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Seedpeople Reviews

Executive producer Charles Band should be ashamed of the "Based on an original idea" credit he's given himself; SEEDPEOPLE is a blatant ripoff of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, quite possibly designed to beat Abel Ferrara's upcoming major studio remake into the marketplace. Even the wraparound device is derivative, as our hero, Tom Baines (Sam Hennings) recounts his story of invasion and possession from a hospital bed. The story proper takes place in Tom's hometown of Comet Valley, where he arrives after a long absence just as the only bridge leading in or out is being closed down for repairs. There he gets a room at a bed-and-breakfast run by his old flame, Heidi Tucker (Andrea Roth), and encounters local sheriff, Brad Tates (Dane Witherspoon), the new man in Heidi's life. The expected conflicts ensue, but Tom soon has more to worry about: alien spores have recently landed nearby on a fallen meteorite, spawning bizarre plantlife that has begun to possess the populace. Some of the townsfolk are already exhibiting the blank, emotionless symptoms; one of them is Heidi's housekeeper Mrs. Santiago (Anne Betancourt), of whom Heidi's young daughter Kim (Holly Fields) is suspicious. The girl has also glimpsed Mrs. Santiago's alter ego--a rolling plant monster--but no one except Tom will believe her. The only other person in town who is convinced of the invasion is crazy old Doc Roller (Bernard Kates), who has taken to outfitting himself with fluorescent lights (which can repel the alien creatures). Eventually, thanks to a videotape made by Kim, Tom convinces Heidi of the danger and the two set out to stop the aliens. This they manage to do, curing the locals of the possessing force with a barrage of fluorescents and blowing up a truckload of outgoing pods, which have been harvested by the enslaved humans. Back at the hospital, Tom wraps up his frightening story, only to find inevitably that the nightmare is just beginning.... Boasting cheaper production values than usual for a Full Moon production, SEEDPEOPLE never looks chintzier than when its monsters are onscreen. These creations by John Buechler, who usually does better on his low budgets, are among the most laughable movie monsters in recent years, rendering the film more reminiscent of FROM HELL IT CAME than the intended inspiration. In true Full Moon tradition, the monsters were even given cute nicknames ("Sailor," "Tumbler" and "Shooter") in the event of a merchandising possibility that understandably never came to pass. The rest of the movie is just as lacking, with Peter Manoogian's uninspired direction on a par with Jackson Barr's feeble screenplay. (Barr's been writing an awful lot of low-budget vehicles these days, and really should take a break to recharge his creative batteries.) The actors are competent at best, though to be fair, they weren't given much to work with. The most thankless role belongs to Fields, a twenty-one-year-old actress attempting vainly to pass as a thirteen-year-old. In the final analysis, though, she comes off as no less--or more--believable than anything else in this science fiction shambles. (Violence, profanity.)