November 7, 1994 -- ``The Puppet Masters'' is an above average science fiction film. Based on Robert Heinlein's novel of the same name, it is a chilling story of ruthless alien parasites who try to take over the earth.
The story is similar to ``Invasion of the Body Snatchers,'' but instead of pod people there are nasty, slimy little slug-like creatures who attach themselves to people's backs and necks and take over their ``host's'' nervous systems. Director Stuart Orme does a good job of maintaining suspense and keeping the action rolling forward. The special effects are low-budget, but effective. The creatures are disgustingly realistic.
The only well-known star in the cast is Donald Sutherland, who also starred in the 1978 remake of ``Invasion of the Body Snatchers.'' Eric Thal and Julie Warner also star as part of a high-level government alien threat response team. The actors are all quite effective.
This is one of those gritty no-holds-barred chillers like ``Alien.'' It doesn't have the big budget, slickness or star power of ``Alien,'' but it is very well put together. It rates a B.
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