Puppet Master (1989)
Plot: Andre Toulon (William Hickey) harnesses the power of ancient Egyptian magic to breathe life into his crew of marionettes, who morph into demonic killers. Many years later, a group of modern psychics looking for clues to explain a mutual friend’s mysterious suicide end up trapped in a creepy hotel stalked by Toulon’s miniature assassins.
My Review: I added the first two movies to my netflix streaming queue awhile back. But worried about watching them because I remember watching these as a teenager ALL the time on TV. I loved em as a kid. But I knew going into it as an adult I probably wouldn’t…and in the end I was right. I didn’t really care for this movie.
As the movie starts off, we are introduced to Andre Toulon as he works on a puppet. Meanwhile some of his other puppets are running around the building. Andre ends up killing himself as two people with guns are at his door…which come to think of it, I don‘t recall finding out who they were…I guess just people after his “magic“.
Then we are introduced to the main cast – a bunch of psychics. They’ve all ended up at this hotel where their friend has committed suicide. His wife states he requested not to be buried until after his friends arrived. Now, while I watched this I had a brutal cold, so maybe I missed something, but why is the hotel important. Could it be where Andre killed himself? I’m not sure. Moving on…
The viewer isn’t sure what these people have to do with one another until 35 minutes into the film, where one of them describes to their late friend’s wife what’s going on. Apparently it was discovered that the Egyptians could give powers to inanimate objects, and their practice was passed on to only a select few. One being Andre Toulon and as we know he chose to make his puppets come to life.
As the movie goes on, each character finds themselves somewhere alone (for the most part) and they have visions or psychic moments (which I got really sick of), and eventually they each bite the dust at the hands of the puppets.
As I stated above, I was fighting a brutal cold while watching and reviewing this, and yeah I found the movie slightly boring, but why are the puppets there? Were they brought back to life too, or resurrected by some means. I don’t recall the movie mentioning this.
What always amazes me about movies with killer dolls is that people don’t overpower them easily. At least in parts of this movie they just are taken by surprise fast, or in some other cases tied up.
Gore/FX: For the most part the puppet movements are claymation or live movements. Probably for the year it was released it was fine, but as far as 2010 its pretty cheesy. There was one scene which was kinda freaky, a guy wakes up in bed and lifts the covers to see severed heads lying there. But in the end the gore and FX are nothing special.
Sexual Content: A man about to rape a woman in an elevator (in a vision). We see a peak of her naked boob. One of the female psychics enjoying a vision of two woman having sex while nude in the bathtub. Another couple having sex, no nudity, mainly hear a lot of moaning…but its slightly funny when the leach puppet starts kissing the guys chest…how would he think that was a real person??
Acting: I honestly expected it to be a lot worse then it was. I’d have to say it was classic early 80s acting, even though it was almost 1990 when it came out.
Overall: It wasn’t how I remembered it, and I probably won’t watch it again. But still the puppets are interesting, even though we didn’t even get to know anything about them..not even their names. I’m sure they’ll do that in the later entries, which I do plan on watching. Maybe I’ll like those better.
View The Trailer