Puppet Masters, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2

This time of year Hollywood floods the theatres with ghoulish goulash, aimed at Halloween horror fans with strong stomachs. THE PUPPET MASTERS fills that bill all right. A UFO lands near a small Iowa town. Excited teenage boys are soon charging admission to look inside. NASA intelligence scientists Dr. Andrew Nivens (Don Sutherland), his son Sam (Eric Thal) and Dr. Mary Sefton (Julie Warner) pose as curious tourists. They immediately realize it's a hoax, but find evidence of alien activity near the phony UFO. The scientists' investigation turns deadly as they are attacked by local citizens whose bodies and minds have been invaded by hideous looking slug-like parasites. The team captures one of the creatures that oozed from the spine of an attacker they were forced to kill. Back at their laboratory, they discover the messy glob attaches itself to the spinal cord of a host human who then becomes its puppet. As these ugly globs multiply, threatening to destroy civilization, even the President of the United States barely escapes their clutches. As gruesome as it sounds, PUPPET MASTERS is almost funny and certainly not scary. Move over, Ed Wood.

Friends and family kill each other as the parasites turn them into inhuman monsters. The situation is so ridiculous you kind of hope the parasites win. Non-stop fighting, killing, deadly gun threats and people thrown through plate glass windows become tiresome. So do closeup views of the gruesome slugs. The violence definitely gives THE PUPPET MASTERS its R rating, although regular profanities and some obscenities further support it. One sexually suggestive scene between Sam and Mary includes passionate kissing. She removes her blouse and is shown in her bra - even jumps out the window without putting on her blouse. An even sillier incident is how the team of scientists concludes something is wrong with the citizens in Iowa. They find the men didn't look down Mary's low cut blouse. Folks, PUPPET MASTERS is a trick, not a treat.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Buena Vista Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 3, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Few (4) times (f-word 2, s-word 1, other 2)

Profanity: Several (9) times - Regular 7 (G-d, G, J), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (gun threats; killings with automatic weapons; bloody gunshot wounds, gory parasites; crashes through windows, slams against walls; fist fighting)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity few times (woman in bra, low cut blouse)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (couple embrace passionately)

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.