Sunday, 5 January 2014

Puppet Master 7 (1999)

The seventh Puppet Master film again takes a new approach to the series, with WW2 Andre Toulon (played for the last time by Guy Rolfe) in 1944 telling his puppets about his first experiences with the 'elixir of life', back in 1905. His younger self is played by Greg Sestero, who is best known for appearing in The Room, a film I unfortunately have not been able to locate on DVD.

The earlier setting means a whole new set of puppets are used in this film. They have a simpler, more rustic look than those of the earlier films, though in many cases they share thematic links: there are obvious parallels for Blade, Tunneler, Six Shooter and Pinhead.

As usual for each new entry in the franchise, continuity gets re-written: Toulon's date of death is pushed back to 1945 (six years later than in the first film) and the account of how he learned of the elixir is totally different than in the second film of the series. To be honest, Full Moon seem like they'd mostly prefer not to acknowledge Puppet Master 2 ever happened: perhaps because it has Toulon as the bad guy, whereas every other film in the franchise has portrayed him as heroic.

Anyway. what we get here is the tale of how Andre met his wife, how she interrupted the attempted murderer of the sorcerer who knew 'The Secret' and how that sorcerer then taught Toulon. Sukhet's minions make an appearance once more, though this time they are human-sized rather than the Totems of films 4 and 5. This was probably done for budget reasons. Also obviously an aspect of the budget is the crudity of the puppetry effects. I wish this film and number 6 had benefited from the better effects of the first five films: they certainly deserved it more than the dullness that was Puppet Master 5.

One fun game to play while watching the movie is 'what accent are they using now?'. Several of the actors appear unsure where their characters are from, or are just unable to maintain an accent consistently, with the woman playing Andre's future wife being a particular culprit.

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