Puppet Master 4 is the first of the retconned timeline PM films to take place in the modern world. After Part 3 turned the original PM, Andre Toulon, into a good guy, an all new master for the tiny terrors was needed. This film gives us just that. And it adds more intrigue to the backstory of just how the puppets come to life. But is it any good? Well, read on and find out…
Puppet Master 4 Synopsis:
Taken from the Full Moon website:
Toulon’s Puppets for once, are about to do something good. As the bad puppets turn good!. The mini-menaces Blade, Tunneler, and Pinhead go toe-to-toe with their most menacing enemy yet-a team of terrifying, gremlin-like creatures known as “Totems” that are sent by the evil Egyptian demon Sutekh to recapture the magic stolen by Toulon. The demons target a young scientist, Rick who is now in possession of the Puppet Master secrets. As the creatures attempt to terminate his research and regain the “secret of life”, they leave a deadly path of destruction until the evil Totems finally find Toulon’s puppets in their way. However, Rick has a secret weapon on his side and the newest head-swapping puppet…Decapitron!
Puppet Master 4 Analysis:
Director Jeff Burr has made a really rather entertaining entry into the franchise with part 4. Rather than keep trying to up the ante in terms of gore, he chooses instead to focus more on plot. Obviously, we are not in Citizen Kane territory here, but more of the film is spent setting up the scenario than you would normally expect.
The effects that are present are all exceptionally well done. Even the obviously rubber Sutekh suit is pretty damn good all things considered. The relatively small amount of gore is well presented, and the puppets as usual are the stars. Even the new “Totem” creatures look pretty snazzy.
Visually, the film looks great. Yes, some of the darker scenes betray the films limited budget by being a bit over grainy. This is to be expected however. Burr and his cinematographer do make the film look far nicer than most DTV fare of the time (a standard occurence for Full Moon) by shooting on proper 35mm stock.
Audio is acceptable, again betraying the low budget nature of the production by being basic but effective.
Clocking in at just 79 minutes, the film is well paced, and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome at all.
Compared to the first 3 releases in the series, the extras are not quite as substantial here:
They are, however well presented, and worthy of your time.
Puppet Master 4 is another highly enjoyable entry into the franchise. Well shot, decently acted, and highly entertaining, it ticks all the boxes needed for a good night in.
4/5 Fiends: well worth the effort.
Buy Puppet Master 4: Amazon.co.uk