The Puppet Master franchise has been going on for 30 years now and has spawned all kinds of merchandise including soundtrack albums, comics and bobble-heads. Not too bad for a film which went straight to video in the good old days. Charles Band’s company Full Moon are still churning out sequels (to a varying quality) however they’ll always guarantee you a good time for an hour or half or so.
With The Littlest Reich, the budget has been upped considerably and this film is a soft reboot/remake of sorts chronicling a newish beginning of the Puppet Master himself, Andre Toulon. In the Full Moon series Toulon is an almost tragic figure but the new version casts himself as an evil Nazi bastard with a hatred for his fellow man.
Comic store clerk and artist Edgar has got divorced and moved back home with his parents. He strikes up a relationship with the girl across the street and they decide (with Edgar’s buddy) to attend an Andre Toulon memorabilia auction. Conveniently Edgar’s late brother had a Toulon puppet which no one knows how it was acquired. Travelling to the hotel where the convention and auction takes place, it’s not long before the guests start getting knocked off. Toulon’s puppets have come back to life and are killing individuals Nazi’s generally didn’t like such as gay people, gypsies and Jews.
The film takes no prisoners in terms of bad taste, non PC’ness (is that a word?) and gratuitous nudity. It’s like the good old days before the snowflakes ruined horror cinema and I really LOVE it. It’s just low brow entertainment and just enjoy it for what it is, a laugh and something not to be taken seriously.
The film makers have assembled a decent cast with some familiar genre faces including Barbara Crampton, Michael Pare and Udo Kier. The puppets themselves are generally physical effects with some CGI obviously used for move challenging sequences and work great. There’s gallons of blood and some really gross kills which will turn some people’s stomaches. The toilet death is particularly unpleasant.
I do hope we see a follow up as promised in the credits and no doubt Charlie Band will continue with his original franchise. Can both co exist? With more killer puppet films around, the world is easily a better place so of course they can.
Tremendously entertaining and I like how the film starts in the year the first one came out (1989) and moves forward to the present day, a nice touch. It’s definitely a film I could watch over and over again as it doesn’t give a shit about pandering to any one.