The Golden Perm





I couldn't believe I hadn't seen this movie before. It stars two of my favorite actors Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum, and even Leonard Nemoy as a kind of swinging psychoanalyst -- which would be reason to watch it alone.

Donald Sutherland (with the worst golden perm ever) and Jeff Goldblum join little Brooke Adams  (a dead ringer for Genvieve Bujold) in the"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" remake of 1978.

How could I have possibly missed this gem?

Well, it turns out that despite the super-star power in the movie, it isn't a gem at all. In fact, boy is it bad.


So we all know the story's premise: that alien life forms come down in the form of spores which turn into large flowering plants that replicate already-existing humans. It's a "get-you-while-you-sleep" kind of thing. When you wake up you're one of them, which honestly didn't seem to be that bad, in my opinon The aliens in their human forms seemed very calm and orderly. No one was making any trouble, they were just tending to their plants. But, Sutherland, Goldblum, Nemoy and the rest don't seem to relish the makeover, so they band together and try to stop them.

Before I go on, can I just mention one scene that stands out as one of the WEIRDEST things I've ever seen in a movie? Something that might actually give you nightmares, and all the more startling because it was so unexpected. I mean this movie really could be one of the most boring "horror" movies ever made, at least for the first 40 minutes, but then something like this appeared. Wtf?!





SPOILER ALERT

Of course smooth-talking Lenard Nemoy turns out to be one of them, too. I should have known by that wierd leather thing he wear on his hand. What is that? Alien style? It's never explained. Nemoy, wearing a turtleneck and pointy sideburns along with that wierd leather thing advises Sutherland "Not to get hung up on old concepts."
Then he shoots him up with a sedative. Sutherland says to him, "David you're killing me."
I say, David, those side burns are killing me, too.

Jazz hands!
Sutherland tries not to get hung up on old concepts, but he can't help himself. And you can't blame him.

In one scene he finally falls asleep and one of the pods starts to replicate him. Like many other elements in this weird boring movie the plants themselves are ridiculous. Straight out of Sid and Marty Crofts reject pile, the cloth-and-wire petals do not look capable of pushing out the DISGUSTING, MEATY, PUS-COVERED human forms that they do. The "special" effects of the births of the new aliens is pretty gross. Call the midwife, anyone?

One of the pods pushes out another Donald Sutherland. Suddenly there are TWO golden perms and two blonde moustaches, only one of them is covered in goo! Yuck! Luckily the real Donald wakes up and takes a shovel to his doppelganger's perm, resulting in some really messy effects that were almost worthy of HBO.

Unfortunately Goldblum is killed by a red plastic dart to the neck. Dang. One of the reasons to watch the movie is gone. But I make myself keep going.

Finally, Brooke Adams gets transformed. They got her while she slept. In one scene she strides unexpectedly onscreen, completely bare breasted and makes a sound like a dying pig. Totally freaked me out. (I'm sure her parents were dismayed by the turn this role had taken.)

I actually FOUND that very scene on youtube. Here it is.



Donald  is the only one left now. He escapes from the aliens by pulling the old "hide under a bridge while they run over you" trick.

Nothing like a gratuitous priest on a swing set to give you the creeps


The next thing you see he is watching a truck unload more pods and the loudspeaker announces the next destinations which happen to be Medford, Eugene, Portland and Vancouver. Maybe that's how all the hipsters got here!!!

The end of the film made me feel funny. Nobody should make Donald Sutherland make that face. And frankly, I did not want to get that close to his moustache.

All in all, a really terrible movie!!!




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