Puppet Master (1989) (DVD)

Even twenty one years after its release, I’m still very enamored with the “Puppet Master” series. Ever since the introduction of individual miniature terrors like Blade, Jester, and Leech Woman, I’ve been in love with the Charles Band Full Moon franchise that teamed the world of cruel human beings against the unforgiving dolls that threatened to bring down any and all menaces to their personal well being; I can still remember being a child trying to get as much from the series as possible from the video stores on my small allowance. “Puppet Master” is one of the more restrained installments of the series that features a slow burn premise about a group of psychics who infiltrate a local hotel to investigate the goings on and mysterious secret of life that has been mastered by puppeteer Andre Toulon.

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Puppet Master 2: His Unholy Creations (1991)

There’s a new puppet introduced in “Puppet Master 2”: The Torch. He’s a bullet toothed flame throwing foot soldier of Toulon and he’s a force to be reckoned with. For the so-so “Puppet Master” there’s the even better sequel, a mixture of murder mystery and the paranormal that teams a bunch of paranormal investigators with the puppets whom seek to undo their work at every turn. For this sequel’s faults (Toulon was buried outside the famous hotel, why?) there are a lot of pluses, the one being that the puppets are given much more screen time thus much more screen time that allows them to stomp around the hotel and commit their misdeeds.

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Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)

Ah, the search for Toulon’s formula, this is what accounts for plot with “Puppet Master Legacy.” It’s not uncommon for horror films to feature clips from their earlier films, but the Puppet Master series has made it ridiculous by saving money through obvious manners. One is showing the puppets but only in their docile form, and two is padding the film with about as much filler as possible. This filler is clips from the past movies that the director uses to compensate for lack of fresh footage of the puppets. This method would later be included in the rank “Axis of Evil.”

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Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010)

puppet-master-axis-of-evil-18231-16x9-largeI love “Puppet Master” I think it’s one of the best horror series to come along in years and provided many hours of wholesome puppet murdering fun that I never got with Chucky. With the series, it was obviously quite ridiculous, but it reveled in such and covered up that fact by giving us an array of puppets to root for who became menaces, villains, and then anti-heroes. “Axis of Evil” is an attempted reboot that will definitely not re-invent the entire series as I’d hoped, since it’s mainly just a lazy hack job with barely ninety minutes of its run time, and I retreat back in the old films.

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