Film Review – Curse of the Puppet Master
Starring – George Peck, Emily Harrison, Josh Green, J.R. Bookwalter/ Directed by David DeCoteau/ Full Moon DVD FF R 90min 1998
Review By Joker
The sixth film in the Puppet Master series served as almost a reboot for the series and brought the puppets back to video store shelves everywhere.
Dr. Magrew is at his “House of Marvels” attraction, and inside he has Toulon’s famed puppets (Blade, Tunnler, Six Shooter, Pinhead, Jester and Leech Woman) in a cage. He rushes during a nighttime thunderstorm, goes out into the woods and sets a freakzoid puppet on fire! The next day Dr. Magrew has his daughter visit and they speak of a missing boy named “Matt” that used to work for him.
Tank is a simple minded young man that works for the local gas station and is picked on by the town bullies led by Joey. As Magrew and his daughter come in they have a run in with the bullies and end up hiring Tank for the House of Marvels. Tank meets the puppets and also catches the eye of Jane who is starting to crush on this simple boy. The cops come looking for the missing person, Matt, and question Dr. Magrew hinting that he is to blame. Tank starts to carve the perfect puppet for Magrew who is hiding a sinister secret. Jane and Tank get closer and even start up a semi relationship with one another. While on a drive Tank finds the burnt remains of the puppet Magrew set ablaze, and once more Jane is harassed by Joey and his goons. Joey later tries to break in and attack Jane, but she is saved by Pinhead who is hurt during the struggle. Magrew then sneaks out into the night, heads to Joey’s house and sets free Blade and Tunnler who teach the young punk a violent lesson.
Jane tells her father that she is in love with Tank and he goes a little mad and storms out. Tank falls ill, and Jane must do some things for her father as he stays with the sick boy. The cops find Joey’s body as Magrew tries to put Tank’s soul inside his craved puppet. The cops come calling and the puppets do their evil work and kill the lawmen. Jane finds out that she was sent on a wild goose chase and heads home to her lover and her father. On her way she finds the full puppet body of Matt burnt to a crisp and still sucking air. Magrew transfers Tank’s soul into a puppet and for doing so Toulon’s puppets make the good Dr. pay for his crimes against nature. In the end the robot puppet of Tank fires electric bolts into Magrew as Jane watches on terrified.
This film is fun and has some great Puppet moments, but it also has some really bad DeCoteau moments with shirtless young men lifting weights and cheese caking it up for his own amusement. This time around the puppets seem more vicious and bloodthirsty as they slash faces, and Tunnler even drills a man in the nuts! While some scenes have clips re-used from the past films, it doesn’t take away much from the magic of the puppets walking and killing. The story of a new Puppet Master who wants to put human souls inside puppet bodies is a little silly and kinds of doesn’t make sense. But it does make for an entertaining watch to see just what this hybrid puppet will look like (and yeah, the Tank Puppet is a letdown).
The film has some cool special effects that are used in nightmares Tank showcasing him turning into a puppet and having puppet parts. The gore effects are also nice, and they don’t spare on the good old red stuff. I think the most confusing part about this film is the missing old puppet master Rick Myers (Parts 4-5) who is not mentioned, and the fact that this film fits in nowhere in the rest of the series! Overall this one is acted all right and has an average plot and some cool killer puppets.
Extras this time around include The Videozone, trailers of other Puppet Master films and other commercials for the puppet toy line.
In my opinion this was the last of the truly good sequels in the series. While the ending was a terrible mess, it still had some of the killer puppet charm. As my fellow reviewer Xmortis would say this is worth a cheap buy and a rent and watch for Puppet Master fans for sure.