And now we finally cover the movie that started it all.
Puppet Master (1989)
Directed By: David Schmoeller
And I have went backwards, but I am finally on to the original 1989 film, Puppet Master! The Puppet Master film that started it all and was the very pride and joy of Full Moon Entertainment for a very very long time. Now I already covered 3-6, and it’s only fitting that I start to get around to the first three. When I was a kid I remember seeing this very film and I also remember renting every other Puppet Master movie that would follow on VHS (remember those, kids??). But would that same feeling be present with me at the age now of 28? Well, there was for sure nostalgia, but was the film still quality overall??
Psychics investigating Andre Toulon battle his five killer puppets—each one uniquely qualified for murder and mayhem: Tunneler, who has a habit of boring holes in flesh; Ms. Leech, who sucks her victims dry by regurgitating killer leeches; Pinhead, a professional strangler; Blade, who’s armed with razor-sharp, killer hands, and Jester, the ruthless brains of the bunch. Together, they’re an army of skilled assassins, diabolically programmed to guard the deadly secrets of the Puppet Master. Enjoy this original cult classic in all its bloody glory.
One thing to keep in mind while watching the original Puppet Master, it’s a slow start. Out the gate we get the intro to the puppets and their doomed master, but after someone’s brains ends up on a wall we then hit a much slower pace that we keep for a majority of the film. That pace doesn’t get much better until we reach the ending, and it can be a major turn off to people who like things to be a tad bit faster. I myself would have enjoyed a much faster pace, but at the same time I think I was simply more drawn into this film based off the fact it was the first Puppet Master films and thus it comes with a heavy dose of nostalgia.
Now with a good chunk of this film being all about our psychics, you’ll pickup on the fact we have a major lack of the puppets. I guess a lot of stop motion was expensive in 1989. But while it does suck to not have more of them, it does work in a way that it makes you much more excited to see them when they are on the screen. There is also a lot of nude stuff going on from one of our female psychics. Nothing says cheesy 80’s horror than that. One other really good thing about all of the stuff like that is it’s fun, and if Puppet Master is nothing else, it’s still kinda fun to watch.
While the story is strange and the puppets are limited, the last part of this film is probably the best part. It ends in a much more gruesome and action packed way than it began, and if the whole film had had that kinda spark I think we’d be looking at a full on horror classic rather than just a cult classic. None the less, it was the meat and potatoes for Full Moon in the long run and the creative concept of the Puppets do justify that. And as I have already noted, the whole nostalgia factor for any Full Moon fan will be in overdrive while watching this, so even if it’s slow (and it is), you shouldn’t care TOO much.
It’s a great watch for anyone who grew up on Full Moon films. It does move slow and there isn’t a ton of puppet action going down for the most part, but it’s not a total loss either. Your favorite puppets are here, and you get a score that is still insanely creepy to this very day. Keep in mind that Echo Bridge is your home for THIS film and all the classic Puppet Master films.
The Rating (6/10)