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Puppet Master [DVD]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2012
Firstly the movie can be divisive, you love it or hate. I absolutely adore it! If you're like me, then this is hands down the best version available anywhere. A sharp picture with little damage and plenty of natural film grain, great uncompressed stereo sound a and a decent 5.1 remix, the original features from the old DVD's plus new commentaries from Charles Band and Justin Kerswell.

Sure it's the R rated cut but that's the only version that has been released on blu-ray and widescreen DVD (the US Blu-ray is the same cut but with a really soft picture). So pleased about this release, let's hope Trancers is on it's way soon from 88 Films in the same quality!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2005
This is the original and best of the Puppet Master films, keeping the Puppet team down to Blade, Jester, Leechwoman and Tunneller, and with a decent, older and more convincing cast. Irene Miracle is particularly good as a barmy fortune-teller, though I wouldn't get too attached to anybody if you know what I mean. The puppets look damn good in this first movie, with a cross between full stop-motion animation and Muppet style techniques giving them a firmly believable presence. Unlike the other films in the series, this movie has both a knowingly hammy script and some truly horrific moments, which makes for a fun, scary and well paced movie, which doesn't rely purely on the gimmick of the puppets to drive the film. If you like the fantasy elements of films like Child's Play, Nightmare on Elm Street or Hellraiser, you may find this low budget gem of a film equally interesting. I recommend this to anybody with an interest in horror or fantasy movies, as it is a great little movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2012
Puppet Master was the film that put Full Moon Entertainment -- Charles Band's independent exploitation film company -- on the map.

In my opinion it was one of the best direct-to-video movies ever made and set a precedent for all others to follow.

Puppet Master is, in many ways a typical Full Moon horror film: colourful and absurd, featuring monsters, in-your-face gore and breast-focused nudity. Of course not all Full Moon productions would prove to be as entertaining as this one. But there is a distinctive quality to the B-grade fun of Full Moon at its best that appeals to many horror fans, and in this respect Puppet Master is a prime example.

In HD it looks superb, with a UK exclusive commentary, booklet notes and a reversible sleeve!

Best version out there by far
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the first in a long running series of Puppet Master films. Its an enjoyable little film, with great special effects and an involving story.
In a pre titles sequence we see Puppet Master Andre Toulon take his own life, as assassins approach his room, but not before he has hidden his magical puppets in a hidden panel.
Then the story turns to the present day, where four psychics have been summoned by a fifth Neil Gallagher, to the same Hotel where Toulon died. It seems they have all been taking part in research into Toulon's secrets of animating his puppets. When they arrive, they are greeted by Gallagher's wife, who informs them that he has died, having taken his own life. He may be dead, but there is something else alive in the Hotel, something determined that the Psychics wont discover Toulon's secrets.
The actors are all good, but its the murderous mannequins that are the real stars of the film. They are all excellently animated, and theres much fun to be had as they dispose of their human enemies. My particular favourite is Ms Leech who vomits leeches onto her victims body, draining them of blood.
Having praised the film, I must add that I feel it is a tad overrated, and not the classic many hail it as. Very enjoyable all the same.
The DVD release I am reviewing is excellent, with extras including a making of documentary. I give the film a solid 3 out of 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The names Puppet Master and Charles Band are virtually synonymous. This, the flagship film of Full Moon Productions (or whatever Full Moon name it’s going by now), has become a cult favorite and pretty much a must-see film for anyone calling himself/herself a true horror fan. Since its release in 1989, it has inspired nothing less than nine sequels (and counting). Charles Band has made some pretty lousy movies over the years, but Puppet Master quickly dispels any lowered expectations of being nothing more than a cheap and cheesy little horror film. The puppet special effects are quite natural, the acting is surprisingly good, and I think the film retains a healthy sense of uncertainty about the nature of the deadly puppets on display here.

It all starts in 1939, with Andre Toulon and his puppets holed up in a room in a Bodega Bay, California hotel. Having discovered the secret of eternal life in some Egyptian artifact, Toulon has used that knowledge to animate a small group of handmade puppets. These include a Jester whose head consists of three different parts that can spin around to produce the most dramatic of facial expressions; Blade, whose blade and hook appendages make him ideal for dangerous spy missions; Pinhead, a bulky he-puppet with a diminutive head; Tunneler, with a drill-like head; and Leech Woman, who specializes in vomiting up killer leeches. Just before a pair of Nazis arrive to snatch him and his secret knowledge, Toulon manages to hide the puppets inside a wall and then makes sure that his enemies will get nothing out of him when they arrive. Fifty years later, a group of four psychics with a mysterious shared history learn that the fifth member of their little group has apparently discovered Toulon’s secret; fearing that they’ve been double-crossed, they all make haste to the Bodega Bay hotel – only to find that Neil Gallagher won’t be talking because he just died. Before they can begin searching the hotel for the secret, though, the puppets find them.

These four psychics are an interesting bunch possessing very different skills. Dana (Irene Miracle) is a white witch who travels with a stuffed dog; Carissa is a psychometrist who can pick up on the past history of any object (especially if it involves hanky panky); Alex is an anthropology professor who has prophetic dreams; and Frank seems to just be a jerk with basic ESP talent. Added into the mix is Megan Gallagher, Neil’s young widow who seemingly knows nothing about her husband’s work. All of the characters’ psychic powers prove quite ineffective against Toulon’s puppets. Apart from their murder and mayhem skills, though, we learn very little about the puppets in this film. It’s not even clear if they are good or evil – but they do ultimately show signs of having a moral code that may override any controls being exerted upon them. One can also begin to sense the different personalities they possess and come to look upon them as true characters in the story,

This is not the best film in the Puppet Master series, but it definitely sets the stage for what will become quite an enduring (and seemingly never-ending) franchise of movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
She's perfect...gorgeous face, great figure, porcelain skin, raven hair down her back. She has only one flaw. She has a habit of gagging up thick, mucous-covered leeches while making deep, retching noises. Personally, I'd just think of England and avoid kissing her. Please note, in addition to the spoiled corpses in the movie, there are some other spoilers in these comments.

She's Ms. Leech, and the major delight of Puppet Master I is watching her and her other pint-sized companions, Blade, Pinhead, Jester and Tunneler do their stuff. We meet them in the Bodega Bay Inn when a small band of psychics arrive to learn why they seem to be getting strange mind messages from a former colleague, a man named Neil Gallagher. But it turns out Gallagher is dead...we see him in his casket. We also see him sitting in a chair and waltzing wearing white mask. We see him at the head of the table when his friends gather for dinner. Could it be that Gallagher discovered the secret formula an old puppet master named Andre Toulon used to bring life to his puppets? Hmmm. All we know for sure is that 50 years ago, at this very same Bodega Bay Inn, Toulon hid his puppets in a secret compartment, then fired a bullet into his mouth as Nazi agents burst in his room.

And now, in 1989, in the dead of night and in this deserted Inn, Blade, Pinhead, Jester, Tunneler and Ms. Leech seek out the visiting psychics and the Inn's lone maid to slash, smash, strangle, burrow and regurgitate them to death. Only Alex Whitacre and Megan Gallagher, Neil's wife, will survive that night. They find themselves at that same dining table, this time with the bodies of their friends slumped in chairs...and with a live Neil Gallagher maniacally announcing his hideous plot to bring life, not just to puppets, but to corpses.

But what's not to love about murderous little dolls? If a cult film requires a silly but amusing plot, home-spun acting that brings smiles, a stuffed pekinese that shows a lot of talent and death charging at you at ankle level, then Puppet Master is one of the best of the cult films. Among my favorite characters were Irene Miracle as Dana Hadley, a whiskey-swigging voluptuous psychic; Jimmie F. Skaggs as Neil Gallagher, a thin, prancing actor with a face like one of his puppets; Ms. Leech, of course; and Tunneler. When Tunneler goes to work on your face you'll wish you were back in your dentist's chair having a root canal done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2012
I have been collecting all of 88 Films (Full Moon) movies as they have been released and am constantly in awe at how great these awesome cult films look when they've had the 88 treatment. Puppet Master is no exception.

I watched it last night and it blew me away. I am somewhat of a caveman when it comes to technology so all I can say in my own way is........it looks frackin sublime. The movie, some have said, is really slow paced at first but I don't feel it is. It gives you enough time with the characters to develop them and the story so that when you finally can't hate the bad guys any more, the little guys can't drill, leech, and sucker punch them enough. ;-)

Just awesome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2012
Probably the most well known of Charles Band's movies; Puppet Master tells the tale of Andre Toulon, a man who makes puppets with a rather peculiar trait...they're alive.

In 1939 at the Bodega Bay Inn, Toulon's life came to an end. Fortunately though, Toulon managed to hide his creations away from those that sought to learn of his secrets.

Years later of group of psychics who have been experiencing strong visions arrive at the hotel to meet up with a friend of theirs who as it turns out, has died. If that wasn't bad enough Toulon's puppets are on the loose and they don't appear to be friendly.

The film's far from perfect and whilst it's not an essential purchase it does have a certain charm to it.
Sure the sound quality is poor and in some shots you will be able to see a puppeteer's hand or a corpse blink. On the plus side though the puppets themselves are quite interesting and when there are some stop-motion sequences they are really good.

There are a few extras on the DVD including a making of; it's just a shame that this runs for just under 8 minutes
Either way this film is still an interesting little low budget cult classic that has spawned a number of sequels and even crossovers and is worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2013
The 88Films version of Puppetmaster is clearer, with better colors, than the US Blu Ray version.

Exclusive to this UK 88FIlms version is:

Commentary by Puppetmaster co-writer (with Kenneth J. Hall) & producer Charles Band

UK Exclusive Audio Commentary with Justin Kerswell (Author of “Teenage Wasteland“) and entertainment critic, Calum Waddell

Full Moon Trailer Park with trailers from 9 Full Moon Films

Reversible Sleeve Incorporating Original Artwork

8 page color booklet written by Calum Waddell with a 2 page interview with Puppet Master co – writer, Kenneth J. Hall, adapted from Dark Side magazine, issue, 149.

While the US version is very nicely done, this UK 88Films version is the way to go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2013
i have always loved the puppet master movies.
with their pre cgi old school puppet manipulations.
the first 3 are the ones to own.
there are now 10 films in the series.
a brand new 3d remake is planned.
an under the radar horror film series.
this isn't sooty and sweep.
your worst nightmare is about to happen!
Puppetmaster (BLU-RAY) [1989]
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