Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursdays: Puppet Master

Submitted by John Cantwell, Reimagine Media

Cheesy, strange, terrible effects, eighties music, and absolute humor dissonance. Puppet Master is a cheesy classic with some of the most memorable scenes in horror history. (If you like amazing terrible classics like this….) It starts off in a hotel in the year 1939 with an elderly puppet master Andre Toulon giving finishing touches on a puppet. Well, the touches are not just painting… He has a peculiar power which can make objects (puppets in this case) come to life. Meanwhile, two Nazis are tracking him down to find out more information on his power. Toulon knows they are coming, and decides to hide his creations in a secret compartment in a wall. The Nazis finally arrive to his room, and Toulon pulls out a pistol. As they walk through the door, he puts the gun in his mouth, and kills himself.

It then switches gears into the year 1989, four psychics believe that they have all received visions of a deceased colleague, who they think discovered Andre Toulon’s hidden secret. All of their visions consist him pointing a gun to a woman’s head. They all decide to go to the hotel where it all happened. They meet their colleague’s widow, who strangely is the woman from their visions. The widow still has her husband’s body in a casket. They observe the body, which they stab a needle into make sure he is dead. They all decide to go to bed, when strange things happen….. It is all still in the night, when all of a sudden, a puppet comes out of the casket! It has an extremely small head, a muscular body, and what appears to be almost human like sized hands. The housekeeper's assistant is taking care of the fireplace, when she hears a faint sound originating from the piano. She goes to see if someone is there, but in usual horror movie fashion, nothing is there. She then goes back to her fire poking duties, until she hears another sound coming from the piano. She looks over again, and you guessed it, NOTHING THERE! She goes back to poke the fire, and the poking stick has disappeared. She is searching for it, until she looks behind her and the human hand puppet is wielding the poker. He then proceeds to hit her in the head with it, and apparently she drops dead with an extremely unnecessary blood spatter on the ground. At the same time, two psychics (which are in a relationship) decide to perform an “experiment” of sorts. The woman looks over to discover that the door is opened… She then hears numerous footsteps from around the room. She decides to look under the bed. She is greeted by a visitor…. This time a puppet with a drill on its head! The puppet begins to “drill” and the woman dies. While the man is still on the bed, he begins to feel a tingling sensation on his torso. He thinks it’s his wife…. It’s not. In fact, it is another newly introduced puppet. But this one is putting leeches on him… He also dies. This brings it down to two more psychics left. One is intruded by oversized hand for one for the most hilarious fight scenes (if you can even call it that) I have seen in any movie. She loses the fight and you guessed it, she dies. This brings us down to only one psychic left, and I am not going to tell you what happens because it practically gives away the whole ending to the movie.

To be honest though, for a “straight to VHS movie”, it truly wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Of course it was predictable, but you can get over that. The acting surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I would expect. In fact, I have seen worse acting in mainstream horror movies. The puppets movements weren’t bad, they were stop motion, and they actually looked somewhat believable. Not going to lie, for as cheesy as it was, it actually wasn’t that bad of a movie. I feel like the company (Full Moon Studios) did a great job with the budget they had, and pushed it to its limits. Puppet Master is a movie that can be enjoyed by any horror fan, lame scares, mediocre acting, and all around cheesiness, this film can give you a good laugh.

John Cantwell is a WYEP Reimagine Media contributor from the Carlynton School District. 
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