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Puppet Master - 2/31 Days of Halloween

It's day two of our spooky movie marathon, and today's movie was suggested by Denver Grant. Let's dive right into Puppet Master!

Released straight to home video in 1989, Puppet Master opens in 1939, showing the puppet master himself, Andre Toulan (played by the always creepy William Hickey) putting the finishing touches on his latest puppet as another of his puppets named Blade makes a mad dash for his hotel room with two Nazi spies hot on his trail. Toulan packs his living puppets away in a secret compartment in the wall and commits suicide just as the German agents break down his door.

Fifty years later, four psychics travel to the same hotel to "pay their respects" to a recently deceased colleague. While three of the four new arrivals plot to steal Toulan's secrets, the puppets begin dispatching the unwanted guests in unique and grisly fashion. But it turns out that the puppets aren't the only horror in the hotel, and somebody else is pulling the strings.

So what's the verdict? Honestly... ehh. Somehow I'd managed to never see this or any of the other films in the franchise in its entirety. I've caught bits and pieces on cabe over the years, but this was my first time actually sitting down to watch it, and it really didn't do anything for me.

I wanted to know more about Toulan and the Nazi agents at the beginning, and I'm sure the sequels delve into that, but this installment didn't inspire much faith in the series for me. The puppets were a mixed bag. Jester really didn't do much but make faces. The Leech Woman was sufficiently gross, and her kill scene went on far too long. Blade was a cool character, and seemed to have the most personality. I was sad to only see Shredder Khan in the opening scene. Tunneler was pretty cool. But Pinhead... I just couldn't take Pinhead seriously. After all, there can be only one Pinhead. Am I right?

Puppet Master just didn't scare me, I'm afraid. Not even a little. It did manage to gross me out a few times, but that's not the same. I'll admit that I'm curious about the mythology behind it, and one day I might check out the next installment just to see if any of that is explored. Maybe something for next year's 31 Days. Hopefully there's more of Andre Toulan, particularly if Hickey reprised the role.

Until tomorrow, boils and ghouls... stay scared.

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