We are back to Puppet Master and the first reboot of the series after it was initially intended to end back on chapter 5. New cast but no new puppets and an attempt at continuing to use the lore previously are the first of many miss steps, in an attempt to avoid too much. Lets get into this torrid tale of the darker side of man.
We open up on the House of Marvels Museum which we are shown is now the home of Andre Toulon’s creations. The Bodega Bay Hotel is in the past and to show this we are interested to Dr Magrew (George Peck) and his daughter Jane (Emily Harrison) who treat the Puppets as curious playful creatures (Although the Dr does make note of the previously murdery tendencies). We are interested to a local young man named Robert “Tank” Winsley (Josh Green) who gets picked on by the local boys because he is large and meek. Tank is a very skilled whittler, spending time on his hobby to escape the mean spirited locals and kill time while working at the local gas station. Soon the Dr is recruiting Robert to help him create a special puppet designed by Andre Toulon but never created. As Robert helps the Dr we see that he maybe under the effects of something as his previously meek nature becomes increasingly violent. When we finally discover the nature of the Dr’s plan it seems that Robert can no longer be saved but can love bring him back from the brink?
This film has the feeling of the red heading step child of the Puppet Master series, some of the elements of the series are here but seem distorted. One element that makes a welcome return is the puppets requiring a soul to be animated, this actually becomes central to the plot but also offers a reason for the finale. The puppets themselves are slightly under utilised especially when initially they were a vessel for vengeance, this is one thing that probably came from the need to “Soft Reboot” the whole series and gave them more flexibility for future entries.
“Oh, I’m not one of those high falutin city folk.”
These dungarees should have been included in the credits.
The cast are not quite at the level of the other entries and struggle with some of the dramatic scenes but as this is a horror film we always allow some bad acting. Guy Rolfe does not appear as Ambiguous Nazi Puppet Yoda this time around which is upsetting since he was always the best thing about these films. The main character Robert is played as unintelligent but functional within this world, to make sure we are always aware of his intelligence they dress him in denim dungarees for the entire film (Like a weird new version of John Steinback’s Of Mice and Men) which is more than a bit condescending.
To be absolutely honest this film is not good, it is difficult to watch and takes forever to reveal information most people will guess in the first few minutes. I like the Dr and they bring in a the Karate Kid style bully which is fun but sadly both characters lack any definition, becoming far too evil early on in the film.
The perfect weapon to hold sideways and threaten people with.
This is the film that reinvigorated the series but after watching it I really cannot see why. I wouldn’t recommend it and once again give a David Spade, you may remember a time when you enjoyed it but that time passed long ago.
Hey, they are wearing matching clothes!