Thursday, October 13, 2011
31 Days of Halloween - Day 13 - Movie 1
Until today I'd never seen a movie made under the Full Moon Entertainment banner. I'd been somewhat curios about the Puppet Master films, mainly because of the action figures released about a decade ago based on the characters. I thought they had some neat designs, so I was intrigued, but clearly not so intrigued that I did anything about it. Until now.
Puppet Master (1989) brings a team of psychics to a big spooky hotel where they discover that their colleague who summoned them is dead. Once at the hotel, weird things start happening and the psychics are killed one by one, until we discover that the dead colleague is behind it all, having uncovered the secret means of animating objects using borrowed life force, a secret that once belonged to an old puppet master who commit suicide in that hotel decades ago. Now his puppets have been brought back to life and are being used as tools of murder.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but the entire movie has an air of amateurism to it, from the lighting and editing, to the script and some of the performances. Paul Le Mat, looking like he was about to star as H.R. Giger in a biopic, looks embarrassed to be in this movie, and plays his role with a level of understatement that suggests he'd rather be somewhere else. The puppets themselves, are pretty neat looking, but make you wonder why a kindly puppet maker would make his originally benevolent creations with such lethal designs and attachments. The movie also features a number of pov shots supposedly from the perspective of the puppets as they run through the crowded hotel lobby and elsewhere without being noticed. This would be preposterous if they were even an inch or two in height, but the puppets are somewhere between a foot and eighteen inches tall making it beyond improbable that no one would have noticed them running across the lobby or into the elevator with them, just as they wouldn't notice a speeding toddler.
The movie feels like something that you'd accidentally stumble across at 2:00 in the morning and probably should be viewed with that context, if viewed at all.