Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich - Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich( Blu Ray) [Fangoria Films - 2019]Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a gloriously bloody, at times brutal & funny resurrection of one of the great B movie franchise of the late 1980s. It blends together inventive, at times gruelling killings, rather neat puppeteer/ doll effects work, and a host of memorable enough characters. Here’s a recent release of the film- which is available as a DVD, Blu Ray or digital download.
I’ve always liked the idea of the Puppet Master series, more than the films themselves- I saw the first two films in franchise back in the late 80's/ early 90's- enjoying them enough in their horror campiness, but never really finding them the most worthy of Charles Band’s output. And as the years & sequels ticked by I’d seen bits & bobs of the ensuing films, but really had little or no interest in dipping back in again- as it seemed they rather just repeating what had gone before, or adding in silly/ bizarre twists to the film's formula.
So when I heard a fresh team were heading up this new reboot, taking in the likes of co-directors Tommy Wiklund and Sonny Laguna (Wither, Blood Runs Cold) and writer S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Dragged Across Concrete). And it was to feature a new soundtrack by Italian horror soundtrack legend Fabio Frizzi- I was more than a little curious, then when I saw the kick-ass trailer I was well and truly sold, and hoped it wasn’t going to be a letdown
The film's plot finds recently divorced comic artists Edgar (Thomas Lennon) returning to his childhood home- where he finds one of the infamous dolls in a cupboard, deciding to sell it at an auction celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murder. He, along with his new girlfriend Ashley (Jenny Pellicer) and nerdy Jewish pal Markowitz (Nelson Franklin) book into the hotel where the auction/ celebrations of Toulon murders is occurring- the hotel is full of a selection of characters who are also selling their dolls. And fairly soon a mysterious force is bringing the dolls back to life, and they quickly start butchering their owners.
Along the way, we get a series of splendidly executed & intense kill scenes- taking in vicious decapitations, gruelling back drillings, limbs rippings, and even a doll coming up through a pregnant women's womb dragging her unborn baby away. Added to this we get very effective doll effects & puppet work. Amusing if political incorrect humour- as we do have of course the Nazi puppets murdering undesirables. Along with a fair dose of female flesh, and a fairly rapid & at times manically paced plot- all meaning the films just over an hour & a half speeds by, leaving you wanting more….and by the looks of the end credits there could well be more soon!.
I think if I was to compare Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich in tone to anything I’d say it’s the more action-packed, gory & amusing moments of the Phantasm franchise- as it really does manage to blend together gore, camp, action & fun very, very well. So, all in all, I was very much taken by the film, and would strongly advise you check it out- even if you weren’t really a fan of the original franchise.
We where sent a screener Blu Ray of the release for review- and this features a five-to-six minute making offs, effect creation, and monster design- there some interesting titbits of info here, but it would have been great to have some sort of feature-length doc- showing how this project developed & finally came to fruition.
In a modern cinematic horror world of uneven-to-bad trailers, rip-offs, and plain disappoints it’s great to see a brutal & action-packed film like Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich surfacing- I really can not wait for the follow-up!. Roger Batty