Curse Of The Puppet Master
Review By: Gringo

Any regular readers of this site (joke about three visitors, etc.) will know that a Puppet Master movie review comes complete with a bunch of links to articles about earlier entries in the series. It's like an action figure with add-on fun! Except without the fun! Anyway, let's get it over and done with. Click in order here, here, here, here and once more here to read all about the first to fifth Puppet Master movies. But we're not concerned with the past today! Oh no! It's time for the future, and the future is Curse Of The Puppet Master! Yes, after brain juice theft, Nazis on the rampage, men with faces wrapped in bandage and evil demons only three inches high, it's time for a change! And that change is called suck! This, the sixth miserable, wretched entry in the series, has only one connection to any of the preceding movies, and that is the puppets themselves. It's as far removed from the plot, style and idea of the first movie as can be achieved. Oh, unless you count the fact that the movie is filled with monosyllabic clownpipe actors, because that's another strong, recurring theme through all these movies.

So, Curse Of The Puppet Master. Where to begin? Let's try the beginning! When we last left the puppets they were living happily in southern California in the company of Rick, their adopted master. Hmm. Andre Toulon, original puppet master, bit of a French twist to the name. Rick, the new puppet master. Not really had the same amount of thought put into it, has it? Regardless, the mop-top youngster seemed woefully out of place in his two appearances (being movies number four and five) and that probably explains his absence in the sixth entry. At least, that's what I'm claiming, because there's no other explanation given for the fact that this movie has nothing whatsoever to do with any of the preceding entries. Have I mentioned that enough already? Maybe! The back of the video box (yes, I buy these fuckers, so that's why I feel I have a right to inflict reviews on you) says, "The amazing living puppets of Andre Toulon have a new master." And that's all you get to know before being thrown headfirst into another waste of 80 minutes of your life. Seems the puppets have somehow wound up in the possession of a guy called Dr. Magrew.

Not Magoo, because that'd have been at least reasonably comic, but Magrew. While the adventures of a myopic puppet master could have had hilarious consequences for all involved, instead we're stuck with a nutty old man called Dr. Magrew, who owns a House Of Marvels in what is apparently the centre of Hicksville, USA. In this super-naughty house, he displays a lot of freaky shit I can't be bothered describing, but his big customer draw is the bunch of puppets. Puppets that live! The whole Sutek/demon curse thing is forgotten for this movie, and it's based simply around the fact that yes, these puppets are alive. We're also introduced to Dr. Magrew's daughter (we'll call her Lady Whore) and his assistant, Dopey Fuck. He's meant to be some backward 20-something who's only good at sweeping the floor. I don't think it was an overwhelming stretch for the actor, somehow. Seems like an idyllic, if very fruity, set-up, no? NO! Before you can say, "THIS MOVIE IS NO GOOD!" a group of yokels turn up in a sports car (just go along with it) and beat Dopey Fuck up. He gets upset, and punches back. Dr. Magrew breaks up the fight.

Excited yet? Okay, I'll just reveal the sneaky secret now. Dr. Magrew is so obsessed with finding out how the puppets work, he has turned to cutting humans up and putting all manner of machinery and clockwork inside them. Why, I have absolutely no idea. It's to make the audience scared at this crazy monster that goes round chopping up the residents of Hicksville. But to the more discerning eye (read: anyone, ever) it makes no sense. If either brain juice or demonic curses power the puppets, what the fuck is putting machinery inside a human going to prove? And even if the puppets are driven by machinery (they're not), then why the fuck do that to a human who is already alive? Hello? Dr. Magrew? "Oh, I want to find out how to bring things to life." Here's a clue: don't choose stuff that's already living, go for something that's fucking well DEAD. You know, like the chances of Disney making a decent sequel to any of their animated movies. Ooh! Sassy! That's the sum total of the plot, anyway. Dr. Magrew gets crazier, and his daughter just wants to get it on with Dopey Fuck, who spends most of the movie bumbling around and speaking in monotone.

Eventually, the police get suspicious about the number of people who are winding up disappeared or dead in the vicinity of Dr. Magrew's wacky shack. So they go to investigate, but end up getting murdered by the puppets...for no real reason. A little later the remaining gang members who tried to beat up Dopey Fuck get killed...for no real reason other than the fact they're cunts, as far as I could tell. Dopey Fuck and Magrew's daughter get all smoochy at one point, but I wasn't really paying attention and besides, their love-making was all off-screen. If I want sex, I'll download porn from the Internet! The movie bumbles on to its inevitable conclusion, which sees Dopey Fuck getting operated on by Dr. Magrew, in an attempt to turn him into some kind of crazy human/puppet hybrid. However, his daughter finds out about this and stops the surgery before it's too late. Or maybe she doesn't. I don't remember too well, because after 20 minutes or so my attention to the movie's finer points (like the plot) really did start to wane. So maybe Dopey Fuck dies, maybe not. All I do know for sure is that Dr. Magrew dies.

Amusingly, I also recall that his daughter showed about one second of emotion for the loss of her father. Sense! The curse of this movie (see what I did there?) is that it's so far removed from its predecessors - and also so unforgivably dull - that you really don't care what's happening. If you're that bothered about finding out the finer plot points, rent the movie yourself. But bear in mind you'll have to go through the embarrassment of handing Curse Of The Puppet Master over to the staff at the video rental store. They're liable to spit in your face, so be prepared and take a handkerchief with you for the likely scene that will occur when you try and pay good money to watch this thing. You'd probably get a better reaction renting porn titles like Indiana Moans & The Raiders Of The Lost Arse than taking out one of the movies from this series. Trust me, I've tried it! Well, no, I haven't. But it's always fun to lie and say I have, because it pushes the word count of these reviews even further towards an unnecessarily large amount! You want more about the story of this movie? You get no more! This review is almost over!

The sad thing about this movie is that it reuses some stock footage of the puppets from movies one through five, but at the same time doesn't refer to the events of those movies. Wait, that's not sad. That's just laughable. Hear me laugh! Ho ho! Laugh I will! The truly sad thing is that apparently this Dr. Magrew nonsense wasn't the original plot for entry number six. In the trivia section for Curse Of The Puppet Master, the IMDB helpfully reveals that "the story originally took place in Egypt, where the puppets face off against a mummy, but the idea was dropped." Okay, so that sounds dumb, but at least six-inch kill-beasts taking on a mummy would have some genuine comedy value. Besides, it would tie into the first movie's plot of the puppet's life being thanks to some ancient Egyptian secret. But obviously cashflow problems meant the producers couldn't afford to build even a cheap Egypt mock-up set. So we settle for the backwoods of somewhere in California, and perhaps the stupidest plot of the Puppet Master movies so far. Oh, and for a while it was subtitle "The Human Experiment". Which kind of gives away the whole plot in the title. Clever!

Oh well, there you have it. Another shit movie in an incredibly shit series dealt with. Now, take a deep breath, because I've got some pant-trembling news! Yes, that's right! The very next review from this series will be the one I've been moaning about since day one. Retro Puppet Master is up next, and I promise it's one of the most sucktastic, painful viewing experiences you'll ever have the misfortunate to come across. Of course, now I've mentioned it so much it's fairly obvious my review will ultimately be sub-par (just for a change) and unfunny (etc.), thereby robbing you of the deserved grand payoff for persevering through all these Puppet Master reviews. On the bright side, however, there's no sign of the stupidity involved in this movie coming back again. Just as easily as this movie managed to piss all over the five earlier movies in the series by ignoring the plots of all of them, so the seventh manages to boot Curse Of The Puppet Master into the crappy movie ether, never to be mentioned again. And when it's a movie about a crazy man called Dr. Magrew and his puppet obsession, being confined to some video wasteland is probably the only way forward for it. Hooray for everything!

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