5.9/10
7,878
65 user 47 critic

The Puppet Masters (1994)

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

Director:

Stuart Orme

Writers:

Robert A. Heinlein (novel), Ted Elliott (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Andrew Nivens
Eric Thal ... Sam Nivens
Julie Warner ... Mary Sefton
Keith David ... Alex Holland
Will Patton ... Dr. Graves
Richard Belzer ... Jarvis
Tom Mason ... President Douglas
Yaphet Kotto ... Ressler
Gerry Bamman ... Viscott
Sam Anderson ... Culbertson
J. Patrick McCormack J. Patrick McCormack ... Gidding
Marshall Bell ... General Morgan
Nicholas Cascone Nicholas Cascone ... Greenberg
Bruce Jarchow ... Barnes
Benjamin Mouton ... Higgins
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Storyline

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 <scf@w0x0f.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trust No-one.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,069,057, 23 October 1994

Gross USA:

$8,647,042

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,647,042
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hollywood Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of all the films in Julie Warner's career, this film is the most popular despite the fact she was in the hit comedies "Doc Hollywood" and "Tommy Boy" with many of the films fans talking to her about it during Sci-Fi conventions when she makes appearances. See more »

Goofs

When Sam is being interviewed in the hospital by his father, one shot shows another patient in the bed behind his father, but at the end of the scene a wide shot from above shows the bed is empty. See more »

Quotes

Sam: So if the two of you are being shot at, which bullet do I take?
Andrew: Why you must try for both, of course.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Muppet Pastors
29 October 2012 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

Unfortunate enough to share a name with a brand of dirt-cheap Charles Band movies (but completely disconnected from them) I always figured that The Puppet Masters would be just as schlocky. It ain't art, but it is decent, low-brow, brainless entertainment.

A bunch of alien manta-rays land in Iowa in a confusing opening sequence. The authorities arrive and discover that the locals are slowly being turned into mindless slaves to their alien hosts. Sound like the X-Files? It very much does play out like a 3-part episode with virtually the exact same character dynamic and interaction. The tagline for the movie is even 'Trust no one'.

It also feels like a John Carpenter movie in some respects (the presence of Keith David, who really ought to be in every movie, only adds to this). And while it's a fairly non-epic movie it does feature some nice anamorphic Panavision photography and a bunch of character actors to keep you entertained in-between the silly plot developments.

As well as feeling the X-Files it also comes across as an Invasion of the Body Snatchers rip-off, odd since co-star Donald Sutherland was in one of those movies. Four years later another very similar film called The Faculty also featured mind-controlling alien parasites, as well as the Brain Slugs from Futurama. But apparently it's taken from a novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein but with little in common, perhaps thanks to a zillion re-writes.

These kinds of movies often have some kind of political subtext, but Puppet Masters embraces its low-brow but clever silliness and ends up a guilty pleasure.


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