Have you already binged all of Stranger Things 3? Well, if you haven’t hit episode two yet, turn away now. We’re about to get into some seriously spoilery business.
The shocking end of episode one saw Billy sucked into the depths of an abandoned building; the beginning of the second episode revealed a dark secret about the newest villain in Hawkins, Indiana. See, under that empty warehouse, Billy saw himself, along with many other shadowy denizens of the small town.
It looks like we’ve got a body snatcher situation going on in Stranger Things, so what better time to revisit some of the best sci-fi flicks that deal in that spooky trope? Here are some classic body snatcher flicks to prepare for the oncoming invasion of Hawkins, Indiana.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Though it isn’t the original version of the classic alien invasion movie, it’s arguably the best and definitely the weirdest. The San Francisco set film stars Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy as humans trying to evade the pod people. It offers up a distinctly stylish and ’70 sci-fi that definitely inspired certain moments of Billy’s journey in Stranger Things this season.
The Thing (1982)
Another remake that was questioned on release but quickly became a stone-cold classic is John Carpenter’s brilliant, chilly thriller The Thing. The flick follows a team of researchers in the Antarctic as they face down a strange shape-shifting monster that can assimilate the shape of any creature leading to a drastic, devastating paranoia that eats the crew from the inside out. Though sunny Hawkins, Indiana seems a world away from The Thing, if you take a closer look at the newest monster you’ll see more of Carpenter’s classic than you’d expect.
Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)
This bleak and brutal Japanese sci-fi comes from director Hajime Sato. Goke centers on a hijacked plane and its passengers as they try to survive after a crash and a potentially world-ending alien invasion. Though we doubt the Duffer Bros. went this deep looking for references there is a whole lot of Billy’s mangled battle for himself in this super spooky horror flick that leaves no room for ambiguity when it comes to the futility of fighting back.
David Cronenberg’s cult classic put a body horror spin on the body snatcher craze. Set in an apartment building just outside of Montreal, Shivers introduces a parasitic virus that turns its victims into rabid sexually crazed killers. A slick satire on the fear of sexually transmitted diseases as well as a unique take on the possession movies of the time. Expect to see some solid Shivers homages as Billy’s storyline moves forward this season.
The Faculty (1998)
This teen movie classic comes from the mind of grindhouse maverick Robert Rodriguez who redid the Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a very ’90s twist. It’s shocking, sexy, and filled with actors like Clea Duvall, Elijah Wood, and Josh Hartnett. When it comes to teen alien body snatcher canon Stranger Things couldn’t get much more iconic than The Faculty.
Body Snatchers (1993)
Another very ’90s iteration of The Body Snatchers novel that inspired so many movies is this sci-fi action flick starring Forest Whitaker and Meg Tilly. With plenty of 90s special effects and a whole lot of alien-action Body Snatchers is a super fun B-Movie. On the Stranger Things inspo level, it features a whole bunch of military madness, which we know the Duffer Bros. love to lean into so this is a good one to revisit to try and work out what the Machiavellian men behind the curtain might be up to this season.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Can’t make a list like this without mentioning the movie that started it all. The 1956 version of The Body Snatchers is a super cool b-movie classic that takes the pod very literally. Alien spores create large plantlike cocoons that create zombie doppelgangers of a small Californian town. It’s a classic for a reason.
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