Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Puppet Master Continues: Retro Puppet Master

Hello all and welcome back for Day 2 of The Puppet Master Continues. Yes after that tremendous pile of donkey flop, I wouldn't at all be surprised if all interest in this series completely stopped. Well enough of Dr. Magrew, his daughter Jane and Tank and surprise, surprise NO NEED TO FOLLOW THEM anymore. It's time for another flashback story. Toulon returns after the events of Puppet Master III as he escapes the Nazis heading towards the Swiss border for their fine hot chocolate, watches and knives. What adventures await Toulon and his creations this time around? This is Retro Puppet Master.

No I am not Wesley Snipes and does it look like I can sign an autograph??!!

So the year is 1944 in Switzerland... which is impressive considering Toulon blew his brains out with a pistol in 1939 so this should actually be the year 1938 but who needs fact checking and consistency in their own series? Find me a Horror franchise that has actually mastered that well. Toulon and puppets hide out in an abandoned inn when Blade discovers an old carved puppet head in the case called Cyclops bringing Toulon into a series of flashbacks within a flashback. Ahhh!!! We are approaching Highlander territory now. Journey to Cairo in 1902 when Toulon (Greg Sestero of Nash Bridges, Gattaca, Edtv, The Room, Accepted, Alien Presence and The Pit and the Pendulum) as a young man meets Afzel (Jack Donner of Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Good vs Evil, Star Trek: Enterprise and Vampire) a reputed 3,000 year old sorcerer that stole vast secrets from the followers of the demon Sutekh. Sutekh less than thrilled about this creates three mummies to dispatch him but for some reason the mummies subcontract to a couple of human servants because the sorcerer can sense the mummies trailing him. Confused? EXCELLENT!!

I think we are too early for Goth.

Moving on, Ilsa (Brigatta Dau of Ranma 1/2, Alien Nation: The Enemy Within, Sliders and NightMan) is daughter to the German Ambassador who is apparently a horrible human being and her mother is well less than notable as she doesn't even appear physically in the movie at all. Thugs start pummeling Afzel in the streets outside the theater Toulon's puppet show inhabits, shrieks for help as the thugs scatter like rats deserting the sinking ship, leaving Toulon and Ilsa to aid Afzel.

Realizing that humanity will need help from the elder gods stirring in their sleep, Afzel teaches Toulon the power and formula to animate the puppets as saviors to humankind. In spite of their murderous tendencies of the past movies. A humble beggar dies on the streets and Afzel and Toulon transfer his soul into Pinhead (the puppet not Hellraiser's Doug Bradley). Amazed what is before his eyes, Toulon becomes a diligent student in these arts of magic. Our mummies look a bit foppish in bowler hats, suits, ties and dark smoked glasses. Yes I am not even making that up.

White guys playing Egyptians which I guess that would be Brownface do their level best to secure the secrets of Sutekh by being total peckerheads. Attacking the embassy in the night, abducting Ilsa and killing her parents. Toulon must give back the scrolls to the white Egyptians or they will dispatch Ilsa. Will they be true to their word? Is there a double-cross lurking in the wings?

Yup, now it is time for more facts on the film. This is the first of the Puppet Master series to be filmed outside the US. Mostly "Paris" was Bucharest and Snagov Romania. Shot in 12 days Guy Rolfe's scenes were shot in a day so you guessed it, we will be in flashback land for a bit. The footage of the train is actually shot for a mini-trilogy called Puppet Wars that never got off the ground, so why not use footage already in the can? It was all interior anyway. Interesting enough James Franco auditioned for young Andre Toulon. Well it beats playing new Green Goblin with Sandman and Venom I suppose. Mono-filament wire is being used yet again so no stop-animation for our puppets. Still this was vastly superior to Curse of the Puppet Master.

So what did happen to Rick Meyers? Even beyond the grave I cannot tell you.