Righto, full disclosure – I have never, ever seen the original Puppet Master film or any of the subsequent sequels. So if I miss any connections in this film, then I am throw myself on the altar of Puppet Master fans. With that out of the way Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is mighty funny, mighty gory and mighty, mighty offensive.
When Edgar comes home to live with his parents after his divorce, he finds a puppet that his deceased brother used to have, he and his newly found girlfriend Ashley and his boss take the puppet to a convention commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders with the intention to sell it. However, the puppets animate and go on a killing spree.
With the title of the film you know whom the victims will be and whilst that straddles the line of bad taste, that line is burned, stabbed and pissed all over by some of the films kills. I won’t spoil any of the kills but rest assured there is something in here to offend everyone.
On the flipside S. Craig Zahler has managed to infuse some very funny moments in and around the carnage, enhanced by some great delivery by the cast. Lennon in particular has that laid back style that helps the low-key comedy approach, whilst the rest of the cast bring their own style to the material.
Unfortunately, the film isn’t pretty to look at and at some stages the lighting makes it very difficult to see just what is actually happening. The gore effects however are excellent. Plenty of blood, stabbings and slashings (and the ensuing results) are nicely realised including one of the most outrageous kills I have seen in quite some time.
Despite the comedy, the film doesn’t have a jokey tone (this is despite the fact that puppets are killing people) and in fact when the killing starts it is downright fucking serious until the end of the film. So, come for the early laughs and stay for the slaughter!
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is in theaters, on VOD and Digital HD (USA) on August 17.
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Katrina Wan PR