Puppet Master (1989) Movie Review

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1989 | R | Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
90 minutes /

User Score: 75/100

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Puppet Master Review


Psychics find themselves plotted against by a former colleague, who committed suicide after discovering animated, murderous puppets.

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.


About Puppet Master 1989

Title: Puppet Master
Original Title: Puppet Master, Puppet Master I, The Puppet Master
AKA: Puppetmaster
Year: 1989
Runtime: 90 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Score: 2.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.75/5 stars from 8 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 8
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Barbara Crampton, William Hickey, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Kathryn O'Reilly, Matt Roe, Tim Dornberg, Bert Rosario, Michael Laide, Andrea Henry, Peter Frankland, Andrew Kimbrough, Irene Miracle, Mews Small, Paul Le Mat, Robin Frates, David Boyd, Ed Cook, Linda Cook
Writers: Charles Band, Kenneth J. Hall, David Schmoeller, J.S. Cardone
Director: David Schmoeller