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The Puppet Masters (1994)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  21 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 6,642 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 42 critic

The Earth is invaded by alien "slugs" that ride on people's backs and control their minds.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Sefton
Alex Holland
Tom Mason ...
President Douglas
Marshall Bell ...
General Morgan
Nicholas Cascone ...


Strange aliens land in the Midwest, taking over people's minds in order to spread their dominion. Sam Nivens and Andrew Nivens, aided by Mary Sefton, are part of a government agency who must stop the the aliens before the aliens get to them... Written by Steve Fenwick <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Trust No-one.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sci-fi gore and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters  »

Box Office


$8,638,072 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


No less than nine writers worked on the script. Besides the credited writers Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio and David S. Goyer, work with also done by James Bonny, Richard Finney, Michael Engelberg, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and the film's director, Stuart Orme. The final version mainly uses ideas from the Goyer and Orme rewrites. See more »


At the end of the film, the large blood spot near Sam Nivens' right eye tends to appear and disappear on different shots. See more »


Niven: It's the kid from the spaceship. Get him off the car.
See more »


Spoofed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bad Eggs (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent adaptation of a great book!
3 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

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.

24 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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