Monday, July 5, 2010

Puppet Master Review

Puppet Master Poster

1989, another summer, a funky drummer...oh right, this is a horror movie site. This film started a franchise that is often times forgotten, and often times referenced in other films. Heck, Saw steals the puppet angle quite nicely, and no one ever talks about it. Puppet Master came out at the break of the late 80's and I remember it being quite crazy when I was a kid. So I took a stab at it, now that I'm older and I'm more “mature” in regards to horror film. I don't necessarily remember much about the franchise, but this film started it all, so here I am talking about yet another horror film.

The movie starts with a weird old puppeteer making a jester puppet. The puppet then gets put into a box behind a wall, packed with an ancient Egyptian paper, and what followed this thing was insane. The old puppet master takes a gun and blows his brains out in a very weird, gorey sequence, a classic. Two Nazi's break in and were about to kill him, but nope, the puppeteer does himself in before anything goes down.

The story goes into an odd story line, and I wasn't sure why. The movie focuses on a group of psychics who all have weird dreams. When all of the psychics convene at one location and their friend is dead, things start going bad. The movie turns into a haunted house type of film, and is not really that good. In fact, the majority of the film's set up takes a lot of time. I almost gave up on the film, but then things started turning good.

The gore here is mild at times, but the perception is high, with each individual puppet having a set of “killing skills”. There's one female puppet that literally throws up leeches, in real time. The effects are dated, but I didn't mind, and the gore/latex and blood all make for an interesting array of points to look forward to.

From what I can tell the final act is all about “good” psychics and evil psychics, which is really convoluted. The final death sequence takes a long time, and just seems ridiculous as the main villain gets trapped in an elevator. I thought it was stupid, and while there were some cool little tidbits and effects, the camera pushed away and the gore was toned down.

Is Puppet Master A Scary Film?: No.

I'm not scared, you're not scared, and this film is dated. It is a slow moving film with some minor gore effects that I liked. The movie seems similar in terms of effects and plotting like the film “Dolls”, which is not very good to begin with. Puppet Master actually sucks at times, and despite the fact that it's sometimes revered as a classic, it's not that great.

I admit, it's creepy, it has some unique points, but overall, it's not my favorite film. I'll have to check out the sequels, because otherwise, this film isn't all that worthwhile. Sure it is revered by a lot of different people, but honestly, I can't see why. I'd still own the complete set though.


  1. I want to bugger Dolly Parton (as she was when she was 18, not as she is now obviously). By the way, any of the "Puppet Master" movies chosen completely at random would be better by itself than everything that the British film industry has produced in the last 121 years put together, just another of my occasional reminders to keep you far away from British garbage. OH...DOLLY, OH DOLLY what a babe (the 18 year-old version that is).

  2. I have a weird fear of marrionettes or basically little dolls that move around on their own like in the Puppet Master film. They give me the heebee-geebee's every time, but I agree, while enjoyable, the Puppet Master films aren't all that scary.
    Have you ever seen the movie "Dolls"? Similar type of story, not exact, but similar. Creepy old people with a house full of dolls that are actually alive and don't quite like most visitors.
    Great article, thanks for reminding me of the Puppet Master franchise.
    Hmmm..."Puppet Master vs. Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood"...I think Lady Elaine would scare the pants off the Puppet Master puppets...all that "Boomerang, toomerang, zoomerang" jazz, then she'd trap them in her "museum-go-round"...I think Lady Elaine is one of the creepiest puppets ever...right up there with "Kookla, Fran, and Olly" *shivers* Great, now I feel like I have to check under my bed for some tiny minion with a knife, like that Zuni doll from Trilogy of Terror 1 & 2.
    Dreaded Dreams
    Petunia Scareum

  3. jervaise brooke hamsterNovember 26, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Have you seen that episode of the old T.V. show "Night Gallery" called "The Doll" (originally shown in 1970)?, its ludicrously and laughably primitive by todays standards but i still find it strangely unnerveing whenever i watch it.


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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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