Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Review of "The Puppet Masters," DVD version

Review of
The Puppet Masters, DVD version

Five out of five stars

 Robert A. Heinlein has long been considered one of the “big three” of science fiction writers, the other two being Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Heinlein’s stories tend to be far more militaristic than those of most other science fiction writers, but it is always violence with a purpose. This movie is base on Heinlein’s classic story of the same name, one that I consider one of his best novels of all time.
 The premise is that a space ship lands on Earth and it is an invasion of hostile creatures. They attach to the back of humans and inject their tentacles directly into the brain, effectively taking control of their host. Their goal is of course to place all humans under their control and exploit the resources of Earth for their own ends. Released in 1994, the experienced viewer with recognize references to the Star Trek original series episode  “Operation - - - Annihilate!” and the “Alien(s)” series of movies.
 Donald Sutherland plays the leader of a very high-level government agency where his word is law and he is willing to give the tough orders that are needed to save the planet. His son is one of his most trusted agents and together they must first contain the infestation and find a way to kill the creatures without also killing their human hosts. It is a difficult assignment, for once a person is “infected” their thoughts and knowledge become an asset for the creatures.
 The action is thrilling and sometimes makes you shiver a bit when you observe an “infection” in action. People must make brutal choices, including the killing of the infected in order to limit the spread. Humans of all ages can be infected, so children under the control of the aliens are subject to attack.
 This is a great movie. Even though the experienced viewer will have seen some of it before in other contexts, it is put together so well that any lack of originality is easily forgiven.

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