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The Puppet Masters (1994)

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Eric Thal, Julie Warner, more...
Director: Stuart Orme
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Studio: Walt Disney Video
Genre: Science Fiction , Aliens
Running Time: 109 min.
Languages: English
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Robert A. Heinlein's 1951 novel The Puppet Masters comes to the screen 43 years later. Sharp-eyed viewers will recognize similarities to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Heinlein's book came first. Parasitic space aliens invade the Midwest, taking over the bodies of humans and manipulating these unfortunates to do their bidding. US security agent Donald Sutherland and his team of troubleshooters attempt to squash the extraterrestrial scheme before everyone in the world is turned into Howdy Doody. Adding an extra layer to this familiar scenario is the fact that Sutherland doesn't get along with everyone on his side-in particular, he has a lot of trouble relating with his son Eric Thal. Stuart Ormes' perfunctory direction is not up to the standard set by the actors and special effects. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Disappointing by Texan99 September 5, 2010 - 3:10 PM PDT
I'm not sure why Hollywood can't make a workmanlike adaptation of a nice sci-fi thriller. This one is as disappointing as most. The plot is in the classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" line, but with a lot of "Man From U.N.C.L.E." or "James Bond" thrown in. Those two hooks alone should give a filmmaker some easy built-in suspense and entertainment, as "Men in Black" so ably proved, but this movie's makers had no idea what to do with the material. Donald Sutherland was not a bad choice for the "Old Man," but he insisted on vamping for the camera, perhaps to make up for the lame script and TV-quality production values. Do yourself a favor and pick up a used copy of the Heinlein novel instead. You'll see that every change in the story was an inexplicable abandonment of a fiction device that would have been easy to film and would have made the movie a ripsnorting hoot instead of something you watch with half an eye while planning next week's menu.

Really Heinlein...??? by Emomovieluver February 6, 2003 - 9:22 AM PST
Yeah, the first thing most critics are sure to do is blast the film because though based on material by sci fi legend Robert Heinlein, it views like a retread of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" which itself has been revisited one too many times! For it's time, the FX works pretty well and the story moves along at a brisk pace thought the acting is relatively wooden and perfunctory. There's a totally unecessary romantic sub-plot that leads to the ho hum "rescuing the damsel in distress" scenario I could have easilly did without. Thal is pumped up, David looks bad ass as ever and Sutherland imposing.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.33)
27 Votes
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We ♥ Alien Parasites!
A look at a few alien parasites of the silver screen (and their taglines) that we've known and loved over the years.

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