Puppet Master (1989) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: David Schmoeller
Producers: Hope Perello, Charles Band
Writers: Kenneth J. Hall, David Schmoeller
Date Released: October 12, 1989
William Hickey as André Toulon
Paul Le Mat as Alex Whitaker
Irene Miracle as Dana Hadley
Jimmie F. Skaggs as Neil Gallagher
Robin Frates as Megan Gallagher
Matt Roe as Frank Forrester
Kathryn O’Reilly as Carissa Stamford
Mews Small as Theresa
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about four psychics with different powers called together to visit a dead friend, Neil Gallagher, who they worked for years ago. They knew he was working on the discovery of Andre Toulon’s secrets of reanimation and found the evil that he uncovered during his stay in the hotel. It revealed so much about his death and one by one, they were killed by the evil puppets. After coming back to life, Neil revealed his plans of experimenting with humans and that the puppets were not his concern. He tried to kill his wife and his remaining psychic friend, Alex, but the puppets got angry and killed him.
The puppets in this movie are killers and all their evil deeds were bloody and brutal. But the most notable was near the ending where they all come together to kill Neil Gallagher after hearing that they were nothing to him. The entire scene took place in the elevator where a puppet cut his fingernails and his hand squirted green blood. A drill puppet drilled a hole in his neck, the leech puppet vomited a big leech into his open mouth, and a strong puppet snapped his neck.
The Grave Review
This movie was plain creepy. The idea of using Egyptian spells to bring inanimate objects such as puppets back to life was an interesting plot. Not to mention the involvement of psychic characters that added to the eerie atmosphere of the movie.
The camerawork was very excellent in this movie. Showing the puppet’s first-person point-of-view gave the audiences an idea of what they were seeing. It was also good that they made it look like the puppets were actually doing the killing and moving items around.
The only problem was the poor character development that did not create any connection to the audience. The characters were getting killed and yet, nobody shouted for help. No one even discovered that their companions were already dead. The acting was okay, but the movie failed to establish their characters.
If there is a thing to love about this movie, it is how they made the puppets specialize in different killing specialties. The best one was the leech puppet. Although it does not brutally kill directly, the act of vomiting leeches was already gory.
This movie launched several other sequels because the ending was kind of abrupt. After Neil’s death, there was no explanation as to what happened to the puppets. But it was clear that Neil’s wife knew about the reanimation powers since she brought the stuffed animal back to life. Andre Toulon’s back story at the beginning was also not enough to understand what might have happened to him and the puppets, and why he committed suicide.
Overall, this movie is just fine if you are looking for some light thrill, mystery, and unconventional evil killers.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Puppet Master (1989) two graves out of five graves.
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