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Face-Off: The Stepford Wives Vs. Invasion of the Body Snatchers '78

08.19.2013by: Mike Catalano
It seemed that we were all on the same Chucky page with our last Face-Off, agreeing that Child's Play 2 was the better sequel over Child's Play 3. Nicely played!

Today's Face-Off comes at you courtesy of being inspired by Edgar Wright's closing chapter in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World's End, which has a bit of an "evil double of people" spin to it. Plus, I'm working in a bit of a classic flick twist. So, without further adieu, get yourself and your evil twin ready for THE STEPFORD WIVES Vs. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS '78.

Cast
You've got an eclectic mix of hot women and douchebag guys here. Katharine Ross is fantastic as the wife and mother moved to a new place just trying to fit in. She's a different kind of hero here, but still capable nonetheless. Peter Masterson is also no slouch as her husband, growing increasingly weary of his wife's suspicious ways. The remaining ladies and gentlemen are quite serviceable as well.
The great Donald Sutherland is perfectly cast as the health inspectgor hero who fights to stop those pesky body snatchers from taking over the world. And for a small lady, Brooke Adams is a very strong female lead who is desperately trying to convince everyone that people around her are changing. Throw in Veronica Cartwright, a young Jeff Goldblum, and Mr. Leonard Nimoy and you've got one all-star cast!
Evil Force
Some crazy shit is definitely going down in the town of Stepford. However, many of the males there would most likely beg to differ. Nonetheless, the normal women are being targeted for the most sinister of scenarios. They seemingly change overnight into dazed drones bent on doing whatever it takes to keep their houses clean, their meals cooked, and their husbands happy. The real, regular women are gone for good.
Some strange outer element in a spore-like state is infiltrating the lives of whatever human it comes into contact with. It ain't picky and it ain't ever gonna stop until every single human is trapped and replicated. Plain and simple. That is some hardcore, evil, motherf*cking shit!
Hotties
Oh damn! For a PG flick made in 1975, this one does a killer job of exploiting the hottie factor. I mean, the women in this are basically being turned into sexy fembots! There are some groovy short shorts wearing ladies that completely achieve bombshell level hotness. And when Katherine Ross encounters the "updated" version of herself wearing a sheer nightgown, I almost became convinced that this was a happy ending (in more ways than one. Giggity!).
Did anyone else think that Brooke Adams was Karen Allen when watching this for the first time? Either way, they were both hot in 1978. And towards the end of this flick when Ms. Adams' body becomes snatched, her newly formed pod person emerges from a field completely and wonderfully nude. It isn't gratuitous, but for a PG movie, it is quite glorious.
Thrills
There are certainly a couple of odd parts where some of the "perfect" ladies begin to show a little bit of wear and tear. The real terror doesn't come about until the very end when Joanna confronts her formally normal friend in the kitchen. From there, the freaky shit really hits the fan as Joanna enters the "evil mansion" where all the once regular ladies went through their "change".
Now, the nice thing about Snatchers, is it's bubbling over with tension throughout its running time. From the moment that Elizabeth brings home that new-looking flower "specimen", we are already on the edge of our seats. By the time Donald Sutherland is asleep and the pod is opening up and replicating right before him, you're in full-fledged freak-out mode!
Ending
After all her paranoia, Joanna learns that she was indeed in the right. And the "men's club" of Stepford are looking to make their wives become nothing more than sexy indentured servants. The slight chance of her escape is hinted at, but then she encounters her sultrier (and bigger breasted) automaton double and we understand that her fate is now sealed. The final supermarket shot of all the Stepford wives strolling with their carts through the aisles is quite the comically eerie sight.
Oh man! After Donald Sutherland goes through all that shit: losing his girl, yet destroying the ground zero plant of the snatchers. Then, it appears that the evil alien pod freaks have indeed succeeded in starting their first wave of global takeover. At least ol' Don seems to have blended in with the rest of the snatchers by acting like he has no feelings. Then, Nancy, who is still human spots him while out for a walk and happily approaches him. And then, oh shit! Donald points his finger at her and releases that God-awful screeching moan!
Invasion of the Body Snatchers '78
It's been a little while since we've had a good ol' fashioned massacre here on the AITH Face-Off, but let's call it like it is. While Stepford does have it's fair share of odd suspense, on a horror scale, it does not hold up to the intense ride that is Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Am I crazy here? Did my body become taken over? Please, do tell me your opinion below. And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at [email protected].

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