Retro Puppet Master (Puppet Master 7) Reviews
The seventh entry in the 'Puppet Master' franchise actually follows on from part three, and also borrows ideas from parts four and five. This is a prequel movie that unfortunately falls into the trap of retelling parts of the history that have has been already set up in previous entries. The story is quite good, and the lack of horror and blood is replaced with slightly fantasy elements (as in parts four and five) and has it's tongue firmly placed in it's cheek. It was nice to see Guy Rolfe reprising the role of Andre Toulon for the book-ending sequences, and the inclusion of all new puppets makes a welcome change, The acting is a bit wooden (no pun intended), there are some particularly dodgy accents and the puppet effects are not the best. But the main loss with this entry, is the lack of the iconic main title theme. In the end, this is a bit of a departure for the franchise, but is watchable and a lot better than the previous entry.
As part of the Puppet Master series I have some gripes and some cheers. In the "good" we find that Rolfe has returned to play the role of Andre Toulon and he bookends the film quite nicely. We get an interesting telling of how the puppets came to being. And Greg Sestero plays a young Toulon quite well.
In the "bad" we get some terrible acting with some of the worst accents ever. Some people don't try to talk with accents and others, just don't seem to know what accent they want to use. The bad guys, who are supposed to be mummies (aka undead, who don't breathe, feel pain etc.), have no problem getting shot by a pistol but as soon as a little puppet sticks an inch long blade into them or strangles them, they are in pain or can't breathe which makes no sense at all. But the worst thing of all, is that this look at how the puppets came into being, doesn't match what has already been established in previous Puppet Master films!!!
I can't stand when a film does that. As such, I had to reduce the film by a half star otherwise it would have been a decent 3 star picture.
Full Moon here decides to make another prequel in the franchise which oddly enough is a prequel to Puppet Master III which in turn was a prequel. So we have a prequel to a prequel? I think the universe just imploded from the very thought! The film opens with Guy Rolfe as Toulon talking to his puppets and reminiscing about the past so cue in the flashback music. So the rest of the film takes place while Toulon as a teenage and how he obtains the secret to reanimate puppets. However the people (or things) he stole it form aren't too keen on it so they send some cloaked people to get the secret back.
Since this is a "prequel to a prequel" (it hurts my head just saying that), our original "lovable" puppets are not in the majority of the movie so fans right away may be a little disappointed by this aspect. We instead get "retro" versions of them, which simply means early, more primitive wooden versions. Richard Band's original Puppet Master theme is also surprisingly absent which in turn may disappoint fans. I for one welcomed the new score as watching seven of these damn movies in a row made his catchy score grow old really fast.
The plot is just completely forgettable and to be honest I had a hard time staying awake for the damn thing. Every once in awhile a bad computer special effect (yes, Full Moon has started to find the power of bad computer generated special effects) would start to wake me up by totally pissing me off. Also the cloaked demon humanoids tailing Toulon and giving him hell remind me a lot of the cloaked Aliens from Dark City. It shouldn't surprise me though as it seems the Puppet Master franchise as resorted to ripping off better films. Typical there are a lot of continuity errors when comparing this to the other Puppet Master films but by this time I don't even care about that anymore.
Fans will no doubt feel totally disappointed with this sequel and all I have to say is SHAME ON YOU! Did you really expect this to be any good? I went into this film expecting shit and that's exactly what I got. Full Moon was making nothing but shit by this time so why should a Puppet Master sequel be any different? I will give them credit for trying to give us something different with this sequel it just a damn shame it was so poorly executed. It comes out being just as bad as Curse of the Puppet Master but at the same time it's a helluva lot more forgettable. I recommend skipping it.
It's flashback time from here on in as we learn of the man who stole the secret of life from that evil power rangers villain wannabe Sutekh and how he passed it on to the puppet master.
The enemies in this film take on the form of three mummies who for the sake of not looking out of place just dress up as Hudson Hawk and walk slowly...They have a range of powers using one (things go a bit hazy and wobbly, camera effect) They can choose what they want this power to do by saying the desired verb as the effect begins (negating the need for more than one effect.) Of course apart from the one time they use "Sleep" its always "Die".
Luckily the puppet masters puppet show performing friends are only too happy to be brought back to life as cheaper wooden variants of the regular puppet cast having been bloodlessly murdered by this wobbling effect, allowing them to bloodlessly kill their mummy murderers (their blood is dust now.)
All in all not the most exciting of the series but if you have any 5 year old children bugging you to let you watch some horror films with you then this is the prefect choice.