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  • One science-fiction film that turns out to be less disappointing than expected is this loose adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's novel.

    Donald (give me another part in an alien pod movie) Sutherland interprets the role of Adam "The Old Man" Nivens, head of a secret government protection agency that has its hands full trying to stop an alien invasion by slug-like mental parasites which tap into people's brains, controlling them toward their own ends.

    Eric Thal (of A STRANGER AMONG US) draws a blank where a strong character should be in the role of Sam, son of the Old Man, and fellow agent. Julie Warner (from DOC HOLLYWOOD) fares a little better as Mary, a NASA xenobiologist along for the roller coaster ride.

    The opening scenes do justice to the setting and atmosphere of the book, and the skeleton of the original plot is unpredictable and thrilling, but eventually, the compromises in adaptation give rise to Hollywood-style sci-fi conventions such as alien hives.

    Several realistic, key elements are thrown out, along with almost all of the sharp dialogue which made the book a hit.

    However, the special effects are convincing, and the cinematography and editing are streamlined and tight. Far from being definitive, this version of the tale is nonetheless sufficiently satisfying and worth a look.
  • OHHLA9 September 2001
    However, being that Heinlein was one of the few sci-fi authors I +didn't+ read (I'm more of an Asimov and Bradbury fan myself) as a kid growing up, and I haven't seen the original film, I didn't have any problems with this movie when it came out in theaters. In fact, I found the premise genuinely creepy, the effects highly believable, and the presence of Donald Sutherland to be a masterful touch. It may not go down in the all-time pantheon of "greatest sci-horror films" ever, but if it was playing on HBO I wouldn't change the channel. Sometimes I think people get too caught up in whether a story is true to the original, and forget that it's JUST a movie and they should try to enjoy it on that basis.
  • I strongly disagree with many of the other reviews of this film. It is a very faithful adaptation (given Hollywood's history of adapting for the screen), and one of my favorite movies. It is not entirely faithful, i.e. Operation Bareback (which I would have enjoyed) was forgone, probably due to the mass nudity that it would entail. The love interest, the storyline and the characters were very close to the novel. Some criticize it as a ripoff of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but the novel actually pre-dates that work, so who copied from whom? The scope of the movie was scaled back and little mention was made of landings and conflicts in other countries, but this may be due to editing exigencies. The aliens are suitably creepy as my wife will agree, as she still refuses to watch it again, and it manages without the gore of many similar movies, although it is rather violent.

    Compared to another recent Heinlein adaptation, Starship Troopers, this film was much truer to the author's original work and is a thrilling and thoughtful treat. Sadly, it looks like no sequel will be forthcoming to carry the battle to the moons of Saturn.
  • It looks like a UFO has landed in a small Iowa farm town. A top-secret US government investigative team from the "Office of Scientific Central Intelligence" goes out to investigate. The three stars are: limping leader Donald Sutherland (as Andrew Nivens), his handsome son and partner Eric Thal (as Sam Nivens) and sexy alien biologist Julie Warner (as Mary Sefton). They are about to conclude the whole thing was a teenagers' hoax, but Ms. Warner realizes aliens have landed. The reason, according to Warner, is that no males on the scene have noticed her arousing figure or tried to look down her unbuttoned blouse. You can almost hear her say, "Don't look at that alien spaceship, dammit, look down my shirt!"...

    Now, these aliens attach themselves to your back (your spinal column, specifically) and they multiply quickly. The way to see if someone has been "infected" is to order the person to, "Take off your shirt!" Since this trick works, we're left wondering why most people in the cast are allowed to keep their backs covered. Most viewers would not protest Warner and Mr. Thal acting without their shirts (Thal goes without pants, too). If you don't mind wondering about plot confusions and contrivances like that, you could do worse than Stuart Orme's vision of Robert A. Heinlein's science-fiction novel. Thal and Warner are an attractive couple and Mr. Sutherland is a classic performer who can improve movies by simply being there.

    ****** The Puppet Masters (10/21/94) Stuart Orme ~ Eric Thal, Julie Warner, Donald Sutherland, Keith David
  • This was a decent film. The book was far better.

    If the book had been made into a three-hour film, it would have been excellent. They would have had time to do things right. As it is, they compact a wide-ranging tale set in the future into a dodgy action flick in the present day.

    Do yourself a favour - read the book.

    Donald Sutherland is too cool, though.
  • How the producers got away with calling this "Robert A. Heinlein's Puppet Masters" amazes me - because the only resemblance to Heinlein's genuinely chilling short story about Titan 'slugs' are the character names. That's it. None of the wonderfully satirical espionage group shenanigans, none of the gripping suspense, none of the character development, and none of the setting. "Puppet Masters" is not supposed to be set in 1994, it's supposed to be set in 1957 - but a different 1957 to the one we know. I mean, this film didn't even attempt the flying cars or the hand-held lasers. Like so many new sci-fi films made from older literature classics, the fiction has been cut out like some sort of hideous tumor and the science has been exaggerated to make sure the audience knows it's SCIENCE fiction. The fact that the science is largely irrelevant is lost on most modern screen writers - and this movie is no exception.

    Another example of a perfectly good story that has been shredded to make it 'fit' Hollywood's version of science-fiction, which is largely made up of clanking robots, flashing lights and explosions.

    "The Faculty" was a good SF movie. And it was right - Body Snatchers is a rip-off from this story, but it never pretended to be anything but. Faculty had some enjoyable sequences. It wasn't perfect, and elements were laughable, but despite this, it was true to itself..._this_ film was just the massacre of a perfectly good story.

    I only hope anyone else who ever tries to make a movie of a Heinlein classic will stick to the book and make a decent movie, not rehash the story until it sounds good - because they sounded good before.
  • Unfortunate enough to share a name with a brand of dirt-cheap Charles Band movies (but completely disconnected from them) I always figured that The Puppet Masters would be just as schlocky. It ain't art, but it is decent, low-brow, brainless entertainment.

    A bunch of alien manta-rays land in Iowa in a confusing opening sequence. The authorities arrive and discover that the locals are slowly being turned into mindless slaves to their alien hosts. Sound like the X-Files? It very much does play out like a 3-part episode with virtually the exact same character dynamic and interaction. The tagline for the movie is even 'Trust no one'.

    It also feels like a John Carpenter movie in some respects (the presence of Keith David, who really ought to be in every movie, only adds to this). And while it's a fairly non-epic movie it does feature some nice anamorphic Panavision photography and a bunch of character actors to keep you entertained in-between the silly plot developments.

    As well as feeling the X-Files it also comes across as an Invasion of the Body Snatchers rip-off, odd since co-star Donald Sutherland was in one of those movies. Four years later another very similar film called The Faculty also featured mind-controlling alien parasites, as well as the Brain Slugs from Futurama. But apparently it's taken from a novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein but with little in common, perhaps thanks to a zillion re-writes.

    These kinds of movies often have some kind of political subtext, but Puppet Masters embraces its low-brow but clever silliness and ends up a guilty pleasure.
  • Like Stephen King, Robert Heinlein is an author whose work is frequently adapted into Hollywood screenplays. Also like Stpehen King, the results of adapting Heinlein's work into the format of film rarely live up to the potential set by the material. The major difference between the two authors is that an adaptation of Heinlein usually gets better the further it strays from the source, so long as it sticks to the spirit. Ironically, the Verhoeven/Neumeier adaptation of StarShip Troopers remains the best that Hollywood has come up with so far.

    The problem with The Puppet Masters as a film is that after a well-constructed setup in which the aliens are made entirely plausible, even somehow real, it descends rapidly into yet another action/sci-fi hybrid in the vein of Predator or Aliens. This in itself wouldn't be so bad, except for two things. One, Heinlein's stories were always intended as the exact opposite kind of science-fiction. Two, the mixture of the two elements leaves the film unbalanced. The second half feels very disjoined from the first.

    The scientific concepts shown in the film are not perfect, but they give it an atmosphere that many horror films of the era lack. However, the science of the film is not the only key to making a great story. Where it falls down is in the Transition. The Transition from one moment to the next leaves gaps of logic that disconnects the audience from the story. The questions of how on Earth one thing got here or there are never adequately answered. Telling us that something escaped never works as well as showing us, and unfortunately, this production of The Puppet Masters never does enough of the latter.

    The acting doesn't help matters a lot. Donald Sutherland is very competent as usual, but the script gives him little to distinguish his character from the other several dozen that he's played in an almost identical manner. Julie Warner stands out as the character who grabs the viewer's attention, by fair means and foul. Eric Thal, on the other hand, is like Keanu Reeves. You could replace him with a wooden plank that has a mean face painted on it, and nobody would know the difference. Richard Belzer stands out in an almost-wordless cameo. Anyone else in the film never gets the chance to distinguish themselves.

    The second half and inadequate characterisation of the film would have been easy to overcome if only one of them were present. The only problem is that third, fourth, even fifth problems are added. One major problem is the sheer volume of exposition that is delivered through dialogue. It is one thing to tell us how character X felt sensation Y at moment Z. To do this without flashbacks or recapping footage from new angles is a difficult ask at best, and with a cast of this calibre, it simply shouldn't be done.

    Ironically, the concept of The Puppet Masters was done slightly better in a direct-to-video sequel to StarShip Troopers. The concept of an alien parasite using a host for a sinister purpose was also done better in The Thing. If you've already seen those films, then The Puppet Masters is worth checking out. If not, I'd recommend checking them out first. A 5 out of 10 from me.
  • It really makes no sense how this film could not have worked. Working off a script based on a Robert A. Heinlein novel, with the venerable Donald Sutherland in one of the lead roles, and with alien invasion the subject matter, this should have been at least a seven star Science Fiction film. As Sci-Fi goes, the superior ones focus more on futuristic and/or scientific concepts, with action and/or special effects adding to the spectacle. That is why films like the Star Wars saga really aren't Sci-Fi, but action/adventure first (and in the case of Star Wars, fantasy) and science fiction second at best. This film does delve into the biology and culture of the aliens, but just barely. Mostly it focuses on hokey special effects and a few watered-down action scenes to fill up screen time. The aliens themselves are quite realistic and original, a plus for the film. The chemistry between Donald Sutherland as the leader of a secret government agency and his son, played by Eric Thal (an unknown at the time) is actually quite good. In addition, Julie Warner actually does well as the scientist working for Sutherland and of course plays the romantic interest for Sutherland's son. While not a superior actress, she performs adequately, although her talents are more suited to television, as it appears this movie was. While most will think, as I did, while reading the plot synopsis of the film that it is a rip-off of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (Sutherland starred in the remake of this film in 1978), the actual book was published in 1951, prior to the original film as well as the novel written by Jack Finney. Bottom line: not a bad movie to watch when you know you will be distracted as it requires very little of your attention and there are enough action scenes to move the pace along, but science fiction and Heinlein fans will be disappointed.
  • This was a decent sci-fi flick. Good performances by Julie Warner and Eric Thal, and of course there's no role that Donald Sutherland can't pull off. Alien effects were revoltingly good. OK, it's not completely true to Heinlein's magnificent novel. Hollywood has a formula, (the happy ending, the obligatory love interest of one or more of the stars, etc.) and any deviation from it is exceedingly rare. That's why foreign films are good, because they are not bound by the formula. I've noticed that great sci-fi movies are almost always originally written for the screen, rather than adapted from books. Books are always better than movies, but science fiction seems to be particularly so.
  • Probably produced following the smash success of The X Files, The Puppet Masters is a pretty solid slice of alien invasion pulp fiction. The casting is good, with Eric Thal and Julie Warner proving to be charming enough stand-ins for Mulder and Scully. Elsewhere, sci-fi genre fans may appreciate the appearances of Yaphet Kotto (Alien), Keith David (The Thing) and of course the great Donald Sutherland (Invasion Of The Body Snatchers).

    Behind the camera, it's an unusually British affair with director Stuart Orme, cinematographer Clive Tickner, and composer Colin Towns all heralding from the UK. They do nice work - Orme provides a tense and pacey first half, Tickner's very fine work lends a stylish visual sheen, and Towns' music is lushly complex.

    However, although it starts out well, the flick loses some energy and traction around the middle and doesn't get it back. Its potential begins to slip away and I'm not quite sure why. Maybe budget/script cuts. The last third in particular, with its under-powered action set-pieces and somewhat perfunctory ending, suggests that the film had hit the glass ceiling of its production resources... or perhaps even its creators' full interest.

    Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable sci-fi thriller for a good part of its running time. Might make a nice viewing companion with The Hidden (1987) or certainly any number of old X Files episodes!
  • As movies based on books go, it was decent, but as with any other movie that is based on a book, it's hardly worth wasting your time on if you've read the book because you will only be disappointed. On the other hand, if you've never read the book, the movie may interest you enough to read it. I PROMISE YOU, you WON'T regret it. On it's own, the movie does a commendable job of presenting itself (although I wouldn't recommend buying the DVD for anything more than pocket-change as there are NO extras) and is rather suspenseful, but again, the book is FAR superior. For starters, the book goes much more into detail, and as a result, the movie comes off as being a watered-down version that leaves alot out and changes much of what is left to avoid explanation. So, if you are the reading type, I STRONGLY urge you to read one of the greatest works of the premier Sci-fi author in history and leave this movie on the shelf.
  • a_digiacomo6 May 2007
    I read and still re-read, the book and must agree with other commentators; the film is NOT the book or even reasonably "based on" the book. Hollywood can never get the idea that a book is famous because people read it, because the author got "it" right the first time--in published form. They buy rights to film a book, but then change the guts out of the book! I loved only three things in this flick: Julie Warner's comment "bet your dad isn't happy he hired me, can't even do my job" Sutherland's cool emotionlessness until Sam almost dies--it's like without Sam he won't have anyone to abuse who won't tell him to go to heck! The family feeling of the Team. Everyone loves each other enough to be willing to die for their comrades! Too cool! That said, the story is told as one we've seen Way too many times before. And better before too! I suggest to all our readers and commentators on here--Do what I do--make your own movies and show them on public access cable channels in your area! My crew and I have over the years, made 12 films shown all over New York State and Connecticut(though now I live in Florida--near Disney World where the real aliens live and work, LOL)
  • This adaptation of a Robert A. Heinlein novel puts things right into gear when Eric Thal, Julie Warner and the ever-competent Donald Shutterland rush off to Ambrose, Iowa to investigate a registered UFO landing. However, collective-minded alien parasites have already begun to take over, turning humans into puppets to do their bidding. Writing trio Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio & David S. Goyer manage to tie things up fashionably, but also overworked themselves providing just about everything. Being a mixture of sci-fi, horror, thriller, action and drama, it's safe to say the wholesome feels a bit disjoint at places. The animatronic slug-like parasites by Roy Arbogast & Co. are a fine creation and get plenty of screen-time. Ambitious entertainment.
  • It's pretty obvious that director is mostly active in the TV-series and TV movie genre. "The Puppet Maser" has at times an awfully TV-movie looking visual style and the characters and story are mostly wasted. Still the movie is entertaining enough to find it watchable and perhaps even also recommendable.

    Still it's a shame, because the movie had all the potential to become a science-fiction classic in the style of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". The story is very good and also original. The execution of it is just plain bad at times. All of the characters are wasted and the movie is filled with some plot holes and illogical moments. Seriously, I'm convinced of it that with a different director at the helm, this movie really could and would had grown in to be a classic science-fiction masterpiece.

    However as entertainment this movie is good enough. Science-fiction fans will certainly enjoy this movie which is mainly due to the original alien invasion story and the above average special effects.

    Don't expect great things from the cast though. The dialog and acting is at times B-movie like. Eric Thal is a failed movie-hero and Donald Sutherland is wasted. Also Will Patton and especially Yaphet Kotto are criminally underused.

    The movie is certainly watchable but to most this movie will probably seem like a silly science-fiction movie. The movie is perhaps best and possibly only watchable and recommendable to the fans of the science-fiction genre.

    7/10

    http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Puppet Masters starts in 'Ambrose, Iowa - population 10,079' where three boys playing Frisbee witness some sort of strange electrical disturbance in the sky not too far away, they run to investigate. A special Government agent named Sam Nivens (Eric Thal) meets his Father Andrew (Donald Sutherland), a biologist named Dr. Mary Sefton (Julie Warner) & a bodyguard Jarvis (Richard Belzer) at an airport. Andrew informs Sam that there has been a report of a UFO landing in Iwoa & has satellite photo's to back this claim up, they are all on their way to investigate. Once they reach the landing site they find the three boys have made a UFO of their own out of tin & dustbin lids & are telling everyone it was a publicity stunt. Our four Government agents come to the conclusion that they are lying because some of the ground is burnt which for some reason definitely means a UFO landed there & the boys didn't look at Mary's breasts like every 'normal' male would have. They decide to interview TV station reporter Mr. Barnes (Bruce Charchow) since he was one of the first on the scene. Again he doesn't look at Mary's breast so he must be an alien, Barnes takes a gun out of his desk but is shot by Sam before he can use it, while lying injured on the floor an alien parasite of some sort jumps from his back & attacks our agents but is electrocuted. Back at their labs top scientist Dr. Graves (Will Patton) & Mary examine the alien, they come to the conclusion that it has the ability to control the mind of it's host & that anyone could be a carrier. Soon the aliens make an attempt to take President Douglas (Tom Mason) but fail, it quickly becomes apparent that the aliens are hostile & want to wipe out the entire human race. As they reproduce & take control of us at an astounding rate someone very good at maths calculates that within days there will be as many as 250 billion of them. The time to defeat this enemy is now, but how exactly...?

    Directed by Stuart Orme I thought The Puppet Masters was average at best but isn't too bad as far as mindless entertainment goes. The script by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio & David S. Goyer based on the novel by Robert A. Heinlein is not the best, if these aliens need to be on people's backs why not just have everyone important walk around topless? It sounds silly I know but it would be totally impossible for any alien to go undetected wouldn't it? Problem solved. Anyway, wouldn't anyone with one of these things on their backs have a big bulge in their clothing? Why does Sam conveniently survive an alien being on his back with no ill effects when Jarvis didn't? Why do these aliens need to go to a central hive? How can an alien telepathically transmit a disease which luckily for us will kill them all within about 30 odd minutes but not us, their hosts? Why do the aliens make themselves so visible? Why do they want to take over Earth anyway? The Puppet Masters reminded me of The X Files (1993 - 2002) with it's shadowy mysterious Government agency, it's male & female leads who don't look dissimilar to Mulder (David Duchovny) & Scully (Gillian Anderson). Many of the ideas brought up in The Puppet Masters are not fully explored or developed & as a whole the film feels very small scale & low budget. This is infinitely inferior to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) in the similar themes, issues & ideas they both set out to explore & achieve. The aliens themselves look like stingrays with a tentacle that impales itself on the back of it's intended victims necks, the special effects are OK if a little rubbery & a scene when one of these aliens is being spun around on a ceiling fan is actually quite funny & stupid looking. There is no gore & very little action as it's mostly dialogue driven, unfortunately the script tends to make who is infected & who isn't painfully obvious which means it loses a lot of the potential paranoia which worked so well in the Body Snatcher films. Technically The Puppet Masters is well made but extremely bland & forgettable, it has the feel of a cheap TV film written all over it. The acting is so-so & no one embarrasses themselves too much. On a positive note it moves along at a nice pace & is never boring, the idea is very good & quite creepy when you think about it & generally speaking it entertains for an hour & a half if you don't have too high an expectation. Worth a watch if you can catch it on TV for free or find a copy going very cheap somewhere, mine cost about 30 pence at which I can't really complain at!
  • preppy-327 June 2003
    Slimy, disgusting aliens invade Earth. They attach themselves to peoples backs and control their minds. Sam Nivens (Eric Thal), father Andrew Nivens (Donald Sutherland) and Mary Sefton (Julie Warner) are all part of separate government agencies who join together to fight the invasion.

    Not a faithful adaptation of Heinlein's book but still a good film in its own right. The script is good; it has realistic, believable characters; the aliens are agreeably disgusting and the action scenes are good and violent. Also, with the sole exception of Sutherland (who appears to be sleepwalking) all the acting is good--especially Thal (tall, handsome and hunky) and Warner (beautiful, intelligent and strong). A very good sci-fi film. Also, I agree with some previous posters--one of the best scenes in the film is Thal's nude shower scene. Woof!
  • Theodore23 November 2001
    I`ve never read the source novel but I`m led to believe that it influenced classics like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and QAUTERMASS 2. On it`s own this film falls down big time , I don`t think I have ever seen a film with so many plot holes. I was going to point out these plot holes but seeing as the screenwriter hasn`t bothered about them then neither will I. Don`t waste your money watching this rubbish
  • Philip-2218 November 1998
    This movie has all the elements I like. Donald Sutherland is one of my favorite actors, I like Science Fiction, Robert Heinlein is one of my favorite authors. I also like horror movies. How could all these potentially great elements be combined into one of the worst movies I've ever seen? It is forgivable to change the story, if the changes make for better filming, but in this movie the changes don't improve anything. The added material is pointless as well. I could go on for many lines, but this abysmal movie is just not worth wasting the time. What's the line? "They managed to snatch failure from the very jaws of success"!
  • My problem with this movie is (1) Robert Heinlein is my favourite science fiction writer, bar none; (2) The book on which this movie is based is one of his more forgettable works; and (3) The film is a decent effort, but it's a low-budget project and pretty uninspired. I've waited a lifetime for Heinlein's better writing to make it to the screen, and unfortunately, it hasn't happened. There is nothing "wrong" with this movie, but almost any other Heinlein novel or story would have been better starting material. Better choices for source material might have included Stranger in a Strange Land (best known work, but not best novel), and any of the so-called Boy Scout series from the 50s: Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Farmer in the Sky, Between Planets, Red Planet, and many, many more.
  • This is a unknown very satisfying alien film. This film moves along at a nice pace. The aliens are creepy and the action is almost non stop. They throw a lot of great turns in the story and the acting is pretty solid. The film even has a cameo from the talentless Richard Belzer who actually does a decent job. I would have liked some nudity in this story but you can't have it all. This film is pre CGI so it has an awesome selection of effects done on set. It's hard to believe they could make such a good movie from a Hienlin book. Whatever, just see it.
  • First of all I liked this movie much more than my wife that rated it with a six. To me an eight star rating seems more appropriate as in this genre The Puppet Masters stands out from the rest. It's an entertaining sci-fi thriller, with a good plot and a lot of suspenseful moments. I read from some unhappy reviewers that state you should read the book instead but i can't judge that as I didn't read it. But it's clear that the writer of the novel Robert A. Heinlein had some inspiration from an earlier movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Ironically Donald Sutherland stars in the 1978 version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, a movie that I liked a lot by the way, and that scared the crap out of me when I was ten years old. In The Puppet Masters it's not plants that invade our planet and take over our human bodies but this time it's some stingray-shaped creature that attaches itself to our spinal cord in order to control us. It's entertaining to a lot of people, certainly if you were a fan of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. I don't really get the relatively low scores The Puppet Masters get, I certainly don't get what people expect when watchig a movie in this genre. To me it was spot on and I can only recommend it to people that like Alien invasion movies, it's certainly different than the usual "Greys" that we're used to.
  • 'The Puppet Masters' is famous for... well, not much really. It kind of slipped under the mainstream consciousness in the wake of the (far superior) X-files and the general craze that aliens were about to knock on our door with ray-guns blazing. However, just because it tries to be every (alien-related) X-files episode in one go doesn't actually mean it's a bad film. Especially the opening anyway.

    It starts off pretty damn good... an alien 'something' crashes in a small American town and we join a quartet of government agents sent in to investigate. And, one of said agents is the wonderfully-dry Donald Sutherland, who cares about nothing more than thwarting the plans of those extraterrestrial nasties at all costs (and no matter who he has to whack with his walking stick to do so). Naturally, they soon find that this is no hoax and the whole world is under attack from leaping jellyfish-like space monsters who want nothing more than to insert their slimy tongues into the backs of our necks and ride our collective bodies like race of particularly docile broncos.

    However, once this is unveiled the agents leave small town America and go back to their base to study the creatures and work out a plan of counter-attack. This is where the film kind of slows down a bit, which is a shame as it comes about an eighth of the way through the film and we still have practically an hour and a half left of run-time.

    What follows becomes a lot less tense and far more predictable. Donald Sutherland is sadly too old to really be the true 'hero' of the film and we're left with his far less charismatic on-screen son to fight the good fight. Don't expect any Independence Day aerial dogfights either. The aliens are barely seen and there isn't a lot of action in it. Overall it comes across as a bit of a 'made-for-TV' movie.

    However, just because the film trails off early doesn't mean that I can bring myself to hate it. The Puppet Masters has always been a bit of a 'guilty pleasure' film of mine. It's cheesy and low budget and desperately wants to be a big budget A-list film, only it doesn't have the star power or money behind it to make it so.

    If you like your alien invasion movies (or are stuck in a perpetual time warp where you're in the nineties and still believe Area 51 holds the bodies of the Roswell aliens) then this one isn't so bad. I think one of the reasons it never did that well at the Box Office is because most people may resent paying full price for it. However, in this age of internet websites which stream movies like this as part of a package, it's definitely one to add to your watchlist if you fancy something that won't stretch your mental powers too much.

    Mulder and Scully were obviously on holiday when this alien invasion occurred.
  • What we are looking for in Sci-fi is a good story that enables us to join in. We want to be thrilled and have our wonderment, our inquisitiveness fed in large does where we can get it. Enter the Puppet Masters. I would have preferred a better title for this movie, but this one is very accurate and will do. This movie will allow you to see a lesser form of life but equally intelligent in its own way and try to dominate our species playing by our rules and on our playing field. What you will see is how well they go about it methodically making advancements and that is what successful war or invading your enemy is all about. These Alien play to win and we play to lose until we figure out this isn't a play over game if you lose. The acting brings it all close to home and the plot is easy to follow. The story is targeted to any age group and intriguing. To observe Aliens who use their brains instead of their weaponry leaves one frightened. It mentally and emotionally assaults mankind because we know we are the superior being on this planet. For something less in appearance to invade us and succeed is truly frightening not to mention a wake-up call. This was worthy of being a full blown move with a sequel and a prequel potential. I watch it with captions on because I like to hear every word spoken when the Aliens and the humans have a face to to face. Waste no more time reading this review...go watch the movie right now
  • clogsdon12 July 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    Problem #1: The chief problem with this film is its ridiculous screenplay. The film can't decide if it wants to be a mindless action flick or a character-driven sci-fi drama. So what you get is an alien invasion story where all the leads get "infected" by the aliens but are somehow saved by their friends while scores of infected extras get mowed down by machine-gun fire. If a lead character is infected, their buddies come up with all sorts of ways to peel the alien critter off, but if Farmer Joe comes running at them with a lug wrench, no one hesitates to pump him full of holes.

    Problem #2: Richard Belzer is in this movie and he is given not a single funny line! SPOILER: When his character ices himself, I felt like it was Richard Belzer's way of saying, "This flick stinks, I'm outta here." Problem #3: The final, cliché helicopter action sequence. It seemed like it they filmed it for another movie or something and just tagged it onto the end of this one.
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