The Puppet Masters is a captivating horror science fiction thriller that feels like several other alien films, but still manages to entertain and surprise. It’s about extra-terrestrial parasites who can be detected in part because they are impervious to cleavage, something that Julie Warner’s character establishes early on, and something that makes us all uncomfortable.
I kept getting the impression that this film was too big for the novel it’s based on. Characters kept challenging each other to lose their shirt, to prove that they weren’t being manipulated by the parasite. The parasite attaches itself to your spine and controls you, so the strip-tease made sense, but it wasn’t as rudimentary or clever as The Things’s blood test, or The Faculty’s caffeine test.
I kept being reminded of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Alien, and The Thing. As fascinating as it is, I kept wishing we’d spend more time with the plebs instead of government officials, which feels so damn cold. Writers take notes! The Puppet Masters is worth your attention. The special effects artists are particularly competent, and the actors are excellent.