Director: David Allen
Starring: Elizabeth Maclellan, Collin Bernsen, Steve Welles, Greg Webb, Charlie Spradling
His unholy creations hold the strings to your life
A group of psychic researchers are gathered to investigate the deaths of a previous group of psychics that visited the Bodega Bay. They discover that the hotel isn’t abandoned after all when they find an older man who calls himself Eriquee Chaneè living there.
What they are unaware of is that Eriquee actually is the puppeteer Andre Toulon who has been brought back to life by his living puppets, using the very same serum that made them come to life. He starts off by acting welcoming to the new group, but it doesn’t take long before they also start to disappear one after one…
The first Puppet Master movie was a huge success for Charles Band and his Full Moon company, especially on video. Band was early aware of the fact that you didn’t necessarily need cinematic releases to make money on a film and he would turn this, and several other of his films, into long lasting franchises that survived purely on income from good old VHS sales.
This franchise is my favorite of his, together with Subspecies. I am however not a big fan of the first sequel though as this is basically a rehash of the first film. They could really have come up with something better to set this apart. Even though the story is lacking, special effects guy turned director David Allen was able to make the puppets look and move much better this time around.
There’s also a new puppet being introduced here, Torch. A little guy that can shot fire out of his arm. He would not be featured a lot in the sequels with the reason being rumoured as he was too expensive to use. That tells you a bit about the budgets on these films. We also get to know Andre Toulon more here as he has become a madman believing that one of the parapsychologists, Carolyn, is a reincarnation of his deceased wife Elsa.
Speaking of which, Carolyn is played by the cute Elizabeth Maclellan and that’s pretty much all I have to say about the cast. Their characters add nothing to the experience and the only good part of them is when they are being hunted by the puppets. Andre Toulon is played by Steve Welles, he is able to make his character work and balances the line of insanity and cleverness (Toulon is a genius after all) very well.
While I have to admit that I do enjoy these films, I can’t honestly say that they are very good and this one is not one of the best out of the bunch. If you liked the first one and wanted more… of exactly the same then you might want to check Puppet Master 2 out. If you like the first and want to see the story progress then you can skip this and go directly to the much more interesting third entry to the franchise.