Post by stefancrosscoe on Jan 15, 2018 15:55:45 GMT
"I'm the master, and you're the puppet!"
Having experienced some rather unpleasant dreams that of lately, psychic Alex Whitaker (Paul Le Met) one day finds an open invitation from an old friend, who wants him along with a small group of former colleagues, to stay at the Bodega Bay Inn.
However, the old hotel seems to be already booked full which unfortunately is very bad news for the newly arrived guests, as they will soon meet up with a weird bunch of small and rather vengeful creatures, that will make sure that their stay is a permanent one.
A couple of weeks ago I ended up ordering the british 88 Films remastered box set which came with the first three Puppet Master titles, along with bonus material and a very nice and interesting booklet.
I first saw Puppet Master (1989) back in winter of 2006 on late night cable (how I miss those days when 80s sleaze like Basket Case and these ones went almost on a daily basis) and I really liked the tone or atmosphere of the film and I was very impressed by the dolls and their movements. Also there was a bit of a story going on, not a great one but enough to keep me up and interested throughout the runtime.
I also saw the second one, not that long after. Not all that good but enjoyable, or so I remembered.
I already own the first two on DVD, very poor pictures quality and also no bonus material added. So when I found a cheap copy of the trilogy box set released by 88 films (I know, it is also out on Blu-ray, but I really do not care all that much, mostly I rarerly notice the huge difference anyhow, or just do not bother) I decided to give it a go.
I enjoyed re-watching the first two films, as I said not great ones but enjoyable little b-movies with a certain charm and lots of sleaze to them, specially the first one which would probably give me some serious traumas as a kid, if I had seen it back then.
However, I was very impressed at how much of a solid job 88 films had done with the first film, as the sound and picture quality was great, or at least compared to my older copies.
Beside the sleazy parts, (some mild nudity, a ridiculous sex scene and so on) the film do contain some impressive visual stuff, scenes that almost look like they could belong in a 80s italian giallo feature. Very dreamlike and haunting, which of course have much to do with the locations and the chilling music by Richard Band.
The murder parts are also memorable, and absolutely nasty and brutally done, especially if compared to other killer dolls titles of that time.
The cast is pretty good, and I went through the first three films and I really enjoyed watching William Hickey as André Toulon, (not that he had all that much time to spend) but for about 3-4 minutes of screentime, I thought he was the best and most likeable version of the original puppeteer, while the ones in the second and third was, well not that good and I wished Hickey would either have returned or had a bigger part in the first one.
Paul Le Mat is also doing a fine job here, not great but he comes off as one of the few likeable characters in this story, and again I wished he would have returned for another film.
The main stars of the show are of course the talented David Allen's puppets, which have all their own unique style and personality, along with some very lethal talents too.
All in all, I enjoyed re-watching the first film and while the second one was ok, the third one I will probably never bother with again, that one was very poor and not even Michelle Bauer and her two great "talents" could save it.