Seedpeople (1992)

Rating:

USA. 1992.

Crew

Director – Peter Manoogian, Screenplay – Jackson Barr, Based on an Idea by Charles Band, Producer – Anne Kelly, Photography – Adolfo Bartoli, Digital Visual Effects – DHD Postimage & Digital Visual Entertainment (Supervisor – Geoffrey De Valois), Physical Effects Supervisor – Andrew Sutton, Creature/Makeup Effects – Magical Media Industries, Inc. (Supervisor – John Carl Buechler), Production Design – R. Clifford Searcy. Production Company – Full Moon Entertainment

Cast

Sam Hennings (Tom Baines), Andrea Roth (Heidi Tucker), Bernard Kates (Doc Roller), Holly Fields (Kim Tucker), Dane Witherspoon (Deputy Brad Yates), John Mooney (Frank Tucker), Anne Betancourt (Mrs Santiago), Sonny Carl Davis (Bert Mosely), J. Morgan Campbell (Deputy Fraser), David Dunard (Ed Busta), Charles Bouvier (Thurman Rudd)


Plot

A man is brought into a hospital ranting incoherently. As he is sedated, an FBI agent forces his way in and listens to the man’s story. The man explains that he is geologist Tom Baines. Baines tells how he returned to his hometown of Comet Valley to examine a meteorite that had fallen there centuries ago. As he settled into the boarding house of his former girlfriend Heidi Tucker, Baines became aware that peculiar things were happening in the area. He and others started to see strange creatures, while people in the town were somehow being changed. Gradually, Tom discovered that the townspeople were being taken over by mind-controlling alien seedpods.


Seedpeople was one of the numerous low-budget films produced by Full Moon Productions during the 1990s. Full Moon was headed by father and son producing team of Albert and Charles Band. The Bands had previously run Empire Productions in the 1980s and would go onto form Full Moon and other companies like Pulse Pounders and Moonbeam. The Bands have produced entire series of films including the Ghoulies, Trancers and Subspecies films. All of the Bands’ films are cheap, some are entertaining, many terrible and with most being forgettable at best. Seedpeople comes from director Peter Manoogian who had made other Band films, including one of the episodes of The Dungeonmaster (1984) and the full-length likes of Eliminators (1986), Enemy Territory (1987), Arena (1989) and Demonic Toys (1992).

Seedpeople is a cheap Band film copy of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). It is a version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers where the emotionless alien pod people takeover plot has been blended with a cheap mid-80s goo and slime effects film a la Band works such as Ghoulies (1985) and sequels, Troll (1986) and in particular the popular non-Band Critters (1986) and sequels. The title creatures look like a cross between the Critters furball creatures and walking torsos – typically cheap and colourfully entertaining effects work from Band makeup man and sometimes director John Carl Buechler.

Alas, Seedpeople fails to work as a body snatchers story simply because the goo and slime effects is the only level that the film works on. Peter Manoogian is either unable to or disinterested in evoking any of the paranoid atmosphere and the shock of dehumanisation themes that the genre thrives on – he seems only interested in pop-up effects. Moreover, there is no sense of worldwide threat – the seedpeople invasion takes place on a very small scale that seems to only be happening to a dozen people. Eventually, Manoogian mounts a passably cheap climax fighting on the back of a truck to get the pylons working. There is a dull and hackneyed twist where it is revealed that ultraviolet light defeats the creatures and an even more predictable end coda where the menace is revealed not to be over after all.



Director:
Actors: , , , , , , , , , ,
Category:
Themes: , , ,