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The Puppet Masters


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The Puppet Masters + Invasion of the Body Snatchers
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Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Sutherland, Eric Thal, Julie Warner, Keith David, Will Patton
  • Directors: Stuart Orme
  • Writers: David S. Goyer, Robert A. Heinlein, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
  • Producers: James P Axiotis, Michael Engelberg, Ralph Winter
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video / Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: September 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068MC3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,733 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Puppet Masters" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Here's the edge-of-your-seat thriller that delivers unrelenting suspense and nonstop action! Donald Sutherland (DISCLOSURE, BACKDRAFT) leads a team of top-level government agents who make a chilling discovery: extraterrestrial beings have landed and are quickly taking control of the residents of a small midwestern town -- manipulating their bodies and minds like puppets! Faced with an escalating crisis as the creatures multiply and spread, the team must somehow eliminate the seemingly unstoppable aliens. With riveting special effects and heart-stopping action, THE PUPPET MASTERS is sure to thrill you!

Customer Reviews

Great effects, neat monsters and a good story.
Joshua Koppel
If I had a couple of hours to waste, I'm sure I could find many more questions, but sorry this film just isn't worth it.
Leslie A Munday
So far, this is the only movie of Heinlein's books that's faithful to the book.
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 3, 2003
Format: DVD
I've been apprehensive about watching this movie because of the generally poor reviews. Thus, it has taken me nine years to get around to watching it. I'm glad I did. The movie is reasonably faithful to the well-written book by Robert A. Heinlein. There are departures from the book to keep the movie moving along, but the essence of the movie remains faithful to the story.

One of the interesting things about the book and the movie, which some reviewers have pointed to as poor acting, is that Donald Sutherland (as Andrew Nivens) and Eric Thal (as Sam Nivens, Andrew's son) seem to be relatively expressionless. Both characters were described as being rather stoic, nearly emotionless people in Heinlein's book. It's difficult to portray that type of character on the screen because the acting can come across as wooden or emotionless. Eric Thal acted as Sam Nivens was written by Heinlein. I am not sufficiently familiar with Eric Thal to comment on his acting abilities in general, but I reasonably satisfied by his portrayal of Sam. His acting could have been better, but it was acceptable.

One point that I found rather distressing is that in Heinlein's original story, everyone was pretty much running around with minimal clothing by the end of the story to prevent the slugs from hiding in pants or loose underwear, as the slugs were fairly small. The movie minimized this exposure, likely because it might have distracted further from the movie. However, one of society's first reactions in this situation would be to have everyone be nearly nude to prevent slug-ridden people from infiltrating those that were not.

Unfortunately for this movie it came much later than many other movies that may share similar concepts.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By The Mighty Hudson on September 23, 2002
Format: DVD
Do NOT confuse this movie with the similarly titled, low-budget series of "Puppet Master" films about demonic marionettes!
"The Puppet Masters" (1994) DVD is definitely worth a viewing or two, and...you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to buy this DVD for your collection. If some of the material seems trite, keep in mind that this is a near-faithful adaptation of Robert Heinlein's book of the same title, as originally published in 1951. Many elements that are overly familiar to today's sci-fi fans originated here.
This film boasts good performances (Donald Sutherland, Eric Thal) and some creepy special effects. The first 30 minutes or so are especially well crafted. There are lulls but also surprises, including a convention center scene that is highly exciting, and some suspenseful military scenes, too. The last half-hour degenerates somewhat (in my opinion) with a fight that goes on for too long and the by now standard "It's over"/"Oh, it's not over" stuff, but all in all I have few reservations about recommending this underrated movie.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on February 26, 2004
Format: DVD
This is a movie of alien invasion through the control of humans. The aliens arrive in a flash of light that is witnessed by three boys (not two) who set off to see what is up.
Enter Donald Sutherland as the head of a team investigating the phenomenon. They find a curious setup. The three kids are charging people to see the space ship. This is obviously not a real space ship, so what is going on?
As we find out, we have been invaded by small aliens that attach themselves to the human nervous system and then control them. They are spreading quickly.
The aliens are working at spreading their numbers as well as their influence. They try to sabotage Sutherland's team as well as aim at government officials.
The aliens keep busy and the team keeps trying to contain and predict them. Witty lines and fast scenes keep the film moving to its surprising conclusion.
A must for sci-fi and Heinlein fans. Great effects, neat monsters and a good story. Check it out.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hawkman@pcisys.net on April 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is a brilliant adaptation of the classic book by Robert A. Heinlein. It is much better than the adaptation of "StarShip Troopers" staying closer to the story line and adapted well to the current state of technology. The minor differences between the book and the movie are well thought out and add, rather than detract from the story. My only regret is that it couldn't be adapted closer, ie: that the entire midwest, central Canada and Mexico as well as unknown parts of the USSR are infested (after the initial landing). The actors are well chosen and Donald Sutherland is the crusty head of the 'Agency', Dr. Niven, plays the part almost as a twin to the description in the book. All in all, a well done thriller with the minimum amount of blood and gore, more thought provoking than the usual Sci-Fi invader story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Butts HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 18, 2004
Format: DVD
Sci fi fans will know that PUPPET MASTERS, based on Robert Heinlein's book, has surfaced twice before in the two INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHER movies. Ironically, Donald Sutherland, who starred in the 80s remake, is in this one, as well. PUPPET MASTERS is different from the BODY SNATCHER in that the ultimate darkness of those two is defeated by an upbeat, man beats the alien ending. This movie also gives us some really frightening looking creatures and some breathtaking action sequences. Sutherland is his usual sturdy self; Eric Thal is quite good as his son; and Julie Warner is very good as the woman scientist. The movie has menace, and while it is not as atmospheric as the SNATCHER movies, it comes across more action oriented, and there's nothing wrong with that, when it is handled this well.
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