Food/Film Review: Crème Brûlée & Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I’ve never seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers before, starring Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams. I’ve also never made Crème brûlée starring egg yoke, milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla abstract.

The film starts similarly to Planet of the Apes, not in story mind you, but camera technique. These spores leave their dying world, drift through the galaxy (solar winds?) and crash land in first person onto earth’s plants, bushes and trees.

Then life just goes on as normal for food health inspector Matthew Bennell and science lady Elizabeth Driscoll … until things start changing in society; people accusing their friends, relatives and loved ones of NOT being ‘them’… and what’s up with that garbage truck driving around at all hours?

A similar change takes place during the creation of custard; the base of Crème brûlée.

After extracting the egg yoke, mixing it with sugar, combining it with some medium tempered whipping cream, and flavoring with vanilla, the whole liquid substance gradually bakes in the oven, becoming a gelatin of sorts.

One of the film’s strengths is how the invasion’s progress is presented. If you’ve watched Shaun of the Dead, there’s defiantly a similar vibe of something being… off in the surrounding world, beginning with most of the main characters not noticing anything, to some characters getting a bad vibe they can’t explain, to some RAVING that everything is wrong. But the invasion isn’t blatantly ‘obvious’ until it’s far too late to do much about it. Then…

… the custard is almost ready. After exiting the oven and cooling, the custard must chill in the fridge for a good 4 hours before getting to the final stage; the burnt sugar top.

Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t have a kitchen torch and had to use the oven broil instead to melt the top layer of sugar into a hardened shell, which unfortunately undid some of the “chilling” process.

Like wise, the characters in the film were too poorly equipped, very much like in real life, to deal with this invasion, which is another of the films strengths (and similarities to Shaun of the Dead). These are all real people, none of them are action heroes, they don’t have guns, they make do with what they got.

Speaking of people, both Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy are in this film. How awesome is that?!

The Crème brûlée for the most part worked out, the sugar top was hardened, but due to not chilling it a second time after the broil, it was a little soupy and distorted.

In contrast, distorted camera angles worked REALLY well for this film, along with unique lighting, and drawn out one-take camera moves, the mood was set really well. Of course, being shot in San Francisco, half the shots I thought were intentional ‘dutch tilts’ were actually the hilly slanted streets of the city.

The only thing that stood out as a little odd in the film was the sound track, no lie, parts of it during flash backs sounded like the 70’s rendition of today’s dubstep.

But like the crème brûlée’s soupiness, everything else more than makes up for the short comings, for as movie guest KT said:
I’ve had crème brûlée before, and regarding flavour, yours is… this is best.

Final Score:
4/5

Film Observation:
Hive mind society. THAT’S the solution for efficient transit scheduling.

Shaggy Shan

About Shaggy Shan

Shaggy Shan is an author. That's right, a PRINTED author. BOOSH! Along with such titles as Buttons & Jim (Flight Anthology vol 8), Radio Adrift (Explorer: The Lost Islands) and the self published collaborative effort with web artist & sister KT Shy, Silly Kingdom, he dabbles in motion graphics and audio shenanigans. Check out more of his work at: ShaggyShan.com
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