Director: Jeff Burr
Starring: Gordon Currie, Chandra West, Ian Ogilvy, a load of puppets
“You do see my problem, don’t you? You are asking an awful lot of me. A little monster, an agency or cult protecting some ancient magic… you must admit it is rather fantastic.” (Jennings, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter)
You can’t have a successful horror film series without at least one entry boldly (and falsely) claiming it’s the final one.
The sixth Nightmare On Elm Street film, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, was succeeded by three more films starring the finger-gloved freak.
Even better, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter – the fourth film in the series – was actually far from the final chapter, with Jason appearing in eight subsequent movies.
So too, then, was the case with Full Moon Pictures’ cult series Puppet Master which claimed this, the fifth film in as many years, was to be the last. Continue reading “Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994) review”
Director: Jeff Burr
Starring: Gordon Currie, Chandra West, Ash Adams, Guy Rolfe
“The magic that gives my puppets life was stolen from a tribe of ancient Egyptian sorcerers, who pledged their allegiance to the demon lord Sutek.” (Andre Toulon, Puppet Master 4)
Although Full Moon Pictures had decided by Puppet Master III that its titular terrors were better as protagonists than antagonists, there was still a problem: they still killed humans.
Granted, these humans were evil Nazis, but even so: if only there was a way to have them killing something else rather than people to ensure their moral standards were of the utmost quality.
In fact what if, instead of humans, they could fight other little puppet-sized creatures? Ones that had maybe, I don’t know, been sent to Earth by a demon who looked like a Power Rangers reject?
Enter Puppet Master 4. Continue reading “Puppet Master 4 (1993) review”
Director: David DeCoteau
Starring: Guy Rolfe, Richard Lynch, Ian Abercrombie, Aron Eisenberg
“Herr Toulon has developed a method of animating his puppets without string. It’s as if they were alive.” (Lt Stein, Puppet Master III)
When you’ve got a film about killer toys you can only go so far with it before the concept loses all sense of terror.
The minds behind the Child’s Play films realised this by the end of the serious-but-iffy third film, following it up with the more comedy-focused Bride Of Chucky instead.
Full Moon, the studio behind the Puppet Master series, realised it sooner than this. By the end of Puppet Master II, in which the killer puppets are double-crossed by their evil owner, the audience is expected to start feeling sympathy for them.
Puppet Master III, then, takes things one step further and makes the puppets outright good guys. A horror film in which the killer dolls are the heroes? Who could the villains possibly be, other than Nazis or something? Continue reading “Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991) review”
Director: David Allen
Starring: Elizabeth Maclellan, Collin Bernsen, Steve Welles, Greb Webb
“No one escapes.” (Andre Toulon, Puppet Master II)
I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the Puppet Master series, as you’ll already know if you read my review of the first film a while back.
This second outing for Full Moon Pictures’ wooden wonders offers more of the same, with stop-motion puppetry, supernatural skullduggery and sub-standard acting the order of the day.
The movie begins with our anti-heroes, still living at the Bodega Bay Inn, facing a dilemma. You see, the reason they’re alive in the first place is because their titular puppet master, Andre Toulon, developed a serum that could bring life to inanimate objects.
The problem is, the serum’s running out, and Andre Toulon pebble-dashed a wall with his brains in the ’40s when he shot himself to avoid capture by the Nazis, so if they can’t get any more serum soon they’ll be a bit fucked. Continue reading “Puppet Master II (1990) review”
Director: David Schmoeller
Starring: Paul Le Mat, William Hickey, Irene Miracle, Jimmie F Skaggs, Robin Frates, Matt Roe
“Metaphysically speaking, I killed myself.” (Neil, Puppet Master)
Over the past few months many of my reviews have been dedicated to films by Full Moon, one of my favourite B-movie studios.
Full Moon were responsible for a raft of low-budget 80s and 90s horror films and while the majority were as atrocious as you’d expect (hence exhibits A, B, C, D and E here), every so often they’d come up trumps with a gem.
Puppet Master is one such film, one that proved so successful it spawned a total of nine sequels. Naturally, reviews of these will come in time but for now let’s start at the beginning. Continue reading “Puppet Master (1989) review”