I'm going to stick up for the 1993 version - not that I think anyone should prefer it to the '56 or '78 versions, but in its own right it's a very effective piece of work.
Same here, and I still haven't seen a widescreen version of it. I particularly liked the scene with the boy walking into his mother's room after a nightmare only to see her crumble into dust before his eyes and the new, completely naked, version walk out of the closet!
The other big addition Ferrara's film made was the girl falling asleep in the bath and having the tendrils from the pod approach her, with her only being saved when the flimsy ceiling caves in under the weight of her clone dumping it into the bath on top of her! Brilliantly nightmarish and great additions to the other body snatchers films - the bath holding horrible things is a staple of horror from Shivers to Nightmare on Elm Street, and I think the poster and scene from the recent film Slither makes a reference back to these kind of 'falling asleep in bathtub while something creeps up on you' films!
I'd agree that it is the least of the three versions so far, but is still interesting. Perhaps it is the military personnel as clones theme which seems too obvious compared to the communist paranoia and alienation themes of the other two films, and perhaps the slight hope offered by the 'kill-em-all' ending which seems at odds both with an anti-military message and the incredibly bleak 70s film.
Thinking of the last film set in a closed off environment of a military base makes me wonder if there is room for a new body snatchers film dealing with these 'gated communities' I hear a lot about. There might be a good opportunity there for another social commentary about how most people in these communities would never communicate with their neighbours enough to know
anything was wrong, or they are too busy travelling outside of the neighbourhood to work. You could maybe have the pod people targeting these areas to clone the more influential people, leaving the inner city or urban areas alone at first. Maybe you could twist the idea of privileged people supporting the poor or homeless through soup kitchens, shelters or donations by having this be used as a way of getting people cloned in one big bunch! Maybe end it with a poor-but-human vs privileged-but-alien riot!
Nah, the '78 adaptation of Finney's novel is a wonderfully crafted piece of 70s sci-fi and the ending still packs a helluva wallop. Phil Kaufman's commentary on the DVD is also very interesting.
I remember watching this the day after Moviedrome showed it on BBC2 in the early 90s, and my dad coming into the room just at the 'point and scream' ending. I don't think he ever forgave me for having it on just at the point he came in, and it was probably the first time my parents started having considerable doubts about my mental state that let me watch such things!
Only compounded by them accidentally seeing the opening sequence of head/floor interface in Wild At Heart (I think that confirmed their suspicions!)