Since its inception in 1989, the "Puppet Master Series" has been our most celebrated, beloved, and enduring franchise. It's the most successful independent direct to video horror franchise ... See full summary »
Robert "Tank" begins to work for Dr. Magrew sculpting a puppet for the Doctor to bring to life using the work of Andre Toulon. Robert begins to fall in love with the Doctors daughter, Jane. Unbeknownst to Robert, the Doctor is trying to create a "perfect race" of puppet humans. Jane discovers a "matt puppet" which is from his first assistant. She comes back just in time to see her father, cut up by the puppets, has succeeded in putting a living human, Robert, into the puppet he carved. Written by
Chris Schoettle, B-Movie king
"Curse of the Puppet Master" is the first truly "bad" film in the series... A misstep after the more grounded and more fun first five films...
From director David Decoteau (under an alias for some reason in the credits) comes the sixth movie in the "Puppet Master" franchise- "Curse of the Puppet Master." And to me, this is the first film in the series that was an all-in-all bad movie. Sure the previous five movies weren't high art, but they had a lot going for them. The first two films were fun little creepy horror movies that were easily accessible and had some nifty special effects. The third movie (also directed by Decoteau) was actually a decent revenge tale telling the origins of the story in Nazi Germany and had a lot of cool (albeit low budget) moments. And the fourth and fifth films, which were shot back-to-back and were essentially one movie split in half, were silly but a lot of fun and were the first movies to turn the puppets into "heroes", and actually explain more of the magic behind it all.
The sixth film tries very hard to be unique, at times feeling like an ode to classic Universal monster movies like "Frankenstein", but it just can't quite pull itself together. It lacks back-story, is extremely rushed and feels a lot cheaper than the previous movies.
The evil Dr. Magrew (George Peck in a delightfully hammy performance) has somehow taken possession of Andre Toulon's magical puppets, and uses them in his "House of Marvels" tourist attraction. His daughter Jane (Emily Harrison) has returned home to visit, and seems worried that his past assistant has gone missing. They soon meet socially awkward Robert "Tank" (Josh Green), a kind-hearted but meek young man whom is a talented sculptor, but is bullied by others. Magrew hired Robert to help sculpt him a new puppet, and a friendship between the two grows, as does a romance with Jane.
However, when a bully from Robert's past threatens Jane, the puppets must once again resume their deadly deeds, and Magrew's devious secret plans are revealed shortly after... plans that may spell doom for the innocent Robert...
The problems with the film begin from the opening credits, which made me realize this film was going to be padded beyond belief with re-used footage from the previous films. The credits seem to stretch on forever, and it's simply a montage of poorly edited snippets from previous films. And this film is very bad at hiding the fact that most of the puppet footage is re-used. You will recognize shots from the previous movies constantly, and its very distracting.
This film also has a ton of continuity problems from the cheap budget- you can tell the didn't have time to shoot all of the footage they needed. (Case in point is one hilarious scene where the puppet Pinhead is injured, and while he is being fixed, they show a shot where you can clearly see him in a cage, put back together, before cutting back to him being fixed again. It was atrociously bad editing.)
The biggest problem, though, is the lack of explanation of the story- the film makes no effort to connect itself to prior entries with no explanation of what happened to characters from the previous films. Also, the film seems to make up the rules as it goes along, and it's very messy- the story simply doesn't make sense, and without spoiling anything, the final 20 minutes are a poorly edited pile of shots with almost no coherence or logic. The story needed a lot more work than the screenwriters gave it.
This is the first truly awful movie in the series. While a few of the entries after this one (particularly the more light-hearted and fun "Retro Puppet Master") were actually decent, starting from this movie onward, the series fell in a big, bad way. This gets a pretty-bad 3 out of 10.
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