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Puppet Master II (1991)

DVD Cover (Echo Bridge Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
Puppet Master
> Puppet Master (1989)
> Puppet Master II (1991)
> Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991)
> Puppet Master 4 (1993)
> Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)
> Curse Of The Puppet Master (1998)
> Retro Puppet Master (1999)
> Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)
> Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)
> When Puppets And Dolls Attack! (2005)
> Puppet Master: Axis Of Evil (2010)
> Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012)
> Puppet Master: Axis Termination (2017)
> Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Supernatural Horror, Toys
Director:
David Allen David Allen
Starring:
Elizabeth Maclellan Elizabeth Maclellan
Collin Bernsen Collin Bernsen
Steve Welles Steve Welles
Greg Webb Greg Webb
Charlie Spradling Charlie Spradling

6.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Toulon's puppets help collect brain tissue from human victims for Toulon to create his formula to animate the inanimate. The victims this time include a group of researchers from a US department, responsible for investigating the paranormal. --IMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: September 09, 2007
When a movie based on killer puppets is released in the 80s, the release of a sequel is anything but a surprise. What is a surprise is that said sequel was actually good. Hell, on some fronts it actually surpasses the first. Still, that's not to say it doesn't have its sketchy moments and iffy acting. After all, it is a movie about killer puppets.

Killer puppets without a master, as it were, and they are not happy with this. In order to remedy the situation, they dig up the corpse of their creator, Andre Toulon. After exhuming the corpse, they pour the fluid that grants them life, hoping it'll be enough to bring Toulon back from the dead. Meanwhile, back at the infamous Bodega Bay Inn, a team of paranormal investigators is moving in. You see, the sole survivor of the first movie, Alex Whitaker, has naturally been institutionalized, raving on about evil happenings at the hotel. This team is led by Carolyn Bramwell (Elizabeth Maclellan), her brother Patrick (Gregory Webb), a technical expert named Lance (Jeff Weston)and the obligatory horny roadie Wanda (Charlie Spradling). Rounding out the team's scientific approach with a supernatural gift, the team has asked the psychic, Camille (Nita Talbot) to join in their investigation. The very first day she can feel the evil resonating through the hotel, and when she actually catches some of the puppets spying on her she has had it. However, while getting ready to leave she is ambushed by the puppets. Unnerved by her sudden disappearance, Carolyn calls her son, Michael, looking for information on what might have happened to her. The disappearing clairvoyant turns out to be the least of their problems when Lance and Wanda catch Tunneler sneaking into Patrick's room and boring through his head. They're able to catch the doll, and Carolyn becomes obsessed with trying to figure out it's origin. To make matters even worse, an old man wrapped up like The Invisible Man suddenly appears, claiming he owns the hotel.

One of the biggest flaws of Puppet Master was the extreme shortage of puppet action. Remedied. Blade and his gang of wooden playthings get plenty of camera time this go around, and it's a step or two ahead on a technical standpoint as well. Nothing groundbreaking, but the stop motion and animatronics work better here than the kids in costume approach the first one used. It doesn't always look "real" per se, but it gets the job done. And the new puppet, Torch, comes complete with a real working flamethrower. Hell yeah, son. But that doesn't mean they're running around like Chucky either. It's pretty much established that killer toys aren't scary, you can just pick them up and hurl them across the room. In fact, that happens a lot to these puppets. No, they aren't scary, but they are creepy. And creepy is handled very differently than scary, and that difference is noted and applied well here.

On the non-puppet side of the characters, we got an acceptable offering of acting. Nothing award winning, of course, but it's not the source of too much complaint either. For a b horror sequel, this range is spectacular. Even the plot is relatively solid. Sure it slows down at times and it has its hokey moments but again, for an 80's horror sequel it's above par. Hell, for awhile, this one was actually heading for that rare instance of a sequel outdoing its predecessor, but in the last thirty minutes or so, it hit a nosedive. When the aforementioned Invisible Man wannabe puts his great plan into action, we're talking some major slowdown. The man likes to talk. A lot. And he's very boring while doing it. And to really bring this movie down a few more notches, the huge twist at the end of the movie, what's the best way to put this, sucks. Completely dumbass way of wrapping it up. And something else that bugged me:

<SPOILER>
This is the second time that the head villain was just about to achieve victory, when all of a sudden the puppets turn on him. Believe me, I know a little originality is hard to come by in these sequels, but that was just ridiculous. They at least had a half-assed reason for it in the first movie, but here it's completely random. It's almost like they were sitting around thinking of the ending "Shit, how do we end it? Just reuse the ending in the first movie. OK."
</SPOILER>

Puppet Master II, despite a promising start, just couldn't hold itself for the full hour and twenty minutes. Still, I place it on par with the original (which I would give a high 6 or low 7). I'm about to go through the entire series, and this was definitely a hopeful start. With any luck at all, the other sequels were also able to make the momentum this one had in the beginning and carry it through the entire running time. We shall see. 7/10.
Recommended Movies
Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge Puppet Master Retro Puppet Master Curse Of The Puppet Master Puppet Master 4
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter Puppet Master: The Legacy Puppet Master: Axis Of Evil Demonic Toys Dollman vs. Demonic Toys
Puppet Master X: Axis Rising Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys Subspecies Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich Puppet Master: Axis Termination
Ginose #1: Ginose - added 09/10/2007, 10:31 PM
Loved this damn movie. Just as much if not moreso than the first. Fun as hell to watch the Toulon puppets up to their killing ways... *Sigh* Good times. 8/10
QuietMan #2: QuietMan - added 09/11/2007, 10:11 AM
alot of things got improved from the 1st one like the plot which is actually good 6/10
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 09/11/2007, 04:44 PM
Much better than the original and I loved the introductions of the new puppets and the increased plotline. Very good film. 8.5/10.
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