Let My Puppets Come - Let My Puppets Come(Blu Ray & DVD) [Vinegar Syndrome - 2019]
Let My Puppets Come stands as one of the most bizarre & at times downright freaky examples of 1970ís sex comedies. Itís a (nearly) all puppet-based film, with original songs, kinky advert parodies, and a weaving & wondering plot. Here from Vinegar Syndrome, those seekers of all manner of cinematic curios & oddities is the first-ever digital release of the film- it comes in the form of the companies classic duel format packaging- with the Blu Ray & DVD disc taking in a full seventy five minute cut of the film with a new 2K scan- a couple of commentary tracks, and other neat extras.
Let My Puppets Come appeared in 1976 and was directed by New York City-born Gerard Damiano, who was behind underground adult breakthrough hits like Deep Throat & The Devil in Miss Jones. The film was only ever commercial shown in its shorter cut down forty-three-minute version, as a double bill with adult anthology film Odyssey:The Ultimate Trip. Here we have the film as it was originally intended, and boy it's an oddity- which if it had been properly released at the time would have been mentioned in the same breath as Fritz the Cat & Heavy Traffic, and the later Meet the Feebles
The film opens introducing us to Ned, Fred, Red, and Gramps, of the Creative Concepts Systems and Procedures Brothers Unlimited Inc. Their production company is in big trouble- as they owe money to one of the few none puppet characters Mr. Big- a dwarf African American- played by Luis De Jesus who is most known for playing the sadistic & demented Ralphus in Bloodsucking Freaks. Their plight is overheard by, delivery boy, Jimmy, who suggest they produce a skin flick- roll a sequence of bizarre fantasies from Ned, Fred, Red & Gramps- all played out in puppet form with puppet genitals- we have a bored blond & her well proportioned/ talking dog going at it, Gramps in a massage parlor, and blowjob obsessed fish. After this, the group decide to call to help make their skin flick- the bearded 'n' leatherwearing Lash, who operates the local fetish store. And greying & pompous auteur Geppetto, who brings along with him the sleazed man child Pinocchio- who gets up to all manner of mischief with his nose.
The film unfolds in a fairly lose-if-eventful manner with a series skits pushing on the very loose story- there's a blend of sex gags, slapstick action, full-on puppet sex, and later a bunch of cheeky mock ads for things like Lustrine(for those who do a lot of oral) and female genital decorate for smelly pussies. In between these, we get a selection of bawdy & lightly amusing songs that go from music hall fare, campy female-led 70ís pop, & stomping-yet campy 70's rock. We get also get a few human guest appearances from the likes Annie Sprinkle and Al Goldstein. The puppets themselves look rather basic/simplistic yet each are fairly distinctive/ quirky in their own right Ė though many are just pink chatting heads with painted-on eyes, & the only part of them thatís more clearly defined/ shown are the puppets breast & genitals. On the whole Let My Puppets Come is an enjoyable enough romp, that brought more than a few light chuckles & dirty sniggers along the way.
Moving onto this Blu Ray/DVD set, and we get a largely bold & bright new print of the film, with only one or two moments of slight negative damage along the way- which is impressive really, considering this is such a rare film & spent most of its release life in itís a shorter form. Moving onto the extras we get two full-length commentary tracks- first, we have one from film historians Heather Drain and Samm Deighan, and this is most worthy. The pair go from talking about Gerard Damiano been one of the more creative & at times whimsical of adult directors, moving on to discuss a potted history of puppeteering as adult entertainment. Going onto talk about key scenes, and how some of the puppets look like a spit for real people- like Geppetto looking like Damiano, and Lash looking like controversial & prolific adult star Jamie Gillis- all in all, a great track. The second track is from puppeteer and puppet designer James Racioppi. Next, we get a forty-minute audio-only interview with Nicolas Coppola who was behind the adult puppet-based musical Kumquats, that influenced Let My Puppets Come, and lastly, we get nine minutes of audio footage from Kumquats.
Hats off to VS for putting out this 70ís sexploitation oddity-and giving it such a classy & thorough treatment with the great new scan, the two commentaries, and other extras- Iíd given the film an even three score mark, but due to the great job VS has done here I rise the releases total score to four.Roger Batty