Plot: What’s it about?
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?
It seems as though the storyline was need of fresh direction, since this installment is far removed from the ones that precede it. But I won’t complain unless the puppets are missing, and thankfully the little guys are back in full force here and ready to lay down some smack. Again the puppets are called on to play the good guys, which I understand bothers some people. But in truth the puppets have always been the good guys in my eyes, I never cheered for the humans, I wanted the puppets to clean house, which they did. Why in the world would you watch the films in this series and root against these guys? Since I’ve always seen them as good guys, I have no problem with them making more efforts to save innocent lives. These guys only killed people that were trying to steal their creator’s secrets, after all. And perhaps the rigors and soul searching they did while fighting the Totems made them better puppets, who knows. At any rate, this movie is decent and the puppets put on another fine show, so I am able to recommend it to fans of the series. I’m not sure that others will be that interested, but if you choose to check this out sight unseen, make sure you rent it before you buy it.
This film was directed by David DeCoteau, who used another name, Victoria Sloan in the credits. You’re slick Dave, but we all know it was you behind this one. Dave has turned the trick with this series, directing a total of three films, including the final film releases so far, Retro Puppet Master. While I don’t think DeCoteau adds much to the series in terms of freshness, he manages to keep the tone and feel of the series intact in his movies. If you’re ready to check out more of DeCoteau’s cinema, 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 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).
Video: How does it look?
Curse of the Puppet Master is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio. This is an average transfer, not that great but an improvement over previous releases. The source print shows a lot of grain in some scenes, and some edge enhancement surfaces on occasion also. The colors seem bright and natural with no errors, and flesh tones look accurate and consistent. The contrast is on the dark side, but not to an extreme degree.
Audio: How does it sound?
Much like the other films in this series, there isn’t much audio power to speak of. The front channels handle the audio, but no problems seem to surface. The music sounds good and distortion free and the effects come across well also. The audio kicks in during the attack scenes, but is usually reserved and dialogue driven. Speaking of dialogue, it sounds crisp and clear in this mix and no remote fiddling is needed.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A fifteen minute VideoZone featurette is included, which contains interviews, behind the scenes and special effects footage, and some coming attractions. If you’ve seen the other VideoZone pieces on these releases, you know what to expect from this one. You’ll also find contact information, a Full Moon catalog, and some trailers.