Sunday, November 2, 2014

Puppet Master (1989)

Director: David Schmoeller

Starring: Paul Le Mat, William Hickey, Irene Miracle

Run Time: 1:30

Rant: Sum up the Puppet Master franchise in one word: fun. This series is probably my favorite behind the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movies. Puppets have always interested me and these ones have really unique designs. By no means are these films perfect but if you have nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon, popping in a Puppet Master movie will certainly cure your boredom and really entertain you.

This movie starts in 1939 with the original Puppet Master Andre Toulon putting a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. We soon cut to present day where a group of psychics think their friend Niel Gallagher knows Andre Toulon's secret of giving life to inanimate objects. Turns out ol' Neil shot himself as well. It's sort of a mystery of what happened to Neil Gallagher. He's a shady guy and most of them don't believe he's really dead, even though they've seen the body. While all this shit is going on the puppets are running around picking the psychics off one by one.

There are five puppets in this movie, not counting a couple that are shown for a few seconds. There is Blade, who instead of hands has a hook and a blade. Pinhead, who is incredibly strong for his size. Tunneler, who has a drill on his head. Leech Woman, who can spit poisonous leeches out of her mouth. And of course there's Jester, who really doesn't do shit. He's the equivalent to Toad in Super Mario Bros. 2. No one likes Toad.

The stop-motion effects of the puppets is a real highlight of the movie for me. It doesn't look real but there's something interesting about how it looks. The blood effects are nothing special but surprisingly this movie is more about the story than the effects. Also, the puppets aren't very scary at all. They all look good but the creepiness of the movie comes from the lead character Alex's dreams of Neil Gallagher dancing around like a weirdo.

The music is great. The Puppet Master theme has to be one of the best out there. It's not so much a scary theme like Halloween, but a very catchy one that can get stuck in your head. There are very few things I dislike from this movie. All the performances are solid and the idea to have psychics as well as killer dolls, as well as a lunatic zombie villain is a ridiculous but ultimately satisfying experience. Puppet Master is a very entertaining awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: Paul Le Mat who plays the films lead, has also appeared in American Graffiti and American History X.

Puppet Checklist:
Leech Woman

Puppet Master:
Andre Toulon (Original)
Neil Gallagher

Kill Count:
Andre Toulon (11:33) Shoots himself in the mouth.
Carissa (52:20) Drilled in the mouth by Tunneler.
Frank (54:00) Killed by poisonous leeches by Leech Woman.
Dana (1:02:29) Throat cut by Blade.
Neil Gallagher (1:22:02) Killed by Blade, Pinhead, Leech Woman and Tunneler.

Horror Film: 7.5
Entertainment: 9.25
Gore: 5.5
Ratings: 7.4