31 Days of Horror(1)

I have some weaknesses when it comes to genre cinema.  People hunting people?  I’m there.  Horror Western?  Where do I sign up?  But there’s one premise that will always make me watch a movie no matter how awful it looks.  Small town besieged by otherworldly monsters?  And there’s gore and possibly body horror?  Take all of my money, now!


Seedpeople is a blatant plagiarism of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (which to be fair is a ripoff of Puppet Masters, making this ripoff both thematically appropriate and a Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon approach to brand synergy), but since this is Full Moon and Charles Band has a serious problem about inserting his fetish for small things into nearly everything he does, there’s also some pint-sized monsters (Giant testicle in a Mardi Gras mask, hairy starfish, and weird bat thing) who are among the usual gaggle of pod people.

The lovably contrived circumstances of this movie are wonderful.  There’s this small town that has one entrance and exit, which is blocked for a few days while a new bridge is put in, effectively preventing anyone from coming or going.  One night a man walks into a clearing and finds what looks like an anus hanging in a tree, he pokes it with a stick and it squirts sticky white fluid all over him as he writhes in pain.  Look, I know I’m being sophomoric in mentioning this detail, but while this isn’t Troma, you and I both know that the makers of this movie know how that looks and they know we know.

So our hero is Tom Baines (Sam Hennings), a dashing lantern-jawed geologist who has just rolled back into town and is staying at his old flame’s bed and breakfast.  A local scientist, Doc Roller (Bernard Kates), has apparently gone nuts and started killing people but the townsfolk are acting a bit weird, especially the sheriff, and Tom investigates only to find Roller is aware of an alien invasion happening and has simply gone the route of Wilford Brimley in The Thing.

The aliens come in the form of seeds: seeds are nigh-impossible to destroy and can survive in all sorts of climates including space, they pollinate other species to turn them into slaves who keep up the illusion of normalcy while doing their bidding.  This movie goes the route of all body snatchers movies, though MILD SPOILER there is a pretty great reversal that’s alluded to by a scene I simply thought was a plot-hole.  The ending, however, is predictable as it’s how all of these movies end more or less.

The effects are good for their time and they’re suitably goopy and elaborate.  Doc Roller and Tom make a good horror movie duo (though Doc needs to be weirder and funnier for this to really work as it should) but they don’t get the badass monster killers moment that duos get in this sort of movie.  The movie could’ve used a couple more elaborate setpieces as the ones we got are fairly lackluster; there’s a Chekov’s gun in some super strong herbicide that’s not utilized as well as it should be.

There are some problems with the monsters, they don’t really mesh well with the overall tone of the movie and raise more questions about how exactly the seed people work.  I will admit that the idea of the seeds is clever, though the “bridge is out” and “the soil here isn’t suitable for them” are horribly elaborate ways to make the plot work the way the writer wants it to.

I’ve seen better small-town monster movies, I’ve seen worse.  I’ve seen better body snatchers movies and I’ve seen worse.  Most immediately this movie reminded me of The Curse, The Stuff, and Critters in addition to the usual Body Snatchers pastiche so it’s got a lovable dark frequency that plays to my tastes.  This isn’t in the upper echelon of the sub-genre but this is certainly one of Full Moon’s better offerings.

Watch, Toss, Or Buy? I’m gonna call this one a buy.

If You Liked This, Watch: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Body Snatchers (1993), Mutant (1984), Slither (2006), The Farm/The Curse (1987), Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988), Invaders From Mars (1986), The Deadly Spawn (1983), Critters (1986), Critters 2 (1988), Night of the Creeps (1986), The Stuff (1985), The Faculty (1998), Grabbers (2012), Tremors (1990), The Nest (1988), The Blob (1988)