South Carolina Lawyer
Vol. 13, No. 2, Pg. 18.
Invasion of the I.D. Snatchers Fighting Identity Theft
18Invasion of the I.D. Snatchers Fighting Identity TheftBy Dave MaxfieldMost 1950s science fiction films are, let's face it, pretty cheesy. In The Blob, a jello-mold creature absorbs a town. In Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, a very tall woman (in the days before the WNBA) attacks a town. And in Rocket Ship X-M, Lloyd Bridges attempts to seduce every woman in an intergalactic town. But perhaps the worst science fiction movie of all time, and a contender for the worst movie of all time, was Plan 9 from Outer Space, where extraterrestrials team up with vampires to (you guessed it) oppress a small town.
An exception to this lame fare was 1956's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Unlike the others, Body Snatchers did not rely on rubber monsters or flying saucers dangling on strings. Instead, it played on the basic fear of having our identity, our "self," stolen. In doing so, it hit on a theme as old as Faust and as contemporary as yesterday's "evil twin" storyline on Days of Our Lives.
The hero in Body Snatchers is Dr. Miles Bennell, the only doctor in a small American town. After returning from a vacation, he discovers that some of the townspeople, despite appearing normal in every other respect, are emotionless and somehow lacking what makes them human.
Eventually, Miles discovers the truth-that plant-like pods from outer space have fallen to earth. One by one, the pods have duplicated the appearance of the townspeople as they slept and taken over their identities. Who is human, and who is not? Who can be trusted? Before long, Miles is the only human left in town.
Miles finally escapes and is taken to a hospital, where he is thought to be insane. The movie ends with his telephone call to the FBI. The question of whether his story will be believed by the "authorities" is never truly answered.
ID Thieves-the "Pod People" of the Information Age
Does such a plot sound like purefiction? Ask Ross Perot, Warren Buffett, Ted Turner, David Geffen, Tony Gwynn, George Lucas or Oprah Winfrey. They are among the victims of a new breed of criminal called the Identity Thief. The ID Thief is not out to steal your car, your jewelry or your cash. He is out to steal you. The ID Thief operates by assimilating enough of your personal...