The Puppet Masters


SF elements

aliens invading Earth, alien mind control


It's always a risk, watching a film of a book you know and like. "Aargh! they've ruined it" is often the reaction. But this adaptation of Robert Heinlein's novel is surprisingly good. Although many of the book's scenes are missing -- necessarily so if the film is not to be 10 hours long -- the essence of the plot is there. Mind controlling alien slugs are trying to take over; the hero must stop them.

Violent, well paced, with twists you might not be expecting if you hadn't read the book. If you have read the book, some scenes build up the tension well: Sam and Mary go home, she picks up the cat, he lights the fire...

And it's just so good to watch a film where everyone is competent -- no half-wit generals refusing to believe their desperate subordinates, no dim-witted Presidents playing politics while the aliens advance -- just competent people in a terrifying situation. Good stuff.

Rating: 2.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 25 August 1997