Puppet Master 2

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

This is where I usually discuss the storyline of whichever film I am reviewing, but this time I’m finding it hard to put it all into words. More to the point, I think I’d have trouble making the synopsis fill an entire paragraph, which explains this preface, doesn’t it? At any rate, this might be shorter than usual, but here it is. The movie starts with a female scientist who finds a strange creature inside a packing box. Soon after she begins to examine it, it comes to life and murders her in bloody fashion. Now we flash to a young man with a tendency toward artificial intelligence who works as a caretaker at Toulon’s mansion, which is now a hotel. He invites his friends to come and check out the place and his works, and of course to let the good times roll. Of course, the kids end up snooping around and investigating the creepy old place, and they discover the box which contains Toulon’s puppets. Soon the house becomes infested with some mean ass creatures called Totems, which look to murder the humans and destroy the puppets once and for all. But you know Toulon’s creations won’t go down that easily, and they band together led by Decapitron and his three heads to battle the Totems. The puppets aren’t used to being the good guys, but with their lives at stake, can they manage?

I tell you what, I just cannot get enough of these insane puppets. As if watching them duke it out with humans wasn’t enough, now we are able to watch as they battle alien puppets. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to sell me on watching the film. Now I am saying this is a fine movie or anything, because that’s not the case, but this is a fun movie to watch and the puppets never fail to entertain me. I don’t really care for Decapitron that much, but I do think the Totems are excellent additions the series. I like the powers and movement of Decapitron, but I just don’t think he fits in well with other puppets. But hey, since it’s all in the name of puppet warfare, I’ll stand by the little guy, heaven knows I’d like to have him to protect my place. Aside from the puppets and their antics, there isn’t a whole lot to like here, so make sure you’re into the series before you come this deep into the puppet lore. But the way I figure it, if you’re reading a review for Puppet Master 4 you must have some interest in it, right? I recommend this release to those who follow this series, although others might not be so inclined to check it out.

This film was directed by Jeff Burr, who knows his way around a low budget horror movie, that’s for sure. Burr must have been taken with these little guys or gotten a nice paycheck, because he returns to direct the next installment as well. As far as visuals, Burr doesn’t add much to the series with this installment, but he does make sure the essence and feel of the series is present. The real changes come in the form of writing, but Burr does a fine turn behind the camera here. If you want to have a Jeff Burr movie marathon, pick up The Offspring, Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, and Pumpkinhead II to compliment his puppet films. Guy Rolfe (Dolls, King of Kings) returns here as Toulon and is just as solid, although his role isn’t much to talk about. Gordon Currie (Alive, My Blue Heaven) and Chandra West (Universal Soldier 2 & 3) share the leading roles, and do their best with the material they’re given. The supporting cast includes Teresa Hill (Twin Falls Idaho, Bio-Dome), Felton Perry (Dumb & Dumber, Robocop 3), Stacie Randall (Trancers 4 & 5), and Jason Adams (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Lionheart).

Video: How does it look?

Puppet Master 4 is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio. This was a direct to video release, so the image looks as good, but lacks the sharpness and polish of a film. This is a solid visual presentation with little grain evident and no serious compression errors to report. The colors are well replicated with bright tones and accurate flesh levels, and I didn’t see any distortion here. The contrast is also solid, with no visible shadow breakup and terrific detail seen in even the darkest scenes.

Audio: How does it sound?

While this isn’t a powerful audio track, the film doesn’t call for much in terms of high impact audio. The front channels carry all the audio and manage to present the elements with distinction and accurate volume levels. In other words, the effects won’t drown out the music, and so on. You’ll hear everything you’re supposed to, which is all you need with this release. The dialogue is loud and clear as well, no issues here to speak of.

Supplements: What are the extras?

You’ll find extensive talent files, a weblink, a guide to Full Moon merchandise, and a trailer for this film. The main bonus is a VideoZone making of featurette, which runs about twenty-one minutes and features behind the scenes footage, interviews, and coming attractions. If you’ve seen the other VideoZones for the Puppet Master movies, this one is along the same lines.

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