Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Episode 24 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I’ve been afraid a lot of times in my life. But I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until… until I had kissed Becky.” Have you ever kissed someone and realized they weren’t who they were? That’s the horror Miles Bennell is describing in this episode’s quote. Join Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr as they harvest the paranoia binbuster known as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Don Siegel’s classic, black and white, science-fiction shocker. They had to hurry before they fell asleep and became …, well, someone who wasn’t them.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 24 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is ably directed by Don Siegel (The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, The Shootist, and Escape from Alcatraz) and adapted by Daniel Mainwaring from Jack Finney’s novel The Body Snatchers. The film tells the paranoiac story of an alien invasion that consists of giant pods that take over people’s memories and replicate their bodies, all while they sleep. No one will ever be the wiser! Well, almost no one. Talk about a good motivation for insomnia. In fact, one of the films working titles was Sleep No More.

Including a cast of topnotch, veteran, character actors – Kevin McCarthy (Dr. Miles Bennell), Dana Wynter (Becky Driscoll), King Donovan (Jack Bellicec), Carolyn Jones (Theodora Bellicec), and Larry Gates (Dr. Dan Kaufman) – the film delivers what it’s selling. Coming on the heels of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunt and even though Finney and Siegel claimed no hidden, political message, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers resonated with the public’s fear of unfair prosecution and the resulting drive for conformity. It is an example of a perfect synergy between a film and the time in which it appeared in history.

Each of the Grue Crew was affected by this film in their “formative” years and have carried some image or theme from the film throughout their lives, Joseph Perry shares an especially personal story of how the film affected him and his nightmares. When it comes to the rules of the “science” in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Chad Hunt points out some contradictions, but in the end, agrees they don’t detract from the impact of the film. Jeff Mohr wishes the studio hadn’t added a narration and changed the ending with the addition of a prologue and an epilogue, but still considers the film to be one of his favorites of the 1950s. Being a product of its time, Erin Miskell points out the homogeneity of the people and pod people populating the story and laments the problem still existing to some extent today.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is House of Wax (1953), selected and hosted by Erin Miskell.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (,,, or or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!


Twilight Zone: The Movie – Episode 104 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You wanna see something really scary?” Submitted for your approval, a podcast looking back at an anthology film that’s a remake of a classic TV show. Four segments. Four directors. Analyzed by four men. Attempting to figure out which is better. What caused the infamous tragedy on the film’s set? Which one makes the most lasting impression? Who can possibly remember that Bill Mumy isn’t Ron Howard? All these questions lay linger… in The Twilight Zone… The Movie… the topic of this edition of the podcast.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 104 – Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Twilight Zone: The Movie is a film obviously marred by tragedy. The deaths of Vic Morrow, Renee Chen, and My-ca Dinh Le during an infamous helicopter accident still loom over the film. Yet, aside from that, there’s still a lot to enjoy about this anthology. Four directors – two at the height of their fame (John Landis & Steven Spielberg) and two others still up and coming (Joe Dante and George Miller) – were tasked to adapt four different episodes of the iconic anthology show into a segment. The results are eclectic, to say the least. There’s a supernatural adventure about bigotry, a sepia-toned character piece about old age, a darkly comedic fantasy about a child with God-like powers and a paranoia sweat soaked horror about a fear of flying. Oh, and there’s also a prologue with Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd. Mix in a diverse cast that also includes Al Leong, Scatman Crothers, Kevin McCarthy, John Lithgow, Kathleen Quinlan and Twilight Zone veteran Burgess Meredith & it’s a rather interesting time.

Thomas Mariani and Christopher G. Moore are both out a Doc once again (don’t worry, he’ll be back next time), so they’ve recruited Gruesome writer Adam Thomas and filmmaker Bill Mulligan to talk about Twilight Zone The Movie. They talk the industry changing aspects of the tragic accident, contextualize the careers of all these directors from this specific time and compare the adaptations of the episodes to their television counterparts. In ranking all the segments, the results are far more varied than one might expect. Some prefer the heartwarming sugariness of Spielberg. Others prefer the canted angles of Miller. Even some prefer Landis’ ability to turn a tragedy into a cohesive short story. It’s a passionate discussion that’ll show you something really scary.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at or We also want to be sure to thank Neon Devils for their killer track “Bone Chillin’” which we use for the intro and outro of this show.