Puppet Master (1989) Movie Review

Puppet Master (1989) Poster

Puppet Master (1989)

1989 | R | Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
90 minutes / 1h 30min

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Puppet Master Plot Synopsis:

Neil Gallagher found the secret to Toulon's puppets who come to life and then killed himself. Alex and his psychic friends come to investigate and are stalked by Toulon's puppets who have a variety of strange traits including a drill for a head and the ability to spit up leeches.

Puppet Master (1989) Review

Puppetmaster (1989) is directed by David Schmoeller (Tourist Trap (1979), Catacombs (1988)) with Charles Band (Meridan (1990), Trancers II (1991)) as a co-writer under Full Moon Entertainment. I started watching Full Moon Films when I was very young because my local video rental store was on the corner of where I lived. Puppetmaster is a low budget film that also tries to break the mold of the standard B-horror movies.

In Puppetmaster, Neil Gallagher (Jimmie F. Skaggs) finds Toulon’s (William Hickey - The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)) secret to how he created completely alive puppets that are alive. The puppets all have unique abilities which include but are not limited to having a drill for a head and spitting up leeches. The puppets include Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Ms.Leech, and Tunneler. The dolls coming to life are the least of the worries of the characters involved. Also starring in Puppetmaster are Paul Le Mat, Irene Miracle, Matt Roe, Kathryn O’Reilly, Robin Frates, and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator (1985)We Are Still Here (2015)From Beyond (1986), You’re Next (2011)).

Puppetmaster did not fully flesh out the live characters causing the viewer not to become attached to any of them. The characters also seem very weirdly played, but the film somehow grows on you nevertheless. The dolls/puppets look magnificent with the special effects complimenting them, great job by David Allen. A great amount of detail and originality were put into the puppet designs. This film is an average watch when you factor in all of the elements of the film, but as I mentioned previously, watch this movie for the puppets and the interesting backstory/lore.


  • Puppet Master Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 5
  • Overall Score: 5.00
  • IMDB: 5.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 4.3

About Puppet Master 1989

Title: Puppet Master
AKA: Puppetmaster
Year: 1989
Runtime: 90 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Score: 2.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 2.5/5 stars from 8,129 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 8,129
MPAA Rating: R
Puppet Master Cast Starring: Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Peter Frankland, Andrew Kimbrough, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Kathryn O'Reilly, Matt Roe, Michael Laide, Andrea Henry, Irene Miracle, Mews Small, Paul Le Mat, Robin Frates, David Boyd, Ed Cook, Linda Cook, Tim Dornberg, Bert Rosario
Puppet Master Writers: Charles Band, Kenneth J. Hall, David Schmoeller
Puppet Master Director: David Schmoeller
Production: Full Moon
Language: English
Country: USA