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John’s Horror Corner: Seed People (1992), the root of all evil

September 29, 2013

MY CALL:  Mutant stumpy plant aliens Body Snatch their way to world domination one local yokel at a time in this pleasantly unserious B horror release from Full Moon Entertainment.  MOVIES LIKE Seed PeopleThe Curse (1987) and The Deadly Spawn (1983) take slightly more serious and gory approaches to meteor-spawned alien monsters.  Bleeders (1997) also comes to mind, but only because the monsters have no legs and stumpy torsos like they do in Seed People.

Director Peter Manoogian (Demonic Toys, Devil Dolls) and writer/producer Charles Band (the Puppet Master, Subspecies, Ghoulies and Trancers franchises) have crafted some laughably unserious horror nonsense for us.  However, as I’ve spoken out on this before with other Full Moon releases, I struggle to understand how this received an “R” rating.  There’s no nudity, not much gore and almost no profanity.  This is no more offensive than ScyFy’s television movie Sharknado (2013).

In this semi-farcical Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) homage, botanical aliens land in a small town to enact phase one of their world domination–to take over the population of Comet Valley.  After some locals claim to find a meteorite, geologist and meteor expert Tom returns to the small town where he grew up to give a talk on the subject.  By “give a talk” I mean present a slideshow to the dim-witted townsfolk in the local diner.  The only bridge into town is out so Tom has the local bed and breakfast all to himself and the owner, his old flame Heidi (Andrea Roth; The Collector, RoboCop TV series).

The invasion starts when a mutant alien tree (i.e., the “queen”) vomits some goop all over a local who then cocoons and turns into a stumpy insect-seed pod monster hybrid called a “shooter” (perhaps akin to a “soldier” or “worker” ant).

Evil tree monster…

Does this to a guy…

Who then turns into this stumpy thing.

Just as in Starship Troopers (1997), Aliens (1986) or even the ant hill in your backyard, these aliens have different castes with different body forms.  The tree sprays sticky pollen on another guy who presumably turns into a different type of infected monster.  We also encounter “tumblers” that look like little fur balls that roll around like Critters (1986), “fliers” that look like fuzzy flying spiders the size of terriers, and weird looking eggs with gross slimy cotyledon fetuses in them.

FUN FACT:  Creature actress Debbie Lee Carrington plays the Tumbler (Total Recall, Men in Black, Return of the Jedi, Bitch Slap).

To add more randomness to this movie.  Not only do the local townsfolk get turned into stumpy plant monsters of various form, but some humans simply appear to have their minds controlled but are really shooters with the ability to shapeshift.  Other humans just have their minds controlled but have not been transformed into leguminous abominations.  Why is that? I have no idea! This makes no sense.

It’s up to Tom, Heidi, a disturbed alcoholic scientist, the sheriff and teenager Kim (Holly Fields; Wishmaster 2, Communion) to save the town–and the world–from these stumpy alien veggie beasts that are trying to seed more lands and harvest Earth’s people.

Tom and the local botanist.  I wonder how botanists make money it itty bitty towns.

Heidi (right) looks a bit like Christina Applegate.

The acting is understandably bad, the gore is decent but infrequent, the monsters get ample screen time and I enjoyed lots of laughs watching this nonsense all the way to the (weak) twist ending.  This was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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