A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded lab rats, injected with growth hormones. The small animal grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.
Michael V. Gazzo
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
After the president is saved by the OSI agents, just after Donald Sutherland enters the room a crew member's hand can be seen catching the door. See more »
[After Sam rescues Andrew by shooting him]
I can't believe you shot me.
Well, what would you have done?
Oh, I'd have shot you, of course.
See more »
While "The Puppet Masters" is generally an entertaining movie with a good pace going for it, the simple fact is that it's much too belated an official adaptation of the Robert A. Heinlein novel. We've seen other, similar stories since, including of course "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (although the Heinlein novel actually preceded the Jack Finney book of "Body Snatchers"). The presentation is definitely competent if not inspired. The creatures themselves are fairly cool, and visuals (specifically, the hive interior) are solid, and the script (credited to Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and David S. Goyer) is fairly intelligent, but the direction (by Stuart Orme) is nondescript. The music is generic stuff, as well.
It's an alien invasion tale of starfish shaped slugs that land on Earth, attach themselves to the backs of humans, and control their actions. It doesn't take long for an infection (which starts in rural Iowa) to spread and spread. The man in charge of handling the crisis is Andrew Nivens (an amusing Donald Sutherland, who performs with wit and style), who heads up a covert agency that is an offshoot of the C.I.A. and which deals with "scientific intelligence". Also involved is Andrews' special agent son Sam (Eric Thal) and a scientist (the irresistibly cute Julie Warner) who specializes in theorizing about alien anatomy, believe it or not!
The story isn't a bad one but just isn't that meaty; I'm told that, as is so often the case, that the book is a superior work of fiction. The filmmakers do their best to keep us interested in the characters, putting each of them in peril. The stars do good work (this wouldn't work as well were it not for Sutherland), and are well supported by a rich variety of top character actors and familiar faces: Keith David, Will Patton, Richard Belzer, Tom Mason, Yaphet Kotto, Gerry Bamman, Sam Anderson, Marshall Bell, Benjamin Mouton, Andrew Robinson, and Dale Dye (some of them, however, get no more than a few lines).
Never boring but never that exciting, either, this does fall victim to the "more than one ending" cliché but does have its good moments too. Best recommended to undemanding fans of the genre.
Six out of 10.
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