(SIRIUS 6B, Year 2078) On a distant mining planet ravaged by a decade of war, scientists have created the perfect weapon: a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing devices known as... See full summary »
A group of heavily armed hijackers board a luxury ocean liner in the South Pacific Ocean to loot it, only to do battle with a series of large-sized, tentacled, man-eating sea creatures who have taken over the ship first.
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 <email@example.com>
Slightly underrated aliens-vs-government 50s throwback movie
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!
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