Usually you get one perspective on a movie. Sometimes we hook you up fat and give you two. Today, though? Today, you get three different looks at one pretty interesting film. There’s even a little bit of movie trivia. Three reviews, plus trivia for one click? Admit it. We spoil you.
Via RLJE Films
Cast: Thomas Lennon (Reno 911), Charlyne Yi (knocked Up), Michael Pare (Bad Moon), Barbara Crampton (From Beyond, Re-Animator), Udo Kier(Blade, The Editor).
Synopsis- Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother’s room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash. Girl-next-door Ashley and and comic book pal Markowitz join Edgar for a doomed road trip to an auction at a convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time.
Doll-size horror is back in a BIG way. Annabelle, Child’s Play and numerous indie doll horrors have been flooding the horror market recently, and I for one am ok with that. It was only a matter of time before we got another Puppet Master sequel, or a reboot/remake. One thing to know ahead of time, this movie has been described as existing in a “parallel world”, as Toulon IS a Nazi in this version, versus fighting against them. Which means something very important, these puppets are not anti-heroes, like they have become in the numerous sequels. These puppets are evil Nazis, and they commit loads of hate crimes throughout the film, so be warned!
I kind of like the idea of these puppets being Nazis, as it does make them a bit more creepy and offers up an interesting dynamic not found in previous entries to the franchise. What’s fun is that while they are not in the same Puppet Master-verse, there are numerous nods to the original, one in particular is this one features Barbara Crampton from the original film. Also, I’m a huge fan of the lead character, Edgar (Thomas Lennon). It was nice to see him as a lead in a horror movie for a change, versus a comedy. Fun fact about Mr. Lennon, his son is a huge Puppet Master fan, and had a small role in this feature!
The movie starts off strong with the introduction of Toulon at the beginning, he was played fantastically by Udo Kier. With that initial double kill scene, you should know you are in for a gory ride with this movie. And gore, there is a plenty! Some of the kills in the movie are pretty brutal and dare I say, shocking. Because the puppets are Nazis, in other hands it could have come across as distasteful…oh wait, it is very distasteful! I won’t reveal much, but a couple kills in particular, one involving a pregnant woman and the other a kid, had my mouth open in shock. Aside from the disturbing content, the gore was all practical and was on full display, there was quite the bodycount in this one.
At breakneck speed, after our three leads arrive to the hotel, the puppets animate and get to bloody work. Upon a wicked massacre of some of the attendees, the surviving group must fend off a huge amount of puppets, 60 or so were mentioned, although a large number of puppets were variations of the Blade, Tunneler and Pinhead designs, it was still a lot of fun. The movie is around an hour and twenty five minutes, and I wouldn’t have minded just a tad longer, as I felt the climax was a bit rushed. But, a minor complaint in a very enjoyable entry into what is assumed to be a fresh new set of sequels in this already long standing series.
I haven’t exactly been thrilled with the Puppet Master movies with the last three, so I was excited when this one was announced. I was ready for the series to go back to its horror roots, much like how Curse of Chucky did for the Child’s Play franchise. If you like pint-sized horror with loads of gore and a likable group of survivors, give this one a rent/buy soon!
*On DVD and Blu-ray 9/25/2018*
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich-A Review
by Luce Allan
The Puppet Master franchise reanimates with a striking vengeance in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018). Thomas Lennon stars as Edgar, a divorced comic book employee who has recently moved in with his parents. Upon finding a Blade puppet in storage and subsequently discovering its impressive monetary value, Edgar heads to a convention held in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of the Toulon Murders, with his girlfriend, Ashley (Jenny Pellicer), and his friend, Markowitz (NelsonFranklin), in tow. With countless Toulon puppets gathered together in the convention hotel for auction, a maelstrom of blood and gore is delightfully inevitable.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich revamps the Puppet Master series with a smart and balanced blend of comedy and horror, and never shortchanges either genre in the process. Although the beginning of the film is a bit slow, it soon accelerates, gaining momentum throughout the movie until its conclusion (which continues beyond the credits, and is well worth the wait). The storyline also features a clever sense of self-awareness without being too obvious or trite in its execution.
The characters-much like the storyline-become increasingly more engaging (and endearing) as the film progresses, with the aforementioned trio of characters serving as memorable, well-constructed protagonists. The secondary characters are strong as well, with Nerissa (Charlyne Yi) and Cuddly Bear (Skeeta Jenkins) enhancing the film’s heart and humor with their quirky presence. Barbara Crampton is, of course, excellent in her role as Carol Doreski, a no-nonsense cop and tour guide for the Toulon Mansion. The attention to detail in terms of character development lends an emotional depth to the horror that ensues.
The majority of the kills within the movie are creative, unflinchingly graphic, and entertaining. Without revealing too much of the plot, there is a rapid sequence of kills that range from gut-wrenching to gut-bustingly hilarious (in the best possible way). While the kills within this rapid-fire chain of scenes sometimes feel extended and impersonal when carried out on unknown characters, the innovative moments of gore delivered by the iconic puppets keep the audience engaged, and prepares them for the darker and more poignant kills to come. One death is particularly stirring due to the circumstances surrounding it; in order to avoid any spoilers for this scene, it can only be said that some of the most chilling moments in horror occur when a character is killed, despite their making the smartest decision available to them in that moment.
One element of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich that deserves additional recognition is its aesthetic. From the comic book illustrations featured during the film’s opening credits to the modernized design of the classic puppets, the movie overflows with visual stimulation and delight.
Overall, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is an impressive addition to the Puppet Master saga, and its mix of imaginative horror, zany humor, and genuine heart is a glorious, multilayered feast for horror movie enthusiasts.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
How do you make mass murdering supernaturally animated puppets even more evil? You make them Nazis, that’s how! I guess that would work for just about any villain really. Imagine Freddy throwing a stiff right arm salute or Michael Myers goose stepping to some Wagner on vinyl in an SS uniform instead of coveralls. Ok, that last one is a more comical than anything but still, you get the gist.
I’m going to be honest and let you know that I haven’t seen the Puppet Master movies since I was probably too young to watch them. It seems like I would remember a Nazi subplot. Either way, I thought it was a really cool concept. I’ve always thought that Nazi occultism was fascinating. So the fact that these little bastards were brought to life with Nazi magic hooked me early on.
When shit hit the fan, I started to notice that these puppets weren’t killing just anybody: they were committing fucking hate crimes. The movie spelled that out for me a few minutes later. These little wooden krauts were running their own ethnic cleansing campaign and they were doing it in style. Seriously, the kills in this movie are incredible. They really made every death count. There’s plenty of blood and gore to go around and it is handled expertly. My personal favorite was the guy who gets decapitated while taking a leak, his head falls in the toilet, and his headless corpse pisses on his face. That’s the level of epic kills we’re talking about here.
Follow me on this train of thought here, okay? Have you ever seen Blazing Saddles? If not, go fix that shit. If so, great. This will be an easy journey for you. Blazing Saddles is an incredible movie. It’s pretty much two hours of Mel Brooks and his murderers’ row of writers shitting on racists. It’s hilarious, a little subversive, and an undeniable classic that never would have been made in the present. I get that feeling from this movie a little bit. There’s a few holocaust jokes, some poking fun at Jewish folks, a Nazi puppet setting a nice Jewish couple on fire, and such as that. But there’s never a glorification of that ideology. All of these things are used to highlight that Nazis are, in fact, the wurst. Get it? Wurst? Anyway, big props to the folks over at Cinestate/Fangoria, Ghost House, and Zero Trans Fat Productions for having the balls to make a movie that isn’t safe and in doing so created a really enjoyable film.
All in all, would I recommend this movie? Yeah. Without a doubt! There’s a couple scenes that might get you if you’re squeamish. Would probably give it a miss if you’re pregnant or have been pregnant recently. Other than that, the sooner you can put your eyeballs on this movie the better
Trivia (via Fatal Follower)
• Most of the Nazi relics in this movie are actual authentic items from World War II.
• This is the third Puppet Master movie in a row that has had an artist from the Face Off show working on the main effects. Puppet Master: Axis of Evil had Gage Munster, Puppet Master: Axis Rising and Termination had Tom Devlin and this movie has Tate Steinsiek. All three of these men are friends.
• There are multiple Blade puppets in the movie as apposed to just one.
• Only Blade, Tunneler, Pinhead and Torch return from the original movies but the producers hope to bring back the other puppets in future sequels.