Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Puppet Master 2 (1990)

...aka: Puppet Master 2: His Unholy Creations

Directed by:
David Allen

More psychics at the picturesque Bodega Bay Hotel bite it when Andre Toulon (played by Steve Welles and dressed from head-to-toe in bandages to look like THE INVISIBLE MAN) returns from the dead and sends his reanimated puppets after them. This time they are seeking fresh human brains to mix into some green goo elixir that helps to keep them alive and killing. The female lead (Elizabeth Maclellan) seems to be the reincarnation of someone from Toulon's past. The little killers do similar things to their victims (all five - Blade, Jester, Tunneller, etc. - return from the original), but when Leech Woman is thrown into the fireplace, she's replaced by Torch, a puppet with a flame-thrower arm. Again, the doll designs and David Allen stop motion special effects (Allen also directed this entry) are superb and this first sequel is a little gorier than the original. The cast includes Collin Bernsen (the brother of Corbin) as the leading ladies love interest, Nita Talbot as a psychic (she doesn't last very long), sexy Scream Queen Charlie Spradling (who is nice enough to provide a little T&A) and great character actor George "Buck" Flower in a cameo as an ill-fated backwoods yahoo (talk about typecasting). It pulled in plenty of money on video, so the sequels kept a coming, starting with David DeCoteau's surprisingly good PUPPET MASTER III: TOULON'S REVENGE in 1991.

There's a Full Moon "Video Magazine" at the end of the original VHS tape where you can order CDs, T-Shirts, dolls, trading cards, comic books and other mumbo jumbo. It was hosted by the director and Spradling.


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