Friday, November 19, 2010

Puppet Master (1989)

Puppet Master

Written & Directed by David Schmoeller

Andre Toulan...William Hickey
Alex...Paul Le Mat
Megan...Robin Frates
Dana...Irene Miracle
Clarissa...Kathryn O'Reilly
Frank...Matt Roe

The movie starts off at the Bodega Bay Inn on the California coast during World War II, where refugee Andre Toulan (part-time puppet maker and last of the living alchemists) is hiding out from the Nazis.  His peace of mind doesn't last long, however, as two German officials pound on his door.  Rather than put his fate in their hateful hands, Toulan quickly stashes a few prized possessions and takes his own life.

Flash forward to "modern" day:  A group of psychics scattered across the United States have assembled at the partially-remodeled Bodega Bay Inn, brought together by the death of one of their former associates.  The psychics, and the dead man's wife, quickly find themselves hunted--not by Nazis, as Toulan had so long ago, but by the living marionettes that he had left behind.

Puppet Master was Full Moon's first film production, and is easily the franchise most closely associated with the label.  I have particularly fond memories of staying up late at night to watch the film on cable, many of which came flooding back as I sat down to watch this 20th anniversary reissue DVD.

And it still holds up reasonably well.  The storyline isn't the strongest, but the concept is solid (even if the science, or in this case metaphysics, isn't).  The puppets are creepy and well-constructed, each with their own mini-personalities despite their lack of voice.  They are animated surprisingly well, which is a relief as lesser effects could have killed the film.

A solid low-budget entry that, in its own minor way, is a classic of the genre.

Visit the FULL MOON DIRECT website, visit the OFFICIAL WEBPAGE, or rent it from NETFLIX.

Rated R
90 Minutes
United States

"I am not a cynic. I prefer to think of myself as a...nasty bitch."


  1. one of my favorites... before they became cute and fuzzy puppets. somewhere i have a toy i won in a contest from full moon. i wonder if i still have it....

  2. Definitely still the flagship of the Full Moon fleet. I haven't seen it in forever; might have to hunt down a crisp new DVD.

  3. iZombie: You won a contest. Geez, some guys have all the luck...

    Bleaux: Thanks for stopping by. You should definitely hunt down the DVD. It's not loaded with bonus material or anything, but it's still a good buy.

  4. I've never been a fan of this movie after my little incident with the Chucky doll and I don't like any horror movie about dolls/puppets. That little bastard is out to get me.


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