Movie Review – Puppet Master reboot falls short

By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a horrible movie.

What may have been a chance to bring the series to its previous glory is squandered away with shock value, gore, a weak plot and terrible computer-generated imagery.

Veteran actor Udo Kier plays the evil puppet master Andre Toulon. Near death and hellbent to keep Hitler’s dreams of world domination alive with the creation of the puppets of destruction, he sets a plan in motion in 1989 to help him become a super monster.

Fast forward 20 years later, the moviegoer meets Edgar, played by Thomas Lennon. He’s a recently divorced comic book store owner forced to move back home with his parents due to financial hardships. After an argument with his father about how his life is turning out, he’s determined to get out of his parents’ house. He sees an advertisement for an auction of old dolls and remembers receiving a puppet from his father as a child. He decides to take a road trip with friends to auction it off, not knowing he’s a pawn in a deadly game.

Directors Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund know how to make a low-budget movie look bigger than it’s supposed to, but they’re held back with a play-it-safe script that relies on jump scares to keep the audience engaged.

The Puppet Master movies were so much more than that. People familiar with the series know the puppet designs were top-notch, but in this reimagining of the story, the designs are generic. Head puppet Blade receives a redesign that’s more menacing than the original while new puppets like the uber-offensive Money Lender and Happy Amphibian show a lack of creativity. If this new series hopes to achieve acclaim like the first three movies, then it must find its own way and not rely on new horror trends.

But save your time and don’t watch this movie.