Saturday, 28 December 2013

Puppet Master 5 (1993)

With the fifth entry in the series, we finally get a Puppet Master film that I can't even give the slightest degree of recommendation. It's sad this entry in the franchise is so weak, especially when you consider that it was originally intended to be the climax and conclusion of the series.

This movie picks up right where the fourth film left off. Or, more accurately, it recaps the whole of the last movie in a pretty extended fashion, bulking out the run time with recycled footage, then picks up right after. Rick from the last film is in police custody, suspected of the murder of the people killed by the Totems, and psychic from the last film is in a coma after the trauma of what happened to them.

Unsurprisingly, the police don't buy Rick's account of killer imps from another dimension, and after finding one of the puppets, charge him with using his 'robots' to commit multiple homicides. Rick's employer ponies up the bail, though, so they let his girlfriend take him back to her place (his own place being a crime scene, after all). Alas, Rick's employer believes that either Rick's story is true - in which case there are amazing things to be found at the crime scene - or Rick created killer robots. In which case there are amazing things to be found at the crime scene. He hires a trio of petty crooks to help him break into the old hotel where Rick was living and find the puppets. The crooks are given names, but there's no point learning them, since they're clearly in the movie to be killed.

The killer in question is Sutekh, the demon antagonist of the last film. Having seen his minions defeated, he now imbues his own spirit into a super-Totem, and enters our world. This is a process that takes forever to unfold, and Sutekh's monolgue as he does it seems to contradict his monologues from the last film, but this series has always laughed at foolish concepts like continuity.

Anyway, Rick decides to go to the hotel to find the puppets as well, with his girlfriend joining him a little later, so that we finally - over 40 minutes into the film - have all the players in more or less the same location and can move into the actual reason anyone would be watching this thing: puppet mayhem.

Alas, the mayhem's an inferior retread of the last film. About the only innovation was making Decapitron even goofier than he was in the last movie. I approve of this innovation, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a largely quite dull film, with long periods of very little happening, and largely lacking the regular set-piece puppet antics that are the franchise's main appeal.

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