Trisk's 200th Review
What is the 200th movie being reviewed for Triskaidekafiles? What could possibly take such an auspicious place? It is part of a series that has Cursed my very existence since this website began. It got so bad that it felt like it was personally seeking Revenge upon me. I stepped away from the series for awhile, but now it is time to go Retro with Trisk #200. This, this shall be my Legacy.
Welcome back, Triskelions! The Summer of Slashers is taking a break because this is Trisk's 200th review. C'mon, I had to do something to celebrate that milestone. And what movie could possibly be worthy enough to commemorate this occasion? It is none other than...
PUPPET MASTER: THE LEGACY (2003)
WRITER: Additional material written by Gene Yarbrough
DIRECTOR: Robert Talbot/Charles Band
STARRING: Jacob Witkin as Eric Weiss
Kate Orsini as Maclain
QUICK CUT: Puppets! Flashbacks! Pointlessness! The 200th review!
Eric - Yet another old man playing with dolls, apparently in the basement of the Bodega Bay Inn, and with deep connections to Andre Toulon. He seems more bored than anything.
Maclain - A mercenary hired by mysterious someones for mysterious goals. She may as well be a more amoral Lara Croft with the serial numbers filed off.
THE GUTS: That's right. After finishing off the boxed set of Puppet Master movies, and saying I was done with the set, they have pulled me back in for this special event, with Puppet Master: The Legacy. I haven't done a Puppet Master movie since the first 100 Triskings, at #99, with Retro Puppet Master. Since then, I've added more reviews a month, and upgraded the look and feel of the site. Legacy was meant to be the final Puppet Master movie, at one time, although we know how well that turned out.
Puppet Master: The Legacy has something of a reputation amongst the fans, and it is pretty much despised so much to the point that it is considered not to be canon by many of us. What makes this travesty so terrible that out of such turkeys as Curse and 4 and 5, THIS is the one that broke the fandom's back? Let's find out!
The movie opens up promisingly enough at the Bodega Bay Inn, with gun for hire Maclain talking to an unseen employer over the phone, and trying to track down Toulonian information. And it looks like she scored a replica of the Charmed Book of Shadows, and as she starts reading it, we flashback to Puppet Master 2 footage, with Toulon recounting again the tales of his travels and puppet shows. Ahhh, I remember that well...
Somewhere in Egypt, in 1912, we see Toulon giving a puppet performance of Faust, with Blade staring as the devil. It's weird seeing him out of his usual trench and hat. And with real hands!
A stranger in the audience suddenly gets a catch light shone in his eyes, er they start to glow, and the puppet show catches fire, much to Toulon's dismay.
Toulon and his wife Elsa go to meet the man, not knowing he's the mental arsonist, and he shows Toulon a puppet without strings. He talks Toulon into learning his secrets by convincing him it's for the children's sake that he should dabble in the black arts. Right.
But then we come back from the past, and the book has been set on fire. So with that source of information cut off, we cut to...I guess another section of Bodega Bay? Where an old man is working in a lab, possibly in the basement of the Inn. This and the previous room look like the cheapest sets they could find, filled with props and clutter. This is a bad sign. Bad sign #2, to be honest, following the reused footage.
As Maclain poorly sneaks up on him, we see he's got the puppets scattered all around him, so I guess he's the puppet master after, uh...the guy from 4 and 5? So what happened to that guy? The answer may surprise you!!
She threatens Hearst with her gun, shooting a hole through the ceiling, and tells him she's there to take Toulon's formula from him. Because it's always about the formula.
Oh, and the puppets? The worst thing about them in the non-flashback scenes? Pretty much just sit there. Motionless. In a Puppet Master movie. We get one or two head turns. IF WE ARE LUCKY.
He doesn't have that information though, and pulls out the things Toulon left him after he redecorated the rooms upstairs with his brains; some old recordings, which lead us into even more flashbacks.
The first tape reel leads us back to Retro Puppet Master with old Toulon setting up the flashback...which yes, is a flashback in a flashback, but oh, I remember it well...
While Toulon searches the abandoned hotel for some food, Blade kicks out a puppet head we've never seen before. Toulon comes back over, with much amusement at the discovery of the puppet head, which he calls Cyclops. This prompts the bulk of our movie, flashing back many years...
Toulon starts his show, which is about what you would expect for a turn of the century puppet show. Cheesy, silly, pointless. They sure were easy to entertain back then, eh? I easily recognise an early take on Six-Shooter minus the Americanisms, Tunneler, and a Blade. And the heavy-handed "We are all puppets, and there is no free will!" commentary is just that.
Later, the sorcerer gives Toulon a crash course in the secret of life. He also passes on his secret decoder ring, with the handy needle to puncture the brain and drain the tasty Mountain Dew inside our skulls.
Toulon begins to chant the words, and I swear, if he blurts out Yanapatapa, I am SO done with this movie. Fortunately no, and the beggar's soul enlivens a puppet that is a proto Pinhead. I was guessing that was his fate, since the poor guy had matching gloves.
The Puppet Master receives the message and gets on a train of their choosing. While everyone is distracted with the late night journey, Toulon and the puppets creep about to try and find the mummies. And I'm sorry, I don't care how sneaky they are, someone, ANYONE should notice six creepy puppets walking on their own down the aisle.
After a lengthy scene of creeping and searching, Toulon finally finds Elsa and friends. The lead mummy and Andre face off, blah blah blah, threats, blah blah blah, look at my hand...
The fight begins...unimpressively. Pinhead tries more strangling, the mummies waves his hand of Rassilon around, and sends Toulon back, clutching his throat. They couldn't even be bothered with any effects. It just looks so weak.
I will give the puppets this, they are tenacious. They may not get much done with their stabbing, but they keep at it, and keep at it. It's what they do, and they do it, by damn! After much stabbing, and throwing the leader out the window, I guess they're done? Kinda...anti-climactic, no?
The movie returns to the present day, and Maclain is as unimpressed by the fight as I was. She says she doesn't care about this, the Puppet Master living happily ever after, and I feel there's a bit of meta there with how fans felt.
Hearst tells Maclain more about the puppets, tells her to take the serum and have it analyzed, but she knows that's been tried before, to no avail. Especially with the puppets guarding that secret from time to time.
But then Hearst begins to think back upon how he met Toulon, and the movie flashes back YET AGAIN to Puppet Master 3. Yes, good, let's put on a better movie than this. Oh, how well I remember Puppet Master 3...
Not only do we meet Toulon 3.0, but we are also introduced to this movie's new puppet, since every movie needs one; Six-Shooter. I'm not going to question where he was before, since down the path of retcons lies madness. If you can't guess from his name, he is styled after American cowboys, except he has six arms? That's a bit of a stylistic choice, yeah?
In the puppet show, Six-Shooter is squaring off against Puppet Hitler, so he's going for a stereotypical German versus American type battle. Six-Shooter draws on Puppet Hitler, and the fake dictator quakes in his jackboots. Oh yeah, this is gonna go over well with the reich.
In the audience is Kraus's driver, and he's taking photos of the show, since he notices the lack of strings on the very complex cowboy, and he has some ideas of what this research could be used for.
After the show, Toulon entertains some kids with Puppet Hitler and candy, and once they're gone, Stein comes in and describes himself as a fellow puppeteer, which is at least truthful, as far as it goes.
Stein admires Toulon's handiwork, and the puppet master lies and says its all motorization. While they talk, we see old friends Tunneler and Jester lurking around and watching the conversation.
The next day, Stein presents his findings to Kraus and Hess, primarily to report the seditious puppet show, but Hess notices the lack of puppet strings as well. The pictures of injecting puppets was probably a tip off to boot. Do you think they're pissed that Hess's entire project couldn't manage what one lone puppeteer pulled off?
The Nazis arrive at Toulon's theatre, and start grabbing puppets. Kraus gets his hands on the magical Mountain Dew, but as he's about to hand it over to Hess for later analysis, Elsa tries to stop them and a soldier shoots her in the back. She would have survived that, but she spits on Kraus and he finishes the job. Which will lead to Toulon trying to resurrect her in the previous movie.
Later at the morgue, the puppets break in, and Pinhead strangles one of the doctors to death, and Jester unlocks the door so Toulon can enter. The guy wasn't really involved, but I guess Nazis are Nazis, so he gets to die.
As they drive back to Gestapo HQ, one of the soldiers guarding Toulon in the other car makes the dumbest move of his life and picks up Pinhead to check him out. Cue strangulation
(Grey's Notes: Yes this makes no sense, they reedited the flow of these scenes so the rescue takes place before Toulon enters the morgue, which makese zero sense, since Pinhead is in both. I left my commentary as is, and edited the placement to match their nonsense.)
ANYways, Stein drops Kraus off and does some work on the car. Work that is cut short when Jester appears and sits there, while Pinhead does all the work. He kneecaps the poor driver with a wrench, and then bashes his nose in with it. The former Elsa then crawls up to finish the job, with her first leech. It's a boy!
Rolfe takes a sinister turn here, as the light-hearted, caring puppet master he has been playing cries vengenace, and you can see the building blocks of movies to have already come, and how he became the person he did, and how his puppets turn from being just playthings and friends, to objects of destruction. The dialogue may be a little overwrought, but Rolfe delivers it so well, it is a very good turn of character. This is why he is the one, true Puppet Master.
They track Mueller to his favourite brothel, and Toulon sets Six Shooter loose to climb up the walls like a spider. I doubt that would actually work with his limited reach for hand holds, but it's an eight limbed thing climbing a wall, I can let this slide. It's a fun visual, and a good play on what he is.
Sixy finds the general as he's about to leave, so at least Mueller got in one last go and will die happy. The puppet fires, and just how effective can those teeny bullets be? Annoying, maybe, but deadly?
Mueller takes the first shot easily, and fires back, taking off one of the puppet's arms. Unfortunately, that still leaves him with five more arms, and five more guns. This is actually a pretty good design for a murderous puppet. Less so for a performing puppet, but I digress.
Whether the bullets are deadly or not become a moot point as they drive Mueller out the fourth story window and he dies instead from his introduction with the pavement below. Toulon collects the puppet and sneaks back off in his blind beggar costume.
Toulon returns to his hidey hole, and is coincidentally interupted by the boy that he entertained with Puppet Hitler earlier, and his father. It turns out the pair have been using the place as a hideout themselves for some time. Paging Charles Dickens...
Wow, that was one hefty flashback. But speaking of massive coincidences, it also establishes that Hearst is actually...Eric Weiss, that's right, Harry Houdi...no wait, just Eric Weiss, the kid he saved and took in as his surrogate son in Puppet Master 3. So where has he been in all the other present day movies?? No no, remember, do not question the retcons.
But before I can get any answers to that, we get whisked back to Puppet Master 3. Do I need to break out the reused footage counter from Silent Night Deadly Night 2 again??
Meanwhile, Kraus is speaking to Peter's father about the reward. Traitorous bastard. They arrive at the entrance to the Puppetcave, and Kraus sees the soldier he ordered to guard Hess. Peter's dad runs in to get the boy out before the shiesse hits the fan.
Once the boy and his dad are out, the soldiers get sent in. The first one doesn't last long as Pinhead makes short work of him by throwing a brick into his face.
Hess actually grabs the soldier's gun and stands on the side of Toulon, firing at the incoming soldiers as the Puppet Master makes his escape.
Tunneler takes care of the next one by drilling into his ankles, and Leech Woman joins in the fun by spitting up her boys onto the poor soldier. Yeah, I kinda have sympathy for the guy. Sure, Nazi, but drilling and leeches? I'm not sure even he deserved that.
Kraus follows Toulon and the puppets out, trying to kill Elsa a second time, but they make good their escape. Kraus then runs into Peter's father, and blames him for warning the Puppet Master, somehow. They fight over the gun, and the father gets what he deserves.
Kraus returns to his office, where the weight of his failures surely weighs heavily upon him. He's about to call the fuhrer and explain, but the phone is dead. That's when Kraus sees Jester sitting there playing with scissors.
He goes to shoot the rascally puppet, but that's when Blade makes his introduction to the mythology at long last, by first slicing the Nazi in the leg, and then slashing his hand. Oh, this was worth the wait.
They've hinted at it throughout the movie, but they finally make it clear in this scene, that Blade is a caricature of Kraus, and I must say, this time? The casting is spot on. Kraus does look like a human Blade, even with the exagerated features and hollow eyes of the puppet. Which doesn't make sense since we saw Blade's head used for the puppet of the devil in the second movie, but oh well.
Pinhead clonks the bad guy over the head with a hefty ash tray after he shoots Toulon in the arm. The Puppet Master tosses ropes with hooks in them over a convenient light fixture, and Pinhead uses the hooks to string Kraus up by his limbs and neck.
They place an axe beneath the human puppet, and Toulon sets a Nazi flag alight, which will eventually burn the rope. This would almost be a more poetic death if they had actually torched the theatre. Fire, puppets, come on!
No guards heard the screaming, the gunshots, the thumping, the falling...so Toulon sucessfully sneaks out with his puppets and makes his way to the train station. He uses the hat and coat of Kraus as a disguise, and even the man's passport as a means to escape the country, even with a bounty on his head.
Peter is putting the puppets away and we learn they have plans to travel to Switzerland and probably America.
Well that was really egregious! But on the one hand, they clearly know that Puppet Master 3 is the best movie of the series, and the most beloved by the fans, so they milk for all its worth. But really, just go watch Puppet Master 3.
So Eric? Peter? Hearst? How many names does this one loser need?? Anyways, he tries to tell Maclain he never saw Toulon after coming to America (TODAY!) but she knows he's lying, shoots Eric, and knows he came looking for Toulon when he grew old and became William Hickey and killed himself in the first movie.
Those were the days, early in Trisk, when it all began...
Toulon scoops Blade up in his caring hands, places him into the trunk and seals them all in, then places that into the earliest hotel safe in the wall, just as the Germans arrive.
They knock on the door, with guns ready, but Toulon has a gun of his own, and fires a paintball out the back of his skull onto the hotel room walls.
Fortunately that was just a brief look back to the original Puppet Master, and Eric tries to assert that Toulon and the puppets only killed those who deserved it. Before any of us can point out that uh, no, no they don't! Maclain does it for us.
She specifically asks about the group of parapsychologists who visited the inn during Puppet Master 2. Do you remember those guys? I sure do...
After her scare, Camille decides to leave and urges the others to do the same. As she's packing, the lights go out and she starts to speak to a bust that begins to glow with the eerie hue of overhead stage lighting. He's probably the best conversationalist in this movie, though.
While she's distracted, Pinhead arrives and pulls her legs out from under her, and Jester shows up and gags her. Hey, he actually does something in this movie!
Now, Pinhead starts to drag her off, but her eyes are wide open, and she's murmuring through the gag. Why doesn't she get up? Or fight back? Or even move? She's not tied up, she's awake, so it isn't like Camille can't do anything. Pinhead just has her by the hand. All she has to do is grab and throw him. That's easy enough to do while lying on your back, right?
She finally starts kicking as she's dragged out the door but...why not just pick them up? They're puppets! Teeny little cute but deadly puppets! Put a five pound weight in your hand, and you can still move, still get up! Ok, Pinhead's strong and might be able to hurt you, but...puppets!
While some of the team sleeps that night, Lance keeps an eye on the camera feeds, although not very well as he gets distracted by Wanda's womanly wiles. He eventually notices that a door is now opened, and sees Tunneler entering the room.
As they race to the room, Tunneler is already crawling over Patrick's body. They jumped right past the 'holy crap, walking puppets!' stage.
Sadly they're not fast enough, but they do yank Tunneler off Patrick and throw him against the wall. Lance beats him repeatedly with a heavy lamp, smashing Tunneler good. I hope that was a stunt puppet.
Wanda's left her post watching the monitor bank to bang Lance, which is what I suspect the two of them have been doing most of the movie. They gotta be doing something, right? Someone sneaks in the door, but before we can see who it is, Wanda feels guilty about abandoning the monitors, which her distractions earlier is what made them miss Tunneler, so goes to get Carolyn back on duty.
She quickly hurries back to Lance's room when his lights go out and he makes some noise. Wanda flicks the lights on and sees Blade sitting on the bed and cutting into Lance's chest. Blade turns and hops off the bed and runs after her, slashing away. Truth be told, the puppet effects are pretty slick here, for the time and budget of this movie. He looks pretty believable.
Blade slashes up her face like they're Alpha and Whiskey, and the next thing we see is their brain matter being added to Toulon's secret recipe for cream of mushroom soup.
Eric tries justifying those deaths by saying they 'should never have interefered' but that's pretty weak. And even weaker is how Blade goes to that random farmer's house and sets them on fire. I can at least get around that, since they were harvesting brainjuice for their reanimated Toulon.
Let me tell you all about it...
The movie remembers it had that other subplot with the farmers, and Blade easily cuts through the electrified wire to their land, and Leech Woman sneaks in while the couple sleeps. Her antics wake up the wife who rolls over to see her husband's brain being removed. Not that there was much there to begin with, but hey.
Like any good redneck, there's a shotgun on the wall, and the wife grabs it, and starts shooting at Leech Woman. That doesn't last long until Blade cuts her in the ankle. He just kinda randomly slashes her, but I would've liked to have seen him go right for the Achilles.
She actually manages to capture Leech Woman after the two of them stalk each other around the *ahem* living room of their shack. The farmwoman wastes no time in tossing the puppet into the stove, where the flames make short work of her.
The farmer's wife retrieves the shotgun and turns to face the newest puppet; Torch. Guess what he does! Oh, the poetic justice. Crispy friend farmer.
Blade watches as the woman burns, and I'm not sure if he's amused or horrified at the newest addition to his family. Up 'til now, the puppets have been kinda cute, and while they kill, they've been pretty basic machines. Stabbing, smashing... But Torch, he's a flamethrower on legs, and there's a level of savagery to him because of that. And I'm going to stop before I begin to ponder on the allegorical nature of weapons advancements and the Puppet Master series.
So yeah, not exactly innocent, those puppets, eh? Maclain's right, the puppets aren't exactly good guys, unless the movies are trying to force them into that mold. But Maclain's not exactly sweet and kind either, what with being a gun for hire, and killing whomever to get the crispy fried book.
Maclain demands Weiss just get on with it already, and give her what she wants, so we can move what is passing for a plot forward. But before that can happen, Weiss goes back to his box of Puppet Master audiobooks, and puts on a new reel.
This gives us a collection of scenes from Puppet Master 4 and Puppet Master 5, just as I'm mentioning the loser heroic Puppet Master. But yes, that makes this a tape playing narration of a flashback in a flashback. Head explodey.
It crams so much of the two movies into a few scenes, that I fortunately don't have to splice in my old thoughts...er, flashback myself. And it really says a lot that they just breezed by those two attempts to make the killer puppets family friendly.
But it's even more pointless than that, since Maclain already knew that Puppet Master, since he's the one she had to kill to get the journal. Aww...but yay too. That actually ties up a dangling thread. But this also shows ultimately how pointless all of this is. Eric isn't telling her anything new. And ESPECIALLY not telling the audience anything new!
So we're slowly running out of movies, but there's still Curse to get through, and we slide into a flashback of that, framed as someone random discovering the puppets who never truly understood them. Which...is fair. And again, feels metatextual to me, commenting that the movie never understood the series.
I wish I didn't remember Curse of the Puppet Master but I do...
Jane takes Tank downstairs to show him the stars of the show, our favourite puppets. They all wave and smile and nod, and Robert takes it pretty well that they're doing this on their own. He is slow, isn't he?
Later, everyone is gathered for dinner, and I do mean everyone. I like the setup that to these people, the puppets are a novelty, and almost kept as pets. It's a great scenario for things to go terribly wrong in the next ten minutes.
And then, Tank says he's confused and doesn't understand how puppets can live. Oh, do NOT start questioning the logic of these movies. Not now. Not six movies in.
Afterwards, McGrew takes Robert down to the woodshop and shows him the wood and tools he'll be using. He says he wants the kid to carve out over 400 pieces for the puppet. Is he building a puppet or a computer?!
Later that night, the leader of the pack shows up at the House of Blues to do who knows what. He sneaks into Jane's room, very badly, since she notices him immediately. Before he can do anything though, Pinhead leaps up to save the day.
The guy tosses Pinhead to the ground and curb stomps him good, before being chased off. Jane goes so far as to say Pinhead is dead. No! =( Tank agrees with me, since he tries to fix the poor, big lug while the Doc drives off into the woods, probably to burn another puppet.
In actuality, he takes Blade and Tunneler to the punk's house and sets them loose to do what they do best. At least he knows the right guys to use to totally fuck a guy up.
Back at the House of Rising Sun, Doc reveals his new puppet, and...I was joking about builiding a computer. But this puppet as a small screen for a head, go figure.
Suddenly, Tank starts twitching and glowing, an lightning shoots out of him and into the puppbot. Ummm, that's not how this works. His brain is supposed to be slice open and...oh, never mind. Why look for continuity now?
Things continue to go off the continuity path as Tank's body magically disappears and...snicker. His face appears on the tiny screen. This is sillier than Decapitron's head morphing into Toulon's. Oh geeze that looks bad.
For some reason, this experiment makes the puppets turn on their puppet master. Sure, that's nothing new for them, but they usually have an excuse, like the guy beating and abusing the puppets themselves. This is just outta nowhere.
As usual, Blade does most of the work, and it gets pretty brutal. He slashes the ever-lovin' hell out of Doc's face and hands. Blood goes EVERYwhere. The screen is a sea of red by the time the rest of the puppets decide to join in.
Jane finally returns home and finds her father miraculously still alive for all that blood loss. Mostly so he can point and gloat over what he did to her boyfriend. Yeah, that won't win you any fast trips to the ER, pal.
And of course, Tank's new body is a literal tank, with treads to move around on, and a barrel for an arm. Doesn't look particularly wooden, either. Tank gets tired of listening to the doctor crowing over what he did, and zaps him with a really cool lightning blast from the gun that make the Doc's eyes spark.
While our friends in the present of 1999 listen to the tapes...wait, how did Toulon know about the Curse events? Sigh, never mind.
ANYways, Pinhead sees a moment of distraction and actually moves, throwing a hammer at Maclain's head and knocking her down. Peteric grabs the gun, gets the upper hand and shoots at her, shouting that the puppets are his, and she will not take control from him!
But oh how the plot thinnens. She reveals that she's not there for that, and somehow this urges us to remember Puppet Master 2 some more, with Maclain pointing out the inconsistency of Toulon the heroic figure from most of the movies, and the crazed psychopath from his zombie form in #2.
We find Pinhead down in a grave unearthing a box. It doesn't quite look like a coffin, but does resemble the classic PM steamer trunks.
Pinhead brushes off the dirt from a nameplate, and reveals the name of his creator engraved into the metal, Toulon. As the other puppets watch, he opens up the box and pours in a green liquid.
Toulon finally pulls off his bandages and reveals his face, understandably freaking out Carolyn. Mike is still running through the halls of the biggest hotel ever, and this time Blade pounces on him. Now really, Stabby McHooksalot should make short work of the shirtless wonder, or at least get some slices in, but the puppet never lays a point on the guy.
The puppet master continues to go on about the plot, and his beloved Elsa, and everything he's suffered through now being worthwhile that he will be reunited with her. Carolyn tries to explain to the madman that she isn't her, and that's not possible. Yeah, trying that line on the wrong guy. Which I like that he points out, what with being living proof of life after death.
Living proof of life after death...huh, let me think that one over a bit.
The puppets gather around to watch as Toulon uses the finished formula on himself, and then slashes his throat into a funnel that will feed his blood into the Toulon life-sized puppet and give it life.
Toulon's new form stands up, pleased at his newfound immortality, but then he squeals like a pig. He knows the puppets got lazy on some of the ingredients, and it adversely affected the formula. Still, he's immortal, so will have to deal with it. Hey, he's a giant walking doll, I don't think anyone will care that you occasionally oink.
Carolyn spits out the formula, as Michael finally shows up to the party. Toulon plans to use the last of the formula, the batch intended for the puppets, to bring Elsa back, but that makes his creations rebel against him, and they take the goblet and attack. Which is pretty much what happened with the last movie. You don't cross these puppets.
And credit where it's due, Jester is the one who scampers off with the goblet of formula, so that's something at least.
Michael and Carolyn run the heck out of there as the puppets take out their vengeance on Toulon, smashing him to pieces. Torch finishes the job though and sets the dollman ablaze.
Finally, they've run out of movies to recap, and also, how do you top a defenestration immolation, even if it's reused footage? Maclain reveals her master plan, that she was sent here by the creatures Toulon left behind, I presume the puppets themselves? But then why did Pinhead bonk her out? And who was she talking to?
The only thing this pathetic excuse for a 'movie' does is point out the logic inconsistencies between the movies, all the plot holes, while trying to resolve them. And then it adds more into the mix. It's entire premise is a plot hole, unless Toulon via Decapitron was the one calling her?
Anyways, this is all because the puppets want to die at long last, be free, and have revenge on their puppet master. So much for faithfully serving the rare good ones, and taking care of the bad ones when they appear. Again, logic inconsistency right in this very movie.
So now that's Eric, they want revenge on him, despite the fact they were sitting around his lab the entire time. Not to mention if they wanted these secrets, they've been around Toulon and the rest and his works for longer than Maclain has been alive. If they figured out how to bring Toulon back, why did they need to go through this?
And if they want revenge, and they seem to kill Eric in the LITERAL FINAL SECOND OF THE FILM, that kinda defeats their entire attempt to get the formula? I'm sure Blade could torture it out of him?!
I could've rolled with this horrible clip show shitshow, but the last literal minute of the entire thing just makes zero sense and ruins what little plot they had.
And that's how the movie ends, with Eric being approached by something WE NEVER EVEN SEE so again, the puppets do nothing, save for reused footage they already were animated in. What was the budget for this, five dollars? The best they could afford was the occasional off camera hand turning a puppet body towards camera??
This is terrible...and it highlighted how terrible it is by showcasing six other movies that were all better than this. Well, maybe not Puppet Master 5.
AND THERE ARE NOT EVEN ANY CREDITS!! The movie ends with Eric shooting at the camera, and then there is a *thank you card* for all the fans and creators. And that is the final shot of the film?! WHAT THE WHAT?? Can they actually DO that?!
Video: Well...it looks okay, all things considered. The image is VHSish quality at least, and I think some of the reused footage actually looks better here than the other DVDs in the set I already used. I almost made new caps for the moments I flashback to, but decided to use all the old, original stuff.
Sound Bite: Me screaming at the screen for 80 minutes.
Body Count: Screw you, I am absolutely not recounting deaths from other movies, so this is short as hell.
1 - Maclain dies from a gunshot at an hour and 11 minutes, with about 30 seconds left to go in the entire movie.
2 - I presume Eric dies next but the movie ends before his unseen attackers can do their thing.
3 - The credits get taken out and shot before they can even roll.
4 - My respect for this movie is strangled.
5 - The entire Puppet Master fandom dies from outrage.
Best Corpse: The remains of the credits.
Blood Type - NA: Nope, sorry, you are not getting any grade. You did nothing. You didn't even animate the puppets. The only blood is in old movies. Go watch those.
Sex Appeal: I don't think they even used titillating footage.
Drink Up! Whenever the movie actually gets back to Maclain and Eric from reused footage, you'll need it. I could've gone the other way, and drink every time there's reused footage, but I've already destroyed livers with earlier movies this year.
Video Nasties: Enjoy the final, insulting moments of the movie. If you can.
Movie Review: Is there even a movie here to comment on?? Not really. The plot is almost nonexistent. And what is there is full of holes, as I've already yelled about. The use of old footage is downright disgusting. I watched this movie, skimming through everything I'd already seen, and it took less than half an hour. I didn't officially do a reused footage clock like Silent Night 2, but I am positive this is even worse than that. SNDN 2 also had the benefit of having enough story to justify that. And worst of all, it shows gigantic chunks of the best in the franchise, and really. I say it repeatedly but let me make it clear here. GO AND WATCH THE ORIGINALS! Charles Band directs this, under a pseudonym (I sure don't blame him!) and the direction isn't half bad in the few minutes we got, so there's that. The actors are genuinely capable enough, and I could see this plot in an actual movie, with them doing their thing. But instead we got...this. Zero out of five reused movies.
Entertainment Value: Something like this could and can be quite entertaining. Again, see Silent Night 2. The overuse of footage there was hilariously over the top, but they still gave you enough of a movie, and well...Ricky. This movie has nothing compelling in the modern day portions, and certainly no one resembling Ricky. And the modern day scenes just aren't cheesy or fun enough to be worthwhile. The most entertaining thing is how clearly the locations are "Quick, light that wall over there and put a desk in shot!". And sure, there's a lot of great entertainment in the reused footage but again...GO WATCH THE ORIGINALS! Two out of five cassette reels. Because there are moments of entertainment, and I *do* genuinely like seeing the franchise from the point of view of more or less chronological.. And I'm being generous.
So, was Puppet Master: The Legacy the travesty everyone says it is? By Craven, yes, yes it is. But I don't go so far as to call it non-canonical. Nothing of import here happens for me to even CARE about the canon. Okay, the good guy Puppet Master got killed, but that was a small mercy. And no one cared.
Come back in a few days as we hit the trails once again on our Summer of Slashers!