Curse of the Puppet Master (1998)


This film is completely appropriate for the sixth entry in a horror franchise – entirely lacking in any wit or originality, made purely to cash in on a name made famous years ago, and really really boring. Oh, and the video box sort of gives away the ending.

Leech Woman, thrown in a fire and destroyed in part 2, is now back with no explanation at all, and the puppets are under the control of a completely different guy, Dr. Magrew, with the lamest possible explanation of how they got from Rick at the end of part 5 to him now. Who cares about stuff like that though? He’s in charge of a small-town puppet show, and his daughter Jane is about ready to go to college; the last of the main cast is Tank, who they meet at the local garage while he’s being bullied, then offer him a job. He’s a little simple, but is an amazing wood-carver, so he’s quickly employed designing new puppets for Magrew.


The bullies in this are so over-the-top evil that you’ll be amazed they’ve madeit to their 20s without growing horns, but luckily the town cop is just as awful as they are so nothing happens to them. Tank stops them from hassling Jane, and wouldn’t you know it but the two of them fall in love. He also takes the living puppets in his stride, even doing some repairs to Pinhead after he gets damaged protecting Jane from Bully 1.

Nothing happens in this film for the longest time. I counted, and the first seriously dramatic scene, briefly described in the last paragraph, doesn’t happen til minute 41. No puppet gets involved until minute 46, and it’s minute 50 before anyone dies. If the film were better made, I suppose I could tolerate it, but the acting is average at best and no-one is renting a Puppet Master film to see a sensitive romance between the soon-off-to-college woman and the borderline-disabled man.

The puppets are sort of back being baddies in this, I suppose, due to their new owner. He burns a puppet-sized sack at the beginning of the film, and to maintain some sense of drama for you, the potential viewer of this film, I won’t reveal it or his plans (but the picture at the top of this review will give you a clue).

Most importantly, this film is terrible. After an impressive run of five films where a level of quality was maintained that I did not expect at all, we’re right down where I expected for part 6, the first of the films to not be numbered (maybe because they’d not thought of a 666 pun for the title, which seems to be standard issue for horror). It’s really cheap looking, the direction is flat and uninteresting, and it’s so undramatic that it took me a while before I was able to remember how it ended, even though I only watched it yesterday. I’m going to go through to the end of this series, but I think afterwards we all ought to pretend that it finished with part 5.



2 thoughts on “Curse of the Puppet Master (1998)

  1. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. Horror Franchises |

  2. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. Horror Franchises |

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