Puppet Master 2
His Unholy Creations
Written by David Pabian
Directed by Dave Allen
Eriquee Chanee/Andre Toulon...Steve Welles
Following close on the heels of the original, this sequel has a group of government-sanctioned paranormal investigators arriving at the Bodega Bay Inn seeking out whatever ghosties or ghoulies caused Alex, the sole survivor from the first outing, to lose his mind so thoroughly. What they find instead is that they are the latest offerings for the animated puppets of the deceased Andre Toulan.
Even without the puppets, they're not alone at the inn. There's another mysterious and uninvited guest who has taken up lodgings there, a bandaged old man who calls himself Eriquee Chanee. We, of course, are in on the secret: Tis actually old Toulan, reanimated from the dead by his beloved puppets.
This film follows the familiar sequel formula by offering up more boobs, more blood, and yes...more puppets. The flame-throwing Torch joins Jester, Blade, Pinhead, Leech Woman, and Tunneler in the murderous mayhem. And if you ask me, the more the merrier. We're also offered a glimpse at Toulan's backstory, which I liked, including some hints regarding Toulan's method of bringing life to the inanimate. One step backward for every two steps forward is a good way to keep the interest alive.
This time around, Toulan seems to be a walking, talking reference to classic horror movies. Observe:
- His alias is Eriquee Chanee (pronounced, by one character, Erik Chaney), as in the first name of the Phantom of the Opera, and the last name of the man who portrayed him in 1925
- His bandaged visage is clearly reminiscent of the Invisible Man
- His blend of science and sorcery to instill life makes him a Frankenstein archetype
- He believes that Carolyn is the reincarnation of his deceased love, a plot point taken from The Mummy
- The name of his dead love is Elsa, as in Lanchester, who played The Bride of Frankenstein
With better special effects, a more involved backstory, subtle nods to genre greats, and a deepening of the mythology involved, this is, in my opinion, one of those rare instances where a sequel equals the original. In fact, it may even surpass it.
The only major flaw I see is in characterization. Following the death of her brother at the hands (well, head) of Tunneler, Carolyn continues her work relatively unfazed. I mean, my sister and I rarely speak, and it's even rarer that we get along...but I'm pretty sure I'd put in for a sick day if I found an action figure burrowing into her brain.
But that's just me.