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Nine Puppet Master movies on one 2-disc DVD set? What could possibly go wrong....?
Echo Bridge / 733 Minutes / 1989-2010 / Rated R/PG-13/Unrated / Street Date: October 16, 2012
I will be 34 years old at the end of November. I’m still in my prime. Sure, I was the first one to fall asleep when our fantasy football league went out of town for our draft, and maybe I played softball with some people who were born AFTER the 1989 bay area earthquake and had never heard of Teen Wolf, but I’m young damn it!!
I never thought I would be the guy shaking his fist at the neighborhood children and starting sentences with “back in my day”. However, if you’ve read my reviews before, what I’m about to say will not come as a shock: back in my day, horror movies were horror movies! None of this PG-13 bullshit! R ratings! I grew up with Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, and a series that is very near and dear to my heart: Puppet Master.
Except for a few of my buddies who I made watch the films when we were younger (you are welcome), no one I know has heard of these movies, much less seen them. However, there must be a huge following as there were eight sequels made. Imagine my excitement when the nine movie collection ended up in my mailbox!
For the less informed, the original Puppet Master film opens in Bodega Bay, California in 1939 with Andre Toulon (William Hickey) surrounded by his puppets. He has figured out an ancient Egyptian secret to bring them to life, and the Nazis want this knowledge as well Spies are sent for Toulon, but before they reach him he hides his puppets and commits suicide.
The film jumps to 1989 where a number of psychics all have visions sent from a former colleague, Neil Gallagher (Jimmy Skaggs). The psychics convene in Bodega Bay to discover that Neil, who has learned of Toulon’s secret, has also killed himself (although he is later found sitting up in different rooms of the hotel). One by one, the psychics along with the housekeeper meet their end at the hands of the puppets: Tunneler, Leach Woman, Blade and Pinhead.
As the film ends, Neil reveals to those still alive that he used Toulon’s formula for eternal life on himself and injures Jester, another of Toulon’s puppets. The others do not take kindly to this and exact their revenge on Neil.
In later films, Toulon’s body is reanimated by the puppets, the Nazis (along with numerous others) keep trying to get the secret, and we even learn how the formula for reanimation came to be. New puppets are made and introduced, including Torch (he’s awesome). But the one constant in the series is the brutal murders committed by the puppets old and new.
Chronologically speaking, the series makes no sense. Events that happen in the first film are largely ignored or even changed in later films. The movies certainly can be watched and enjoyed in the order in which they were made. The plots are not that heavy in depth, and it is not necessary to make any sense of them to be enjoyable.
First of all, we are talking about demonic puppets. I think reality is suspended at that point. And secondly, I do not believe any of these movies were released theatrically. So while I love the films and they have a very loyal fan base, they are direct-to-video B horror flicks.
Halloween they ain’t.
Movies included: Puppet Master, Puppet Master 2, Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge, Puppet Master 4, Puppet Master 5, Puppet Master 6: Curse of the Puppet Master, Puppet Master 7: Retro Puppet Master, Puppet Master 8: The Legacy, and Puppet Master 9: Axis of Evil