With two exceptional versions of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" readily available in a video store near you, one wonders why the filmmakers of this latest version felt a third was necessary. Especially since "Body Snatchers" makes no attempt to contemporize or inject any kind of original spin on the material.

Gabrielle Anwar (the woman with whom Al Pacino danced in "Scent of a Woman" and Michael J. Fox's co-star in "For Love or Money") has the central role, as the teenage daughter of a civilian scientist who takes his dysfunctional family with him when his work takes him to a military post in Selma, Ala. The family includes Anwar's younger brother and her stepmother, played by Meg Tilly as if she's already been taken over by the pod people.Dad's work at the base is for the Environmental Protection Agency, to oversee the cleanup of a hazardous waste facility. There, the family encounters a number of zombi-fied people, which means the invasion is already well under way. And there are a few who seem vaguely aware that something is going on, including the commanding general's teenage daughter, who befriends Anwar, and the base doctor (Forest Whitaker), who is on the verge of going wacko.

More than the earlier "Body Snatcher" films, this rehash seems to oddly echo George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" pictures, especially "Day of the Dead," which also takes place on a military complex. And despite the opening credits declaring that the movie is based specifically on Jack Finney's original novel, "The Body Snatchers," there are elements obviously cribbed from the earlier film versions, such as having the pod people let out a shrill scream when they encounter humans who have not yet been transformed, which is right out of the 1978 remake.

Director Abel Ferrara ("Bad Lieutenant") does give us some effective moments of shock, as he takes us down the tried-and-true, if overly familiar fright flick path, but for the most part there isn't much here that would seem to justify going over this territory again.

My advice is for the potential moviegoer to instead rent Don Siegel's 1956 original or Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake, which are far more entertaining.

"Body Snatchers" is rated R for violence, nudity, profanity and vulgarity, with the expected glop and goo special effects as the transformations take place.