Movie Reviews 176 – The Puppet Masters (1994)

kinopoisk.ruNot to be confused with the series of Puppet Master movies by B-movie maestro Charles Band (the first six of which I’ve reviewed here and here), this is the adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1951 novel. Now I’ll let you know right away that long before this movie came out I was a devoted fan of Heinlein’s and have in fact read most of his novels. All this to say that I was thrilled and had high expectations.

Sadly, this movie is only an adaptation in the most superficial sense possible. It’s is still an alien invasion and the aliens take over human hosts by clinging to their backs and tapping into their nerve systems. The rest is pure Hollywood alien excrement that even a star like Donald Sutherland cannot save. There are more plot holes and things that just don’t make sense that’ll make you cringe for most of the movie.

Unlike many movies that have a plot device where aliens take over their human hosts, there is very little mystery as to which characters are ‘turned’ so that element is hardly part of the plot. Instead we see government forces ‘slowly’ (and painfully) trying to stop the spread of the alien invasion. Despite the evident threat, they seem to track it like it was some bad weather storm instead of putting everything and everyone on alert and advising the public. Even sillier is how the aliens go about reproducing the parasitic flying ray creatures that attack the humans and how the ‘hive’ spreads.

The only few good parts are some of the special effects and the ‘fake saucer’ used at the beginning of the invasion where a evident backup ‘mock up’ saucer run by some kids is actually a human recruiting point. I’m only glad that this movie was made a few years after Heinlein had passed on and he did not have to witness this travesty himself.

Any one of the many “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” movies is better than this. Hell, any one of the Charles Band “Puppet Master” movies are better than this!

Read the novel.


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