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Daytime TV played this movie sometime 1983-1989. A young preteen boy is the main character (and a girl, his friend of similar age). They individually wander into a unique hot-pink-walled cave tunnel, where they are surgically restrained. A robotic drill implants some kind of object into their neck at nape of head, and renders them part of the group of "others" by some supernatural quality. It makes everyday people part of a larger group of transformed strangers, which may be robot or alien or evil. I didn't understand it too well. But the "group" vs. "Me" dynamic is a theme of te plot, because the boy notices everyone around him with this neck implant and fears them.

I saw this movie on daytime TV in the mid 1980s. The movie is in color. I was a small kid and it was my first "horror/sci fi" exposure so I was so intrigued I can never forget it. I have spent decades thinking about it or trying to find the title.

Also, the entrance to the top of the cave is in plain daylight, it looks like pink bubblegum or fish gills ... I remember this cave's interior lining very distinctly. Thirty something years ago!

  • I always try to remember what this movie was called -- scary memories from seeing it as a kid. I always remember two scenes: the kid using a coin like a indian head penny to fire an alien weapon and his teacher eating the frog. -- I'll have to watch this again. I believe I only saw the remake. – DemiSheep Jul 2 '14 at 20:44
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Never saw 1986 the remake, but in the original "Invaders From Mars" they fall into a cave in the ground and have the drilling of the control device into the back of the neck. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091276/ Maybe?

  • The remake is online at youtube.com/watch?v=EKrusiG226M -- at around 37:40 when the boy first enters the Martian base inside a cave, the curved parts of the entrance might be said to look like fish gills, although this isn't actually the entrance to the cave itself, which just looks normal (poster might be misremembering though). And though we see the implants in the back of the neck, just from fast-forwarding through the youtube video I couldn't find any scenes that show them being implanted by a drill (there was such a scene in the original, but the base was green, not pink). – Hypnosifl Jul 2 '14 at 16:36
  • And the 1953 version is online at youtube.com/watch?v=REc1iR_ME4c -- there's a scene with them restraining a woman in preparation for a neck implant around 1:02:30, and a scene with a drill approaching her neck around 1:04:20 – Hypnosifl Jul 2 '14 at 16:43
  • Actually, turns out there is a drill scene in the remake, starting at around 1:16:45 in the first youtube link...I think the color scheme and the arches resembling fish gills make this a more likely match than the 1953 original, so I'll put this as a separate answer. – Hypnosifl Jul 2 '14 at 17:03
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As Nick said, it definitely sounds like the plot of "Invaders from Mars", but I think some of the visual details you remember make it more likely that it's the 1986 remake rather than the 1953 original, which (for now) can be seen online here:

At around 37:35 you can see the boy entering into the Martian underground base (which is inside a cave system whose entrance was in broad daylight--you can see him approaching it around 36:15--though the entrance to the base is not), and there are some arches in the entrance which might be said to resemble fish gills. Also, the interior has a pinkish color scheme, unlike in the 1953 original where the color scheme of the base was green. Later in the movie the boy enters the base again, and sees a man on a table who gets implanted in the back of the neck by an alien drill, this scene starts at around 1:16:45.

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I'd be betting on the "Invaders from Mars" remake as well. If that's not it, it's possibly the film adaptation of Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters", which I seem to recall having a similar plot, though I'd recommend the original "Invaders from Mars (1953)" over both of those newer films any day.

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