Puppet Master is the first film in the long running Full Moon Pictures franchise. Currently up to it’s 14th entry, this is where it all began. But is it worthy of your time? Read on to find out…
In 1989, four psychics each receive unsettling visions, which they conclude have been sent by a former colleague, Neil Gallagher. The group meets at the Bodega Bay Inn where Gallagher has been staying, and before long they are introduced to Gallagher’s wife, Megan. The psychics are skeptical that Gallagher had ever been wed, but this is forgotten when Megan reveals that he has recently committed suicide. Toulon’s puppets, now out and about, proceed to murder everyone in the hotel until only the psychic Alex Whitaker and Megan remain.
It is then that Gallagher, alive, confronts the two survivors. Gallagher explains that while he did die, he used Toulon’s formula to give himself eternal life. However, when Gallagher mistreats the puppet Jester, the others revolt against him, locking him in an elevator and mercilessly killing him. Whitaker returns home. Megan, now alone, is shown picking up Dana’s taxidermic dog. The dog becomes animated, indicating that she too has learned Toulon’s method.
Puppet Master is probably the cornerstone of Charles Bands Full Moon empire. Originally released in 1989, Puppet Master has become a true “cult classic”. As a film, it is remarkably well made given it’s low budget and significant amount of special effects work. The films cinematography is probably some of the best you will see in a film of this type. It aids the films atmosphere immensely, helping to create an air of menace. And the HD print looks great. This is easily the best that Puppet Master has looked since the day the first print was struck.
And the effects work is top notch. A mix of animatronics and stop motion bring the puppets to macabre life. And plentiful splatter effects ram home the horror. On a negative note, the film isn’t exactly the best acted or scripted. Some of the dialogue is stilted, and the actors were clearly of a lesser importance than the effects. This somehow does not detract from the film though. As a long time horror aficionado, bad acting is par for the course, especially in low budget fare such as this.
Puppet Master: Worth your money?
Now, the disc itself is quite well appointed. 88 Films and Full Moon have done a really good job with this disc. The extras you recieve are as follows:
- UK EXCLUSIVE AUDIO COMMENTARY WITH JUSTIN KERSWELL, AUTHOR OF TEENAGE WASTELAND
- RESTORED HD TRANSFER IN 1.85:1 WIDESCREEN
- NEW DTS-HD MA 5.1 SOUNDTRACK
- ORIGINAL LPCM STEREO SOUNDTRACK
- COMMENTARY BY PRODUCER CHARLES BAND
- NO STRINGS ATTACHED ORIGINAL MAKING OF FEATURETTE
- HD INTRODUCTION BY CHARLES BAND
- HD TRAILER
- FULL MOON TRAILER PARK
- REVERSIBLE SLEEVE INCORPORATING ORIGINAL ARTWORK
- COLLECTORS BOOKLET NOTES BY AUTHOR AND CRITIC CALUM WADDELL
In conclusion, this is a fine set, for a decent film. I highly recommend it.
4.5/5 Fiends. Pretty much essential.
Buy Puppet Master: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Puppetmaster-BLU-RAY-Paul-Mat/dp/B00753376E