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Retro Puppet Master (1999)

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In the late nineteenth century, an Ancient Egyptian sorcerer discovers the art of transferring the souls of the dead into inanimate objects.

Director:

(as Joseph Tennent)

Writers:

(original story), (screenplay) (as Benjamin Carr)
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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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brigitta Dau ...
...
First Servant
...
...
Robert Radoveanu ...
Second Servant
Vitalie Bantas ...
Third Servant
Sando Teodor ...
Latour (as Sandu Teodor)
George Calin ...
Valentin
Juliano Doman ...
Vigo
Vlad Dulea ...
Duval
Dan Fintescu ...
Beggar
Serban Celea ...
Father
Elvira Deatcu ...
Margarette
...
Leader
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Storyline

It's 1892 and Sutekh is hopping mad. It seems a 3,000 year old Egyptian sorcerer has stolen one of the God's secrets of life - that of instilling the souls of the dying into inanimate things. Sutekh raises three mummified former high priests, led by the villainous "First Servant", and charges them with recovering both the Sorceror and his secret. There is no lack of victims for the 3 high-faluting, stylish villains as they pursue their prey to 19th century Paris, and the very young puppeteer, Andre Toulon. Toulon runs a puppet theatre in the heart of Paris, and meets the sorcerer (the mysterious Afzel) when he is found by the lovely Swiss Ambassador's daughter Ilsa, after being nearly killed. It is there and then that we find the seed of things to come, and the origin of the Puppetmaster series of tales. Written by Fred Bloggs

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for horror violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

November 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Puppet Master 7  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Franco auditioned to play Young Toulon, Greg Sestero's role. He and Sestero have since collaborated on The Masterpiece (2016), a film adaptation of Sestero's book "The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room (2003), the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made". See more »

Goofs

When the second slave hands the picture of Elsa to the leader slave, he grabs it with his left hand. In the next shot he's holding it with his right, and after that it's back in his left. See more »

Quotes

Vigo: To do? Well, since there is neither a bribe nor a loose moral, Mademoiselle, attatched to the complaint, I suspect they'll do nothing.
See more »

Connections

Follows Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not the strongest of sequels, though nowhere near as bad as 4 and 5
5 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Retro puppet master This tale precedes the events of Puppet Master III, and explores the origins of the puppets themselves. Sadly, as grand a concept as this has- a story starting in Egypt in the late 1800's where the secrets of a God's power are stolen and then moving to a young Toulon running a puppet show in Paris in the early 1900s, the whole affair is a little too drawn out to fulfil it's potential.

It's a shame because director Decoteau has previously directed two of the stronger Puppet Master entries- part 3 (perhaps my favourite) and 6- a fun return to form after a couple of really bad sequels.

This is not to say it's a film without merit- any fan of the Puppet Master series will enjoy finding out about how it all began, the cronies of the god are fairly sinister in an Agent Smith/ Matrix kind of way, and there are a couple of new puppets to keep you entertained.

The film could be described as ambitious too, considering budgetary constraints. Creating a period piece obviously creates complications in filming, so this, as with Puppet Master III, is admirable- the simplest route was not selected.

On the downside, the puppets themselves move especially badly in this entry- it's a far cry from the beautiful stop-motion animation of earlier films- we really are talking about movement like a 4 year old's Barbie. Also considering these are meant to be early versions of the puppets we know and love, some of these wooden versions really miss the mark. Blade especially. When looking at the cover I actually assumed Dr Death's skeletal appearance was an early, and quite impressive, early version of Blade, when in fact he's this bizarre troll-faced puppet, with only the hair and costume in common. Quite sad really, as the puppets are after all the stars. And the male lead, Greg Sestero as a young Andre Toulon, is perhaps more wooden than the puppets.

Still, it's worth renting perhaps rather than buying, (I'm not sure how much replay value it has) for those who have to know how it all began. Just don't expect anything super special.


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