Sunday, May 7, 2017

still creepy after all these years

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) still holds up after all these years.  I was just a lad, too young to pick up on the underlying political connotations that people drew from the film.  McCarthyism and Communism was an issue for grown-ups.  I saw it only as a great scare-the-pants-off thriller.  Still, if you want to have an understanding of the concerns and paranoia that obsessed post WWII America ~ you might want to watch this flick. 

Even so, I still enjoy the movie on the surface, as a well executed thriller.  The movie was a low budget film that starts out in a very believable world then quickly propels the protagonist (and the audience) into a high speed roller-coaster ride.

The imagery is stunning.  The props/effects are not elaborate but adequate. Now over a half a century old, the movie still holds together and still thrills.

There have been three adaptations of this film, all of them with larger budgets and more elaborate special effects, but are mere soulless replicas of the original film.

"People began to read meanings into pictures that were never intended. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an example of that. I remember reading a magazine article arguing that the picture was intended as an allegory about the communist infiltration of America. From personal knowledge, neither Walter Wanger nor Don Siegel, who directed it, nor Dan Mainwaring, who wrote the script nor original author Jack Finney, nor myself saw it as anything other than a thriller, pure and simple."
~Walter Mirish

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Paradise Cove

The Beach Boy's 'Surfn' Safari' album cover photo was taken on Paradise Cove at Malibu Beach.  Ten years after this photo was taken, James Garner's P.I. character Jim Rockford strolled up and down this very spot in Rockford Files.  Rockford's trailer was situated in the parking of the Sand Castle Restaurant.  The restaurant is still there where Rockford used to frequent ~ only under different management as Paradise Cove Beach Cafe.

There have been many television shows and movies filmed at this very location down through the years. The earliest production I found was 'Belles On Their Toes', a 1952 sequel to the original 'Cheaper By The Dozen'. The sixties rolled around and the Cove became the production locations for a tidal wave of beach films that include Beach Blanket Bingo, Gidget, and Sea Hunt.
The area is still often used as a production site for commercials, television and movies. It's peculiar that there's a trailer park amid all the multi-million dollar homes. I guess if I ever head that way, I'll be keeping my eye out for a '74 Sierra Gold Firebird parked outside one of those trailers on the beach.