Story: The puppets of Andre Toulon never seem to get a lucky break, which is a shame because they deserve some time off, what after killing all kinds of folks and battling evil puppets. A lot of time has passed since we last saw the little guys, and believe me things have changed. The puppets have a new master now, Dr. Magrew (George Peck), but it’s not like they had a choice in the matter. You see, the puppets are actually held prisoner by Dr. Magrew, as exhibits in his House Of Marvels, which is not to their liking. Magrew is trying his best to duplicate the works of Toulon, as he wants to perfect the process of placing human souls into puppets. But he doesn’t have good intentions with this plan, he wishes to create an army of humanized puppets to serve him and do his dirty work. Thankfully, he just can’t seem to do it right, but his assistants have paid the price with their lives, thanks to the failed experiments. All the while the puppets are watching and becoming more and more upset with the innocent lives being taken, waiting to take their revenge. But will they be able to stop Magrew in his tracks before his plans continue and even more lives are lost? Or even worse, will Magrew finally make his experiments work and place a human soul within a puppet?
Entertainment Value: A few years had passed since Puppet Master 5 and Full Moon decided to enact a soft reboot of sorts, giving the franchise a mostly blank slate here. The backstories remain in place and the beloved puppets return of course, but this was clearly an attempt to revive the franchise, though the movie itself falls flat. The narrative had some promise, the idea of making a human sized puppet, but one misstep after another tanks whatever potential was present. The emphasis remains on the human stories for some reason, a lesson that should sunk in after the fourth and fifth pictures, but no such luck. I didn’t find myself interested in those human stories at all, instead I wanted to see some classic Puppet Master mayhem on showcase. If you’re hoping for more puppet battles, you’ll find some here, but they are few and far between. The movie clocks a lot of run time before the puppets engage and even then, there’s a long gap between the times the puppets are unleashed. I did like some of the special effects, especially the nightmare sequences, but aside from those brief moments and the few puppet scenes, this one is hard to recommend.
This film was directed by David DeCoteau, a true b movie legend and while this isn’t one of his better pictures, is direction is more than solid. DeCoteau is able to move the series in this new direction, but also keep some of the energies from previous installments in place, so this feels like a Puppet Master movie, despite the new directions taken overall. If you’re ready to check out more of DeCoteau’s cinema and I hope you are, I recommend Blonde Heaven, Lady Avenger, Bikini Goddesses, and Beach Babes 2. An all new array of actors came into the series with this film, and on average they are fairly terrible actors. But this doesn’t bother me, since I came to see the puppets anyway. George Peck (Anywhere But Here, Taxi Dancer), Emily Harrison (Dangerous Intentions), and Josh Green (Sweet Kill) stake claim to the leading roles, and offer up the best performances. The rest of this forgettable cast includes Marc Newburger (One Hit Wonder), Michael Sollenberger (Phantom Town), Michael Guerin (Kraa! The Sea Monster), and Scott Boyer (One Hit Wonder).
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