Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In short: Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)

Colour me confused, because for once, a Puppet Master movie is a direct sequel to the one that came before. Don’t you worry, though, there will still be inconsistencies between the films even though director and writers are the same. Our hero Rick (Gordon Currie), despite having been declared the new Puppet Master by Toulon’s (still Guy Rolfe) puppet head at the end of the last movie, is in a spot of bother. Turns out one comatose woman, one dead asshole and two dead colleagues in their respective laboratories do make the police a bit suspicious of a guy. Our boy seems to have mentioned some of the supernatural elements of the story to the police - though not Toulon’s puppets - and is now the main suspect for a few murders, which the police think he has committed via tiny robots. Because that’s much more probable than little evil demon things.

But no matter, with which I indeed mean this part of the plot will stop mattering at all to the film once Rick is out on bail. Eventually, Rick, Susie (Chandra West again), Rick’s new evil boss (Ian Ogilvy) and his three random henchmen will find themselves wandering the same old hotel, helping the puppets fight off a single, but super-powered version of the evil puppet things from the last movie.

Jeff Burr’s second and last job as a Puppet Master director starts rather promising, using the in the genre too seldom visited aftermath of a horror film for a bit of self-conscious fun. You’d think this just might be a good way to steer the Puppet Master films in a somewhat different direction, some sort of Puppet Master Junior on the run tale, say, or a script working hard at coming up with ideas about treating the world of the Full Moon bizarreness seriously. Alas, though not exactly surprising, there will be nothing of the sort. Rather, the film is just dragging its feet for the first half hour or so to get a bit of exposition out and get up to full length.

After that, the film turns into a repeat of the last film, with people wandering through the same hotel people have been wandering through in three of the four other Puppet Master films, some very mild violence, and the sad reduction of the film’s main threat to a single puppet. On the other hand, the flame throwing puppet that missed in the last film is back again, treated by everyone as if it had been in film number four too, because giving a crap is not the Full Moon way.

Consequently, and despite Burr’s still competent and sometimes even moody direction, not giving a crap turns out to be exactly what I feel about this one myself. There are two or three okay moments of weirdness, but otherwise, too much of Puppet Master 5 has been done to death in the other films of the franchise. This entry never develops anything you’d might call a personality of its own.

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