Puppet Master 4

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Just when the puppets think they can relax for a while, it seems like someone else tries to screw up their lives. The puppets managed to defeat the evil puppets and save Rick Myers (Gordon Currie) and his friends, but now they face even more obstacles. The evil pharaoh Sutec, who sent the evil puppets last time isn’t done yet, and this time he is sending the ultimate Totem, a puppet of himself. This Totem seeks to succeed where the others failed, killing Myers and stealing the formula that allows the puppets to remain alive. As if that isn’t enough to deal with, now a shady guy by the name of Dr. Jennings (Ian Ogilvy) has shown up, and he too looks to steal Toulon’s secret for his own profit. Once Jennings is able to discover the secret he’s come looking for, he plans to sell his findings to the military, for their own uses. But if you think our puppets are going to give up that easily, you’re dead wrong. With Toulon’s guidance, Rick and the puppets forge ahead one more time to ensure the secrecy of the formula to life. If the smoke clears with Rick and the puppets on top, we just might have a new puppet master in town.

It seems like just the other day this whole series was started, and here we are the all way to number five, and of course two more films to follow. Some of kids from the previous film are all back in this one, and the fact that the same actors resume those roles adds some nice continuity to the films. This isn’t the best movie in this series, but I still don’t think my collection would be complete without it. This is pretty much the conclusion of a two parter, with part four kicking it off, so you need to see both of them to understand the whole story. I have to admit, I still don’t really understand the whole deal with Sutec, but that doesn’t put a damper on the movie’s fun factor. It just seems kinda funky to me to have this strange ancient pharaoh in the mix, but then again this is a movie about puppets that come to life, so I won’t ponder it too much. This is pretty much more of the same, puppets chasing humans, puppets chasing puppets, humans chasing puppets, you get the idea. I recommend this release to all lovers of this series, but newcomers should make sure to see Puppet Master 4 before viewing this title.

Returning from Puppet Master 4 is Jeff Burr, who once again assumes the role of director. As I mentioned, this is really one film in a two film set, so it’s nice to see the same director assigned to both. If you read my review of Puppet Master 4, you’ll already know a lot about Burr’s career, so there isn’t much to say about the guy here. This film pretty much mirrors part four in terms of visual style and overall tone, so the two fit together very well, which is vital to the storylines. It’s worth noting that Burr once appeared as a news reporter on the Saturday morning teen comedy, Hang Time. Also returning from Puppet Master are four main characters, all played by the same actors, which again helps the flow between the two movies. Once again assuming the part of Toulon is Guy Rolfe (The Bride, Land Raiders), who turns in another solid performance. Also back are Gordon Currie (Laser Hawk, Way Downtown), Teresa Hill (Kiss & Tell, The New Woman), and the lovely Chandra West (The Perfect Son), who all maintain their level of work from the last movie. The supporting cast includes Ian Ogilvy (Death Becomes Her), Nicholas Guest (Christmas Vacation), and Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction, Rules of Engagement).

Video: How does it look?

Puppet Master 5 is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio. This one isn’t the best looking of the series, but then again it’s not the worst either. The image seems to have more grain than I expected, and minor edge enhancement happens often. The colors however look good with no smearing or bleeding, and flesh tones look normal as well. The contrast is a little dark in some scenes, but is usually on target. This isn’t as good as I’d like, but after watching the VHS so many times, this is a welcome, improved visual presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

This movie doesn’t really call for much in terms of audio power, so the included mix provides an adequate experience. The front channels handle the audio, but the elements never seem muddled or lost. The effects and music comes through well, and each has a distinct sound to it, and they never drown each other out. The dialogue is just as good, with good clarity and no volume issues.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release contains a VideoZone behind the scenes featurette, which is much like ones found on the other Puppet Master releases. The piece runs over twenty-five minutes and is loaded with interviews, behind the scenes shots, special effects footage, and coming attractions. You’ll also find a weblink, Full Moon merchandise guide, extensive talent files, and a trailer for this film.

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