November with, Frankenstein & Me; some kind of a family film about a boy who wants to bring to life his own Frankenstein monster. So we thought, “Wouldn’t it be a good if we picked something in a similar vane? Like a family movie? So we thought Hocus Pocus […]
[…] We decided to throw Anomalous Host under the bus by instead requesting that he review Ghost Dad, starring Pills- pills, what pills? Bill Cosby.
You miserable bastards. Hocus Pocus would’ve been fucking perfect, especially with the news story out there about how many millennials are turning to witchcraft to fill the void of Christianity, which will eventually be overtaken by Islam who will lead the next wave of Salem Witch trials where they will stone witches and bitches to death. Plus it would’ve given me an excuse to not just tackle that movie and virginity, but also tackle Nostalgia Chick, who is an obvious influence on you guys. I’ve seen some of her videos, I’ve seen how some of her dialogue is mirrored by you guys.
Normally I’d want to do a dual review in a case like this, but I can’t do dual reviews while drunk anymore (last time I did that I binge drinked and watched Battle Royal 1 and 2, and that endeavor lasted me at least 6 fucking hours; and I’m not doing it!). So I’ll save Hocus Pocus, and Frankenstein & Me, for another time (for all you readers, I recommend both films; fuck the haters, haters suck). So it will just be this film. And as you can tell from the title, I’m not going to be doing this fucking sober. So fuck you guys for making be review a movie I probably can’t get through sober, fuck you for choosing it over Hocus Pocus, and triple-fuck-you for not reviewing Thankskilling 3 for Thanksgiving. At this point, you fuckers deserve that movie.
And one last thing. You didn’t throw me under any fucking bus. I’m the one driving that motherfucker and running these flicks over myself (except for the decent ones I stop for to give a lift). Because this film was released in April of 1990, which suits me just fine considering I needed to watch it for my next entry in my Nostalgia for the 90s series. I guarantee that you hurt me more with that Combat Shock movie.
Edit (11-22-2018): Ok, I got that wrong. Ghost Dad was released in June 1990.
PS: For those not familiar with my drunk reviews, these are reviews I pretty much type out in real-time, without bothering to correct too many typos when I catch them, and don’t really do much in post except add in some gifs and pics and vids. Because I’m pretty sure some visual images are needed to make sense of the incoherent mess you’re about to witness.
Rated: 2.5 / 5
Oh God. Those Universal Studios intro clips. I have a fondness for the last two, the ones from the 80s and early 90s. It’s about as good as the original intro logos HBO used to have.
Wait a minute. The director is Sidney Poitier? THAT Sidney Poitier? What the fuck? This movie better be better than its reputation claims, or I’m going to be sad. And I don’t wanna be fucking sad when I’m fucking drunk! I wanna be either really happy or really pissed, and nothing else!
Strange way they did that title.
“Ok sweetie, it’s storytime. Let’s see. Where’d we leave off last night?”
“With me coming into the bedroom, feeling dizzy, and then passing out?”
“Ah, right. So then I proceeded to–
Ok, the dialogue didn’t happen like that. Goddamnit! It’s so fucking hard to do this without bringing up a roofie and rape joke!
“Never, in the brilliant career of 300 years had the ghost been so grossly insulted. So he decided to enter the twins room and give them a scare–“
Aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves here? Cosby isn’t dead yet. I mean, I know it feels like he’s been around for 300 years, and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the first time he snuck in to a room with passed out twin girls, but shouldn’t we wait a while before hitting him with the dead jokes?
Alright, I gotta stop with this. No more rapist and roofie jokes, I promise. Not unless this movie makes it too fucking easy to pass up on.
The daughter looks bored, heheh. Oh, it’s because she’s listening to a cassette player of her dad reading her a story. Well then fuck this guy. I mean seriously, not only is he not there to tell her a bedtime story in person, but the recording doesn’t even do it for longer than 1 fucking minute! Fuck this guy!
Now this movie just isn’t realistic. It’s a black family with a single father? Thought it was usually single moms that ran black families, with the dad ditching them when the family became too much of a pain in the ass for him. On the other hand, the dad isn’t there much for the family anyway. I take it back, this movie is a bit realistic. I’m going to assume the mother died or something before he could walk out on them.
Goddamnit! Just how much are they going to rub it in our face that this is a dad who puts his work far above his family? We have the, “he’s too busy to tuck them into bed,” routine. We have the, “he’s too busy to remember their birthday,” routine. What’s next? The, “Oh shit, I forgot to pick them up from school!” routine? Or the important phone call that the kids interrupt routine? Come on, what do you have?
He forgets her fucking name!?!? What the fuck, is she adopted or something? Did he take her out of foster care when she was 15? Does he have Alzheimer’s? This is bullshit!
“You take out your own garbage?”
“We pay people to do that for us. Anyway, I wanted to show Danny my new bike.”
“You mean you have a new possession and you actually want to show it off? That doesn’t sound like you Stewart.”
“Yeah. You can’t get this kind without connections. And, uh, it’s a lot faster than Danny’s. But it should be, since it’s about, uh, twice as expensive.”
“You’re a Republican aren’t you?”
Man, they really try to get ya when you’re young don’t they?
“You are so funny?”
“Well I’m not that funny.”
So far, I agree.
Ok, what the hell? I mean, I appreciate the tension with that elevator bit and all, but how the fuck is it that no one in the fucking building seems to be reacting to an elevator that just crashed from the top floor to the bottom floor? Not that this is realistic anyway, because there’s other countermeasures elevators have (which is why it wouldn’t surprise me if some Final Destination movie did that somewhere; I stopped watching them after the 3rd one, so I wouldn’t know), but I’m trying to give the movie some fucking credit here.
“Thanks. I’m trying to quit.”
Ok, now that was a little funny. I miss the days where they could drop the shit-bomb in kid-flicks. You know, like the Monster Squad, or The Sandlot.
Someone’s been playing Crazy Taxi too much. Oh wait, that didn’t exist yet. Oh God, that means this is a legitimate maniac driving the taxi! Aaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhh!!!
Ok, that was a decent bus effect. Though that scene with the cop was just plain stupid.
I just started thinking, which is something I shouldn’t be doing for these reviews: what would make this movie more interesting? If Patrick fucking Swayze showed up. If that happened, we’d have one of the best ghost comedies of all time.
This doesn’t make any sense, this whole thing of him walking on solid surfaces, and then having trouble doing so when he’s in his home. I mean seriously, is the floor ghost-proof or something?
Is that Legends of the Hidden Temple on the television? No, it can’t be, that didn’t show up until 1993. So what is this kids obstacle course show? Seriously, I have a fascination for these things from the late 80s to the 90s.
Wait, so he can sit easily in his chair now!? Ah fuck it. Ghost movie logic.
Speaking of which, his kids can see him when the room is dark, but not when it’s lit up. Hmmm. Wonder if that would still happen if the ghost was a white guy?
Astonishing. The film actually has it revealed early on to the children that their dad has become a ghost. Usually films like these have 20 minutes of bullshit shenanigans before making that reveal, but this film just does it early on. I’ll give it kudos for that.
Bhahahaha! Ok, I’m not sure if this film was trying to be funny or not, but seeing his children celebrate that he’s a ghost is one of the funniest fucking things I’m probably ever going to see in films. I seriously doubt this film is going to top this moment in terms of segments that made me laugh out loud. But it’s exceeded my expectations a tad so far.
Heh, it’s also kinda funny hearing Cosby do that “ghost talk” in a manner only Cosby can do.
“Stick these on your forefingers.”
Oh my God, he’s giving him a Scientology test.
“I sensed a disturbance in the spirit ether.”
Oh, is that what they’re calling the Force now?
Aha! I called it! The wife died.
I’m actually liking this little twist on the ghost story. How people can become ghosts because heaven “misplaced paperwork,” or something like that, so sometimes people stay on Earth temporarily in ghost form until heaven gets their shit together.
Whoah whoah whoah whaoh whoah! A fucking lightsaber sound effect? Alright, now I’m pissed that these motherfuckers refer to the Force as a “spirit ether.” Hacks. Fuck you. And fuck Kathleen Kennedy too.
Ok, come on. They’re dragging on the whole “Edith is a girl’s name” joke too much, and it wasn’t funny the first time.
Well, this actually has a decent heartfelt moment. He has a good excuse for putting work over his children. Because the wife died, he used up his life-insurance funds to try and help her, and mortgaged the house too to do the same. He’s been trying to work hard and get enough funds to put himself and his family back on track. Kudos again, for not making him a 2-dimensional “job first” character.
“I’m talking about the fact that I want to concentrate, and the view and the sunlight is distracting.”
“… Ok, I’ll buy that one.”
Hah! I could imagine that line being used a lot in the screenwriter’s room.
Health inspection for life insurance. I just know this is going to contain some bullshit. X-Ray portion: bullshit. Checking your heartbeat: bullshit. Bunch of incompetent doctors. … Then again…
Ok, come on. Now this movie can’t decide if it wants to be a movie about a ghost or about an invisible man.
Lady attempting to have sex with the Bill Cosby ghost. Come on, you can do this. You can make it through without doing another rape/roofie joke.
Jesus, they are making that Stewart kid into a real (republican) dipshit. Spoiled, semi-rich, blackmailer who has no intelligence (seriously, your plan is to blackmail an “alien”? Why not tell Batman you’re planning to rob him while you’re at it?). He does have one of those cool glowy phones though.
“Put the bitch on the phone!? Put the bitch on the phone!? The bitch!?”
Those 3 lines need to be put on a T-shirt.
Ahhhhhhh, Jesus. All the shit that’s going on, and it’s going to pull the whole “kids are disappointed in their father at the end of the 2nd act” routine? You know, I really shouldn’t be bitching about something like this, considering what I was expecting out of this movie. But this film dared to show me some moments of potential to indicate that it could’ve been good. But a combination of cliches and eye-rolling moments, and leaps in ghost logic (which I’m pretty sure means fuck-all to just about everyone except for me) just keeps bringing this film back down to the level I was expecting. And that fucking pisses me off even more. Come on movie, be good. BE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDD!!!!!!!
Man. So for the magic trick this kid is planning on doing. A black kid has himself in a straitjacket, while wrapped around in chains, and locked in a magic box? Good thing this isn’t the 1700s or someone would think he’s about to go up for auction. That’s 1 of 2 reasons (though I’m sure there’s more) as to why the teacher shouldn’t allow this stunt to happen, but he does anyway. I do like how much more lax the 90s were.
“How am I doing?”
“You’re getting an A.”
How the hell did this guy from London track down Cosby’s location? Ah fuck it, he’s got a lot of science shit that probably acts as a compass, and some computer tech, and all sorts of made up Star Trek bullshit that probably makes it logical somehow in this universe.
Fuck you for bringing up the “girls’ name” joke again.
So he’s not dead, but in some coma, where his spirit has temporarily left his body. Whatever you say to give this a happy ending.
“Let’s check the riverbank!”
Bullshit! Check the fucking hospital you dumbfucks!
Phahahahahahah!!!!! Oh my– Hahahahahahahah! Ooooohhhhh my God. I take it back. I thought them cheering when they learned he was a ghost was the funniest moment in the movie. It’s not. It’s when the daughter slips on the skates left by the dumb cunt littler daughter, rolls down the stairs, and somehow flies out far enough to smash into the television (or microwave) and stool. I mean, I know it sounds fucked up to laugh at something like this. But, Jesus Christ, that little build-up moment they had to this at the beginning of the film, and that it happened at that moment, and just how fucking far she had to fly from where the stairs were to smash into all that stuff. I’m fucking dying here. It was worth watching this movie just for that moment that brings me endless joy (well, maybe not endless; just for the next half hour or so). I don’t care how shitty the rest of the film was, it was worth it just for that.
Oh, Jesus fuck! That’s not how you carry a patient from one hospital bed to another! You don’t pull on her fucking head! Christ, as if this wasn’t funny enough.
Superfast recovery once the ghosts get back into their bodies. Too fast, especially for the daughter who should be in a fucking neck brace right now.
Ok, this is also kinda funny. Cosby finds that lunatic Satan-worshiping driver again (who somehow isn’t arrested by now), and basically tells him to commit suicide. And he drives off, leaving the audience under the impression that’s exactly what he’s going to do. Man, that’s got to be a first for a “family” movie.
And the movie ends just like that. With Cosby happy, back from the dead, but jobless, poor, and likely to live a life with a minimum-wage job for the rest of his life, unable to support his children. And he’s pissed off his rich Republican neighbor kid. He’s fucked.
It’s honestly not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Aside from some swearing, some sexual innuendo, and convincing a lunatic to commit suicide, it’s not a half-bad family film. On the other hand, families should loosen up a bit and let their children enjoy shit like this, because it’s not as if they aren’t going to here the words “shit” and “bitch” when they’re at school, or anywhere else for that matter.
Plus it has these two hilarious laugh-out-loud moments, one of which may be intentional, the other of which is definitely unintentional.
But I don’t think it was bad enough to qualify for a drunk review. Couldn’t muster up anything that drunk-type-worthy for this film. Ah, whatever.
Fair warning, there will be spoilers for all 4 films. I strongly encourage you to watch at least one of these Body Snatcher films first before reading this review; preferably the 1978 version.
What True Horror Is
When people talk about horror, about films that scare them, I think back years ago to a Bravo special where they listed the top 100 scariest movie moments of all time (pretty sure AMC did something similar at some point). But the list can also be equated to the top 100 most terrifying films of all time. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was listed among them, because of the boat trip where they saw disturbing imagery. Up in the top three was The Exorcist, and Alien. After those two came and went in 2nd and 3rd place, I was left wondering, “Well what the hell could first place be?” It ended up being the film Jaws. And thinking more about it a few hours after that was listed, I realized they had a point. Jaws was a film that not only terrified some people when they washed it, but it made people terrified to go swimming in the ocean. You know, because once that film came out, people figured it was 50/50 odds of getting ripped apart by a great white shark, even if those odds don’t match the actual statistics. But in any case, job well done. The film played on a fear that many already had to some extent, amplified it, and made many film-goers more paranoid about the potential real-life situation that could happen.
There’s a reason why films like Jaws, The Exorcist, Alien, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Blair Witch Project, among others, are classics that withstand the test of time in-spite of anything that does come off as dated (the shark in Jaws, the cliches and stereotypes some of these films started, etc). And there’s a reason why others are quickly forgotten. If there’s anything I despise about most horror films, especially those of today, it’s the overuse of the JUMP-scare. And you always use caps when spelling out the JUMP in JUMP-scare because it’s almost always punctuated by a loud music cue. Or if music is unavailable, throw a fucking cat into the scene, because people are scared of cats. But no matter what, always make sure there’s a hot chick in the film. Whether she’s the last survivor or one of the victims during the first 3/4ths of the runtime, all that matters is that she’s in it so this shit can be sold to the horny male teenagers and lesbians who want to bang her; but they can’t bang her, so they just fantasize about her while banging their real girlfriends. The main movie I think of when it comes to relying on nothing but JUMP-scares to get people to watch it is The Unborn from 2009. “What’s that movie?” you may ask. To which I reply, “Exactly.”
That’s not to say JUMP-scares can’t be utilized effectively, as each of the above films have at least one moment that executes the technique. But the classics tend not to lean so heavily on that crutch. Because JUMP-scares are a quick-fix. No real lasting impact, as their intention and execution is a dime-a-dozen among horror films ever since the 80s (the 70s had it, but to a lesser extent). Just something to make people content until they have the urge to go out and see the next piece of shit horror film out there that also relies heavily on the use of jump-scares, to the point where they break that crutch with their fat lazy bloated weight.
The point is, JUMP-scares are not scary. They are not horror. They are not terrifying. They are startling. Know what else is startling? Someone who walks up behind you without you being aware, and then says something calmly; something like, “Hey, you planning on doing the dishes?” There’s nothing terrifying about that unless you’re scared shitless of being near some family member or significant other. On that note, if one were to establish that the family member was deeply disturbed, and you had a very good reason to keep away from him/her, that you don’t know for sure what would happen should they get close to you, then you have something going for horror. The creeping dread. The mounting tension. The dwindling candlelight of hope.
Alfred Hitchcock stated it best when talking about a hypothetical scene in a film. If people were having a conversation at a dinner table, but then an explosion happened that killed a good number of them, then you would be startled, but the tension eases off quickly after that. But if you take the same sequence and show the bomb hidden beneath the table at the very beginning, counting down, and then focus on everyone talking at the dinner table, then you have mounting tension. As you get to know the people through dialogue, you may begin to relate to some, sympathize with others, and hope they somehow get away from there before the bomb goes off.
Because this is a fundamental element to what makes all, I repeat, all horror films work. Tension. The same thing that makes thrillers work is also what is needed to make horror films work. Tension. But tension alone isn’t enough, because the whole point of tension is the buildup of dread, the buildup of worry. Dreading what? Worrying about what? If it’s buildup to an inconsequential JUMP-scare like most of those found in the film The Unborn, then it’s not exactly that great of a jump scare to say the least. Even in Alien the jump-scares meant something. Like, “Oh crap, the Alien is behind him! He’s going to die!” Or, “Oh shit! It’s on the escape pod! How will she survive now?” You know as opposed to some scare that’s a fake-out scare, or a repetitious scare like the last half-dozen that came before it which doesn’t evolve the character or the plot in any way.
In most cases, the fear comes from worrying about what will happen to someone. Otherwise the only thing you’re likely scared of is dying from a heart attack (which is one way to face your fear). Or because the film contains something that represents what you yourself fear. So if a film contains well-written and relatable characters dealing with something that is related to something you fear happening, then you may have just come across your own personal favorite horror film. Since it’s usually difficult to make something that relatable to such a large number of potential customers, especially in this day and age when just about everything has been done in the past, the best course of action to take (one would think) would be keeping things simple.
By simple, I mean, “Fear of the unknown,” style. Not revealing very much about the antagonist, the creature, the thing, it, etc (oh God, not the etcetera!). For example, with John Carpenter’s The Thing, we never really know the true identity of the creature, or how many forms it can take, how many planets it has wiped out. With Ridley Scott’s Alien, we have vague knowledge of the Alien’s origin; that it may have been an experiment, a species created by the Disc Jockey, or perhaps something the Disc Jockey was transporting elsewhere before something went wrong. Either way, it’s implied its a monster that is capable of killing other alien species with technology far more advanced than humans, thus begging the question, “If they died, then what chance do we have to survive?” Plus the implied devious/sexual nature of the creature, which can be unsettling.
Nowadays most film-makers have the desire to explain away as much as possible, because they can’t have the audience pondering and thinking up their own conclusions; no, that would encourage creative thinking. And unfortunately, Ridley Scott isn’t immune to this, with all the harm he has caused to the Alien franchise with Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. Fear of the unknown is an outdated concept in Hollywood now, as well as a concept they seem to shun for some reason. Maybe they’re terrified of critical thinking audiences.
There is another element of fear that has not lost its touch ever since the concept first made its way to the screen in 1956. Fear of each other. Paranoia. Just how well do you know those around you? Just how well connected are you with your neighbors and the community you live in? Would you be able to tell the difference if something had changed? Would you be able to do so before it was too late? Sometimes it’s something as innocent as new hip trends that the new generation wants to get into (one decade it’s Dungeons & Dragons, the next it’s uncensored perverted Japanese videogames). Other times it’s something more sinister.
On March 21, 1947, President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) issued Executive Order 9835, also known as the Loyalty Order, which mandated that all federal employees be analyzed to determine whether they were sufficiently loyal to the government. Truman’s loyalty program was a startling development for a country that prized the concepts of personal liberty and freedom of political organization. Yet it was only one of many questionable activities that occurred during the period of anticommunist hysteria known as the Red Scare.
“There’s no emotion. None. Just the pretense of it. The words, gesture, the tone of voice; everything else is the same, but not the feeling!”
The first film, like many films from the 50s, and 60s, and 70s, and 80s, played on the fear of Communism spreading into the United States. The Red Scare. Of course Hollywood wasn’t going to pass on the chance to have someone else to target, along with the Nazis which plagued many Hollywood films as the main villains (hell, I’d say they never went away; I dare you to come up with 1 year where there wasn’t some Hollywood film that had some Nazi villain, released during the 50s to the present). Communists, socialists, those who threaten our capitalist republic government and lifestyle!
The takeover is done rather well in this film. It’s a subtle thing at first. Some people act differently. They have the details and features that humans should have, but they started out without character, without features; implying that they are featureless, characterless beings which disguise themselves to contain more. They’re no longer human (because communists/socialists < human). They are aliens, planning to take over. And they are starting with this small town, and will work their way outward from there. Like the domino theory.
However, this film doesn’t settle for something so simplistic. There’s more to it than just capitalizing on the Red Scare. There’s also a focus on psychiatry, which the main protagonist specializes in, and how those seeking psychiatric help can lose themselves.
“From my practice I’ve seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away, only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn’t seem to mind.”
“But just some people Miles.”
“All of us. A little bit, we harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us.”
The Body Snatchers aren’t just a metaphor for communism and socialism. It’s also a metaphor for those who have lost their sense of humanity. How easy it is to do so. Psychiatrists working with people, trying to help them to get back on their feet and learn how to deal with their emotions responsibly. However, many would rather learn to deal with their emotions by trying not to have any at all. Booze-drinking, pill-swallowing, the latter of which is something a psychiatrist recommend. Despite their intentions, they too share a responsibility for others losing their humanity. Too difficult to go on, so they give up rather than keep on fighting. Better to take the easy way out and not care at all. Life would be simpler that way.
“So that’s how it began. Out of the sky”
“Your new bodies are growing in there. They’re taking you over, cell for cell, atom for atom. There’s no pain. Suddenly while you’re asleep they’ll absorb your minds, your memories. Then you’re reborn into an untroubled world.”
“Where everyone’s the same.”
“What a world.”
“I love Becky. Tomorrow, will I feel the same?”
“There’s no need for love.”
“No emotion. Then you have no feelings. Only the instinct to survive. You can’t love or be loved, am I right!?”
“You say it as if it were terrible. Believe me, it isn’t. You’ve been in love before; it didn’t last. It never does. Love. Desire. Ambition. Faith. Without them, life’s so simple, believe me.”
“I don’t want any part of it.”
“You’re forgetting something Miles.”
“You have no choice.”
So the film opts to tackle a threat that is external just as much as it is internal. Why try love when it risks you becoming broken-hearted (or when it results in your significant other divorcing you and taking half your shit)? Why have desire when you can’t have what you want? Why have ambition when it ultimately leads you nowhere? Why have faith when it lets you down numerous times?
Such themes touched upon, but the film doesn’t go far enough with them in my opinion. And to be honest, I never expected it to go far enough, considering the time period it was made it. Thankfully, the other films that followed would dive more heavily into such themes, but it can be argued that a couple of the later adaptations dive too heavily into such themes.
Other than taking issue with the method on how the film tackles these, uh, issues, there is one moment in the film that I can’t make much sense of. The film established that the pods eject lifeforms which take on the form and shape of an individual, and the lifeform replaces the individual. They leave it completely vague as to what happens to the previous body (something the 70s and 90s version doesn’t shy away from), but one would have to assume the other body is disposed of somehow so that the replica can take its place. Otherwise what would be the point of creating a replica? So I’m wondering what exactly happened to Becky’s body during those brief couple minutes that Miles left her alone in the cave for. Was some pod hidden there that managed to break out, take form, replace Becky, put on her clothes, and then lie there waiting for Miles when he got back? That’s a lot to take in, especially given the time limit to achieve such a convenient feat. It’s executed better in the 70s remake.
Oh, and one last thing. Of course, the film was remade numerous times due to the popularity of not just the first film, but also of the 1978 film that followed. However, I’m thinking there’s another reason they wanted to remake this, given this dialogue by the psychiatrist protagonist to this little boy named Jimmy:
“All right Jimmy. Open your mouth. Shut your eyes. In the words of the poet, ‘I’ll give you something to make you wise.'”
Hollywood pedophilia alert! I guess pills can also be a metaphor for something devious.
Under pressure from the negative publicity aimed at their studios, movie executives created blacklists that barred suspected radicals from employment; similar lists were also established in other industries.
So let me get this out of the way. This is my favorite horror film of all time. When I first saw this film, it terrified me to the core. I mean, the moment when the loved one crumbles away; plus the final moment of the film. Kinda scarred me as a kid (so did the 90s one for that matter, but I’ll get to that later). Watching it again, it still holds up very well. Because this is THE film that absolutely nails the element of growing tension and growing sense of isolation. It truly knows hot to make the audience as paranoid as the main characters. And on that note, Kevin McCarthy, the main protagonist from the last film, manages to show up in a great (albeit depressing) cameo in this film. He spent 30 years trying to warn us…
But anyway, like the last film, this movie still builds on the paranoia of the second Red Scare, which never fully went away, given the Cold War that was still ongoing. But in all fairness, the Red Scare died down a bit since the 50s film. In any case, communism and socialism were still big red targets. And like the last film, it doesn’t just focus on how one should be wary of the subtle rise of such a society, with people continually losing their humanity, giving up the fight, and just serving the hive mind. Psychiatry still plays a significant role, though that’s not the role of our lead protagonists; that role goes to Leonard Nemoy. It’s only logical.
Rather, the protagonists we get from Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams are Department of Health inspector and botanist respectively. Also reflective of the sign of the times, given that the 70s had a Green Peace wave of its own kind. Which makes the invasion of the pods all the more ironic, as they are portrayed to be plant-like, but are parasites. Like mistletoe.
“I think it’s a grex.”
“G-R-E-X. That’s when two different species cross-pollinate and produce a third completely unique one. And listen to this. Epilobic. From the Greek epi: upon. And lobus: a pod. Many of the species are dangerous weeds and should be avoided”
“In the garden. See? Look how quickly it roots. Their characteristic rapid and widespread growth pattern was even absorbed in many of the large, war-torn cities of Europe. Indeed, some of these plants may thrive on devastated ground.”
Now that dialogue description of the pod plant, that bares resemblance to the rise of Nazi Germany. A country devastated by war, still suffering economically. Fertile ground for the rise of socialism and fascism; for the rise of Hitler. So yes, that theme is still in these films. But they go a little further when it comes to talking about the plants.
“Nancy, shut the music off.”
“It’s for the plants, Stan.”
“Screw the plants. I hate the music.”
“It’s wonderful for my plants. They just love it. Plants have feelings, you know, just like people. It’s fascinating. This type of music stimulates the growth of the plants.”
That dialogue exchange takes place at this bathhouse. Well, more of a mud-bathhouse, which I guess is metaphorical for us being like plant seeds in the soil. In the bathhouse, some cheery music is being played for the plants. Contrast this to when Amazing Grace is being played near the end at the shipping docks for the pods. Music for the plants, signifying a funeral for mankind.
The film’s arcs stand out in a significant way. First is the invasion, where we see the town operating as normal before people start getting replaced by pods. We see the takeover happen from the beginning, as opposed to the first and third film where we pretty much enter into the story while it’s going on. We see the relationships people have with one another, and how it’s not all peaches and roses. Then the 2nd act, people are changing. The protagonists begin to feel isolated from the community. Then the 3rd act, the protagonists are right in the middle of an alien society, trying to run, trying to survive. It’s this third act where we are dropped into a George Orwell 1984 situation. Trying to live in a society where any hint of emotion is a death sentence; how trying to remain strong in such an environment is impossible, as you will eventually wear down. Then the last act, where the takeover is pretty much complete, and we see how lifeless this new life is.
“You’ll be born again into an untroubles world; free of anxiety, fear, hate.”
“Your minds and memories will be totally absorbed. Everything remains intact.”
“I hate you.”
“We don’t hate you. There’s no need for hate, now, or love.”
“Don’t be trapped by old concepts.”
“We came here from a dying world. We drift through the universe from planet to planet; pushed on by the solar winds. We adapt, and we survive. The function of life is survival.”
Because as parasitic beings, the pods aren’t capable of sustaining themselves. They thrive only where there is life. During the last few minutes of the film, Sutherland, now a pod person, wanders around aimlessly in the city. Sure there are others around, and he does the same stuff he did prior to being a pod person (sitting around at work; cutting out pieces of newspaper). But he has no emotion with his actions. He has no purpose. There’s no feeling to anything he’s doing. Incapable of being bored, incapable of being happy, incapable of being sad, incapable of any emotion. There’s nothing to motivate him, or any of the other pod people for that matter, other than replacing all humans with pods. And when there’s no humans left? Then eventually the world dies like the last one they were on, and they eventually move on to the next one.
Just as they look like people but aren’t, they also looked like plants but aren’t. It would be dangerous to treat them as something they’re not. And this comes back to the threat of socialism. The society can thrive for a while, but is destined to die off if it doesn’t change/evolve. Because having emotions, ambitions, love, hate, sadness, happiness, something to drive an individual is what can allow one to sustain themselves, and others.
Which brings me to the other aspect of the film. Like the first film, it’s not just about the threat of communism/socialism. There’s also a psychiatrist element to it, among other 70s culture aspects that differ from that of the 50s. In the 50s, marriage was considered sacred, and husband and wife were never to divorce under any circumstance. With the free-flying 70s, they began to change their opinion on marriage, that it shouldn’t be considered so sacred. Divorce rates rose. Relationships suffered (more or less). Many sought aid from psychiatrists, put their complete faith in them, hoping that they would fix things for them.
“People are stepping in and out of relationships too fast because they don’t want the responsibility. That’s why marriages are going to hell. The whole family unit is shot to hell.”
“David, you’re not listening to what she’s saying.”
[David turns towards Matthew] “Matthew, please stay out of this.” [He turns back to Elizabeth] “You see? That’s the point. I’m listening to you, but he doesn’t think I am. Why? Because he doesn’t expect me to bother enough or to care.”
“How did you feel about what you just saw? You were probably shocked. You wanted to shut your feelings off, withdraw, maybe make believe that it wasn’t happening because then you don’t have to deal with it.”
“I wanna deal with that poor woman in the bookstore.”
“Why? … Do you identify with her?”
There’s also the idea of failing relationships in this film. It’s evident early on even before Elizabeth’s husband is turned into a pod person, how he cares more about the sports on tv than being intimate with her. When he does become a pod person, what little intimate feelings he still had for her disappeared, and he becomes more closed off from her than ever. One could say their relationship was going down that direction in the first place, but the pod invasion accelerated the process. Thus a callback to that line of dialogue from the first film, “From my practice I’ve seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away, only it happened slowly instead of all at once.”
So what’s most important is our relationship with one another. The closer we are to someone, the more we know about each other, the more emotionally connected we are, the more quickly we can identify when something is wrong. And possibly take precautions to overcome the trouble before it rises too high. Because many were so closed off from one another, because so many relied on psychiatry rather than on themselves, it made it easier to be conquered by the invaders. Because say what you will about the hive-mind, their interconnections can be a strength too, a strength that can overwhelm us in spite of our own strengths, and in spite of their own weaknesses.
With the dawning of the new anticommunist crusade in the late 1940s, Hoover’s agency compiled extensive files on suspected subversives through the use of wiretaps, surveillance and the infiltration of leftist groups.
The information obtained by the FBI proved essential in high-profile legal cases, including the 1949 conviction of 12 prominent leaders of the American Communist Party on charges that they had advocated the overthrow of the government. Moreover, Hoover’s agents helped build the case against Julius Rosenberg (1918-53) and his wife, Ethel Rosenberg (1915-53), who were convicted of espionage in 1951 and executed two years later.
“Where you going to go? Where you going to run? Where you going to hide? Nowhere. ‘Cause there’s no one, like you, left.”
This film is a little rough. It’s not as good as the first one, let alone being a far cry from the 1978 version. But it does bring enough interesting moments to the table to still make it a worthwhile watch.
Anyway, this film is more blunt than the previous two on where its metaphor priorities are. With the Cold War over and the bashing of the commies being so 80’s at that point, what is the threat of a pod invasion supposed to represent at this point? What should the socialistic hive-mind represent now? The military, obviously. No longer is the threat foreign (metaphorically speaking), it is domestic. No longer is it the Ruskies, it’s the American troops. To be fair though, there are some decent opportunities to be had with this direction. Soldiers all have to dress the same, act the way their superiors demand, and don’t ask questions when taking orders. Conform.
While there is a psychiatrist in this film, played by Forrest Whitaker, keeping with the tradition of the previous entries, he takes more of a backseat here, only showing up in two scenes (from what I recall). The emphasis is put more on the Environmental Protection Agency (the next step from Department of Health role of Donald Sutherland’s character from the last film), a role taken by the dad of the family unit who moves into this military complex temporarily (basically a small town near/within a military base). He has been ordered to the military base to check on the water in the river, to see if there’s any sort of strange pollution going on. Well, that is where the pods are found (unlike the last film, we know they came from space, but aren’t shown the actual space travel). So I guess there’s a connection here between the military, pollution, and an overall threat to every American. Well the Green Peace movement is still ongoing from the 70s it seems, but you would think we would’ve learned that plants suck at this point.
But he’s not the main protagonist; that would be his daughter. And here comes that secondary theme these films tend to have. This family unit, composed of the EPA dad, the 17 year old (almost 18 and legal) daughter, the elementary son, and the wife. They’re not the most well-kept family, at least as far as the daughter is concerned. She can’t wait to be free of them and do her own thing, especially when her dad is restrictive of her at times. She wants to be free and independent, and get a boyfriend, and get laid. Well, she gets 1 out of 3 in this film, and makes out with the military boyfriend she just met, so I guess that makes it 1.5 out of 3.
The father and daughter don’t listen to the son when he talks about strange things going on at the base. And the dad doesn’t take his daughter’s concerns seriously. Some failure to communicate, once again providing some compare and contrast between the humans and the aliens. But there’s also this decent scene at a school where all the children do finger-painting, and the paintings all look exactly the same, save for the painting done by the new kid. Of course, this was done to show how far gone the town is and the methods used to determine who needed a good podding. But this also acts as a metaphor for brainwashing the youth in school; to make them all think alike; to make them ready for the hive-mind, to be conformed.
To further the film’s credit, it also has what I consider to be the best “alien reveal speech” out of all the films. You know, that speech where they state they come from another world, that they wish to remake this one so that there’s no emotions, no conflict. And it’s delivered by Full Metal Jacket sergeant himself, R. Lee Ermy. But he’s not delivering it in the over-the-top, “Do what I say or I’ll get the Looney Tunes to rape your mother!” type of dialogue that we’re all familiar with (or we should be; if you’re not, go watch Full Metal Jacket right now!). Rather, he delivers the dialogue in a calm and soft-spoken manner, which ends up being more unsettling.
“Look what your fear has done to you. Can’t you see? When all things are conformed, there will be no more disputes, no conflicts, no problems any longer.”
“There are hundreds, even thousands of us here. We have traveled light-years throughout the universe, always surviving, always growing stronger, because we’ve learned it’s the race that’s important, not the individual.”
“The individual is always important.”
It’s also a bit interesting to see that it’s a white guy delivering this line to a black guy, about the race being more important than the individual. Granted, he’s speaking more in terms of human/alien race rather than race of color, but that’s all the more reason to make me think it was intentional. How one of the disputes and conflicts caused by humanity has to do with racial disputes. One would think this subject is given more attention at the start of the film when the daughter becomes ambushed (sort of) by a black soldier in the bathroom, who doesn’t have any ill-intention towards her, but is terrified of others who are after him. But this could very well play on the assumption that white people tend to distrust black people more, and how blacks fear white because blacks are the minority. The film isn’t blunt on this subject in any way, shape, or form, even to the point where I could be reading too much into it and the casting just ended up accidentally allowing for such a message to make its way into the film. I’m going to go on the assumption that this theme is intentional, especially when considering that the only scenes where black and white people seem to be getting on just fine is when they are all pod people, completely conformed. If this theme was intentional, I’ll applaud the film for doing it so subtly and naturally.
This film also marks another element that may have been hinted at in the previous film, but goes full-on here. How alluring and borderline seductive the pod people can be when it comes to convincing others to join them. This isn’t really done by having the pod people seduce the humans per-se; rather in the subtle nods, and in the unique camera style the director employs. How the pod wife is giving her husband a back message to relax him before making him the next victim. The way Ermy delivers his speech to Whitaker. How the slightly underage girl presents herself to the soldier boyfriend when in pod form (a bit of a callback to that one scene in the 70s film).
Plus, the pod people aren’t shown once to be using any weaponry in this film, as opposed to the humans who use weaponry any chance they get to defend themselves, or commit suicide. Come to think of it, the pod people didn’t use any weapons in the previous films either. This offers contrast to the way they conquer vs. the way humans conquer. The pod people prefer being subtle, conquering the world as calmly and non-violently as possible. While the humans, we like to take a more blunt approach towards defending ourselves and taking over other countries. One is violent, one is more peaceful. Both don’t give a damn about what the individual wants that they are annihilating. But the film pulls back a bit on showing the downsides to the pod people winning. Yes, it does admit the individual is lost to the hive-mind; and it does show the horrific way humans become assimilated; but it’s less blunt than the previous films when it comes to stating the downsides of the benefits of having no more conflict or emotion. This is a trend that will carry on, more heavily, into the 2007 film. But at least this film tries to even-handedly show the faults in both the humans and the pods.
The main issues I had with this film is that the acting was spotty in some places. The scope of the film felt too drawn back compared to the others, even for a film that is meant to convey a sense of isolationism. The ending could potentially be open to interpretation, about who the real monsters are or something like that; but I took it to mean that all the stuff that happened on the military base was also happening in other parts of the United States, or even the world, and so the protagonists were screwed. Who knows for sure? The finale felt too rushed no matter how you look at it.
As the Red Scare intensified, its political climate turned increasingly conservative. Elected officials from both major parties sought to portray themselves as staunch anticommunists, and few people dared to criticize the questionable tactics used to persecute suspected radicals. Membership in leftist groups dropped as it became clear that such associations could lead to serious consequences, and dissenting voices from the left side of the political spectrum fell silent on a range of important issues. In judicial affairs, for example, support for free speech and other civil liberties eroded significantly. This trend was symbolized by the 1951 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dennis v. United States, which said that the free-speech rights of accused Communists could be restricted because their actions presented a clear and present danger to the government.
I expected to hate this film more than I did. Make no mistake, this isn’t a solid film. In fact, watching it made me hold greater appreciation for the 1993 version. That being said, there are signs that this film actually had some decent potential. That also being said, a 2.5 is the rating I would give this on a good day, so my rating will likely be lowered if I were to rewatch this again. Because if you thought the 1993 Body Snatchers film was too blunt with its messaging about the military and conformity, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
So the first film had things focused on occupants of a small town. The 70s film upgraded the scale to a major city. The 90s film pulled back a bit and kept it focused on a small town, inside a military complex. Well the 2007 film opted to make it 70s in scope again. But what would the focus be on now? The Cold War is over, and the franchise already dealt with the military. So what else could be used as a metaphor for the dangers of hive-mind conformity and socialism? Apparently, rich corporate assholes was the next prime candidate, because nothing says conformity and socialism like rich corporate capitalist men in Wall Street suits. Then again, I believe the point the film is trying to make it how much better the world would be if the rich corporate and political assholes were more like socialist assholes. Throw in some nods about toxic drinking water (something hinted at in the 90s film; the 70s had some indication that there’s something special about the water, but more in an ironic way with how plants and humans use it), messages about how efficiently countries like Japan and and Europe can deal with virus outbreaks due to their protocols which are superior to that of the U.S., and a solid dose of the international scene regarding the war on terror, and war in general. So in other words, it takes shots at the George W. Bush administration, which was a popular target at that time period, and continued to be until around 2013. Then you can see where this film’s priorities lie. It’s going to be more critical of the U.S. than the 90s film was, and…
…you know what, fuck it. Just thinking thinking about this, I’ve decided to lower the rating to 2 / 5.
New rating: 2 / 5
Look, I don’t have much of a problem with films that are critical of the United States, because one is usually critical of the place they live so that it can be made to be a better place. Like how one can be critical of the rich fucks who fund the political fucks you don’t agree with. But the way this film goes about doing it, at the expense of how the first few films went about it… I had a feeling it was going to be bad once that dinner scene happened with the Russian ambassador (don’t worry, this isn’t returning to the Red Scare stuff; actually, maybe you should worry). It became pretty obvious at that point where the film was heading. About how humans suck and are doomed to wipe themselves out, while ignoring the alternative aspect regarding the existence of humans who manage to resolve issues/conflicts peacefully. Very pretentious.
So the film does a bit of a return to form by making the main protagonist a psychiatrist again, only this time played by Nicole Kidman. And the film does something I had hoped it would do. It brings sharper focus on what it is many psychiatrists do. How they usually prescribe pills to people to keep them emotionally stable and functional. And implying that this has downsides, something hinted at in the 50s and 70s version.
“You give people pills to make their lives better. How’s that different from what we’re doing?”
Unfortunately, the film really dumbs this aspect down with dialogue like that, how they ask the question of how taking pills is any different from what the pod people are doing. I can think of several differences, such as how people can make themselves stop taking pills, how pill-swallowers can still be independent and emotional, that being a pod person has worse side-effects than the pills you were taking, among other things. In fact, the film dumbs down things a lot when it comes to portraying the downsides of the hive-mind. In that it tries to avoid mentioning it altogether. The only time it really gets into the downsides of being a pod person (except there aren’t any fucking pods in this fucking movie, it’s all done by CG cell effects now) is by throwing in another bullshit situation.
“My baby boy is immune to the pod disease! All you pod people can suck it!”
That’s more or less what’s revealed. The film does what none of the others did, create a deus-ex-machina to save the day by having some people immune so that a cure can be made which will reverse the process. It’s at this point I’m starting to think this movie is full of shit in its depiction of pod people. These aren’t fucking pod people! These can hardly even be called body snatchers (which is probably why they removed those two words from the fucking title). They aren’t taking bodies and replacing them with their own, they’re altering cell structures somehow (try saying “Cell Snatchers” 5 times fast), which somehow allows them to have minds of their own and… it just seems stupid to me. They can say what they want about how scientifically plausible this is; but all I see is just one more example of lazy writing to come up with a plot contrivance for some bullshit oh-so-convenient ending; because they don’t have the balls to make the film dark and serious. That, and it’s also a way of saying, “Well that kid from the first film got podded, the kid on the swings from the 2nd film likely got molested by Catholic Priest Robert Duvall, and the kid from the 3rd film got the shit killed out of him; let’s have the kid survive this time and take a significant role.”
By the end of the film, in-spite of the pukers (they don’t deserve the name “pod people;” and since one of the ways they transmit this disease is by puking slime on others, or in their drinks, I’m just going to refer to them as pukers from here on) stating that they will kill anyone immune to their 28 Days Later disease, the film tries to make them sympathetic by the end. Through the first half of the film, there are newspaper headlines and news programs discussing the war and casualties happening throughout the world. During the latter half, these headlines are replaced with stories of conflicts ending and peace being made, indicating that the pod people are putting a stop to all this violence. But once a cure is found and all pod people revert back to being normal, the wars start up again. So the film ends on a note of, “Did she do the right thing? Would it have been better if the pod people took over?” There’s some problems with this message, outside of it being politically blunt as fuck.
“Look at yourself. Is this who you are? Is this who you want to be? You were wrong to fight them.”
“You wondered what it would be like if people could live more like those trees. Completely connected with each other, in harmony.”
“Have you seen the television? Have you read the newspapers? Have you seen what’s happening here, what we’re offering? A world without war, without poverty, without murder, without rape; a world without suffering. Because in our world, no one can hurt each other or exploit each other or try to destroy each other, because in our world there is no other. You know what it’s like Carol. Deep down inside, you know that fighting us is fighting for all the wrong things. Carol, you know it’s true. Our world is a better world.”
So outside of having the pukers wanting to kill a kid immune to their virus, the film implies that they’re not so bad. There isn’t any focus on the consequences to be had for losing your individuality, your emotions, your independence. It could’ve worked if there was more emphasis as to how valuable family/personal relationships are, but this film isn’t made/written well enough to take advantage of that. The only real thing we get is, “Momma loves her son,” and that’s it. You can say what you want about what her relationship with Daniel Craig, before he became a British secret agent not named Christopher Steele, entails. You can say what you want about the relationship with the dad who divorced her and what that entails. But the fact of the matter is that these aspects come off as cold and emotionless before any of them had to deal with the pod people. The only one that doesn’t come off as cold is the mother-son relationship, but even then it’s played by-the-numbers. So the film sucks when it comes to showcasing the advantages and disadvantages of personal relationships (unlike any of the predecessors).
“What we believe is that the way the entity plugged itself into our brain was so different from how we’re actually wired, that the mind interpreted the alien experience as a form of unconsciousness. Which explains why those who have been cured have no recollection of recent events. They experienced everything as if they were asleep.”
“Pick up the newspaper. For better or worse, we’re human again.”
Not being so bad for ending wars. Well that only works if they rule everything everywhere. And assuming they do manage that, then what? What happens after they take over? What will life be like then? If the film is going to go in a direction like this, it would be nice to have some list of pros and cons. But it shies away when depicting the cons of being a pod person. Why? I mean, most of the people who do wind up as pod people are usually businessmen, rich men, Wall Street dudes, anyone who is of the upper-class. There’s even a feminism message in this film with regards to a few lines of dialogue given by Nicole Kidman’s character, and further indications the film wants to go along with said feminism message by having her get in a scuffle with her ex-husband (while he’s a pod person), and by having most of the pod people be white rich guys.
“All I am saying is that civilization crumbles whenever we need it most. In the right situation, we are all capable of the most terrible crimes. To imagine a world where this was not so, where every crisis did not result in new atrocities, where every newspaper is not full of war and violence. Well, this is to imagine a world where human beings cease to be human.”
“While I’ll give you that we still retain some basic animal instincts, you have to admit we’re not the same animal we were a few thousand years ago.”
“Read Piaget, Kohlberg or Maslow, Graves, Wilber, and you’ll see that we’re still evolving. Our consciousness is changing. Five hundred years ago, postmodern feminists didn’t exist yet one sits right beside you today. And while that fact may not undo all of the terrible things that have been done in this world, at least it gives me reason to believe that one day, things may be different.”
Not exactly making a good case for humanity there, considering that postmodern feminists suck. But that’s another thing about this film. I’ve stated in previous blog entries that I believe 2006 was the year things began to go downhill in the entertainment industry. Not quickly, but slowly and subtly, via subliminal messaging (not as subliminal as in They Live, but with the way dialogue is spoken, with the way various groups/sexes/races/countries are portrayed in the media, etc). This film is one of those during the early days the trend became noticeable to me that contains many of the aspects most SJWs/NPCs (whatever you want to call these thin-skinned pussies). A couple lines about feminism encouraging the makings of the ideal strong independent woman that came more into fruition when films like Atomic Blonde, the new Star Wars trilogy, Wonder Woman, etc, came about in more recent years (as of this writing). The downplaying of how bad socialism/communism actually is. Growing ever more-critical of the United States. Hell, even a vague notion on how bad guns are makes it into this movie. Whenever she has a gun, she tosses it away soon after using it, ashamed that she decided to. “Guns are bad, but I needed to protect myself and my son, but they’re still bad.” This film contains most of the preachy traits I despise that at least half the films released nowadays in theaters contains.
So at this point I find this 2007 adaptation to be more of an interesting case study than anything else when it comes to the history of film. The cultural/political messages contained within it, and how the same messages grew and spread from there to other films as the years went on. And how one-sided they make the issues they tackle out to be. How ironic. When you think about it, it’s a perfect analogy for this whole Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenario. It starts out as a small seed. Not so dangerous, doesn’t seem like a reasonable threat, so let it grow, let it spread, let it multiply, like weeds in a garden, while they sing propaganda on how the weeds have just as much of a right to live as the fruits and vegetables they suffocate. Let the teachers in schools teach about how to take the cultural/political lessons found in film; teach students how to interpret such message. Let the media do the same. Let the schools, media, films/shows program them all like the NPCs they are.
“The veneer of civility hides our true self-interests.”
The film did show signs of potential. There were indications that it could’ve been better than what we got. The impact on a relationship when a divorce happens; how terrible the world seems; one losing their humanity when they become a cutthroat businessman. And how it could all make one seriously consider ending it all because they can’t take it anymore, and the pod invasion being a metaphor for how willing people would be willing to give up their rights, their independence, their emotions, for the sake of blindly following a cause that could lead to a better world, while being oblivious to the downsides within that other world. But the film wants to keep the existence of those downsides hidden about as well as a politician tries to hide their lies. Which I treat as an insult to my intelligence. But hey, at least it had a scene where she knocks out a kid. And there’s one bitchin’ car chase sequence. Other than that, this isn’t a film I can recommend.
Americans also felt the effects of the Red Scare on a personal level, and thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs. While a small number of the accused may have been aspiring revolutionaries, most others were the victims of false allegations or had done nothing more than exercise their democratic right to join a political party. Though the climate of fear and repression began to ease in the late 1950s, the Red Scare has continued to influence political debate in the decades since and is often cited as an example of how unfounded fears can compromise civil liberties.
Well, you know Hollywood is eventually going to remake this again, like how they continually try to remake history. Seems like any film that had some amount of popularity is due for a remake every 10-20 years. Considering it’s been over 10 since the last one, and considering they’ve used up the title “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” twice, and used “Body Snatchers,” and used “The Invasion,” I figure it’s only natural they use the only other noun left. Funny enough, a videogame has already taken the title, and it’s about a detective in the cyberpunk future tracking down and killing robots who have taken over human identities. Yeah, that sounds like the direction they would take the plot nowadays.
Personally, I think there’s a better way to deal with a remake to make it relevant in today’s age. But no robots; fuck that. If they want a movie about robots replacing people, it better not be called Body Snatchers. What they should do is have pods invade again, and they fall into Hollywood. Where the ground is very fertile because of how well society was doing (like a reverse-socialism disease; whereas socialism tends to take root in poor places, SJWism takes root in rich places). From there it spreads to Los Angeles and San Fransisco (where the 70s version took place), and have them make movies and ads promoting these new plant pods that everyone should have for a very reasonable price (like that movie The Stuff). And since the film is titled “The Snatchers,” naturally, the pods should take people over by being shoved up people’s snatches. And since we’re in a day and age where the new fad is encouraging people to be anything but straight, and convincing men to transition into women, it becomes easier to find snatches to invade (men have been convinced to have their dick and balls chopped off and replaced with a cunt, which they can then act like). It becomes easier to win because those trends cut down the amount of reproduction humans are capable of, while increasing the rate of reproduction the pods are capable of. And anyone who becomes a pod person is interconnected with all other pod people about as well as they’re connected on FaceBook and Twitter (but not Gab, because those Silicon fuckers decided that’s too big of a threatening competitor to tolerate), so they’re able to stay up-to-date in the hive-mind regarding what they should be doing. And anytime they see anyone who isn’t one of them, anytime they see an independent, or a conservative, or God forbid an intelligent well-mannered straight white masculine male who is attractive as fuck and has a six-pack and loads of testosterone and a giant bulging cock which has banged hundreds of chicks who can’t get enough of him, the NPCs point and go REEEEEEEE!!!!! RREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! The sound that attracts all other NPC SJW cunt-pods who want to cut off his dick so that he will no longer be capable of shoving it up their REEEEEEEEE! The podway, or the highway. “If I don’t get dicks, no one gets dicks!”
So yeah, the potential is all there. This Body Snatcher concept is arguably more relevant today than it was during the 70s if used in the right way. But if Hollywood remade it now, I guarantee you it would portray the SJWs as the good guys and all Trump-supporters as the pod people, somehow, even if they have to write them out-of-character to do it.
Which brings me back to why I find the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers to be the most terrifying horror film of all time (just a personal opinion; what people are scared of is entirely subjective). Many say they are afraid of the unknown. I say everyone else is afraid of all people they don’t know. They don’t know what everyone around them will do. They don’t know if they’re going to be the next suicide bomber, mass shooter, rapist, Hollywood turncoat, conservative speaker, spy, gold-digger, or just a plane annoying asshole. And that terrifies people. They are more willing to be pessimistic and terrified of all the bad others can cause rather than be willing to consider the good people can do. Someone could be the next loving companion, the next friend, the next drinking buddy, the next person actually capable of giving a good lay, the next person who enjoys the things you enjoy, the next person who shares some of your views, the next person you may have plenty in common with. But we’re encouraged to be divided by things that are both subtle and blunt. Fake news media, liberal teachers, online bloggers. On that last note, how would you know you could trust me? The same way you could figure out if you can trust the other asshats you listen to and trust more easily than me. Be an independent, don’t be a blind sheep, do some fucking research (the good kind; get information from those who have different perspectives, and don’t just rely on Google search engines to do it; never rely on just a small number of sources, let alone just 1).
The fear goes both ways. Good people are scared that they will let their guard down for bad people, yet they have to let their guard down for someone else lest they become too lonely and isolated. Bad people are scared that there will be enough good intelligent people out their to ruin their plan, and must wipe them out as subtly as possible at first so as not to be discovered, then as quickly as possible when they inevitably are discovered, at which time they may have enough numbers to accomplish their task.
There’s also the fear that someone you know and love changes for some reason, and the thing that changes affects your love for them. They don’t act the way they used to, they don’t believe what they used to believe, they stand for something you never imagined and never hoped they would stand for, etc.
The fear that people will destroy something you value, something that may or may not be tangible. The fear that the only way you may be able to go on is to become just like them.
PS: On the note of the Red Scare and communist influence in Hollywood during the McCarthy era, I strongly recommend checking out the video below. You’d be surprised how much rewritten history you’ve been subjected too.