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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Horror > Puppet Master - The Legacy

Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C-†††† Film : D

 

 

Puppet Master: The Legacy is a title that could be bestowed upon a boxed set * or possibly a new addition to the fading, direct-to-video series.  As a fan of these movies (primarily the earlier titles), I would have been pleased as punch if Iíd had the chance to cover either of the above possibilities.  Rather than being pleased, I got the equivalent of a lump of coal tucked away in a stocking a few months ahead of schedule.  This is a cheap attempt at throwing together loads of footage from the franchise (which I believe is still owned by Paramount, Full Moonís old distributor) and filming a little bit of new stuff to fill in the gaps.  Iím not quite sure why Charles Band didnít just make a new flick with the ďplotĒ he devised for this one.  Hell, he brought out the Super-8 camcorder long enough for about 15 minutes of mindless filler; why not just let it run a little bit longer and find some other way to pad out the remaining 70 minutes needed to put out a DVD.

 

The series has been riddled with numerous plot holes almost from the very start, but you donít pay much heed to them - itís B grade - accept the movie for what it is.  However, the backstory here is just mind numbing beyond belief, and the clips provided donít seem to have any real order or purpose.  Iím not sure how it came to this - the concept of maniacal killer marionettes running around is enough creative fuel for a lifetime of sequels.  Its quality did degrade pretty fast, but the first 5 were good horror films (the third is weak, though the next two managed to head back in the right direction).  Now that much of the budget has almost entirely disintegrated, weíre stuck with mash-ups like this, or possibly even worse - Bandís other killer doll concept, Blood Dolls.  These movies donít know how to be entertaining, even for diehard fans of the series.  Aside from the behind the scenes footage mentioned on the cover, there are no other extras to speak of; the exception being a poorly done reel of previews thrown together even worse than the actual film.

 

The picture and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound arenít that great - especially in the new sequences, which are noticeably poorer than the recycled stuff.  The seemingly bad picture quality here may not have to do with the type of film used, but rather an almost subliminal drop in quality.The writing and acting in this case does somehow manage to bring down these scenes on all levels, or maybe it's just the lighting and sets - who knows.  The image is presented in full screen, as is be expected of a disc of this sort; and the sound is average stereo or mono - the packaging doesnít make this distinction.  In either case, itís not that great, but for anyone interested in buying this disc, I donít think youíll be losing much sleep from a less than spectacular sound mix.

 

For those disappointed with this terrible ending to a good horror franchise, I did find out some very good news for fans of the series - thereís actually another sequel in the works.  To make things even better - it doesnít look like itís going to suck.  Finally, to top off the goodness factor, you donít need to buy it to watch.Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys is set to debut on the Sci-Fi channel on December 18th, 2004.  Iím sure that this title will soon enough be gracing the DVD format, but just in case that doesn't happen for a while, you might want to set your VCR to archive this historical event (I'm using sarcasm, but I'm still going to recommend recording it).  This title was originally intended to be made in the mid-90s; however, the script being used is entirely new - which could be a bad thing.  In any case, they couldnít possibly screw it up as badly as they managed to with this.  I stress to all consumers - donít spend a dime on this release, especially if youíve already got the previous titles.You'll be better off waiting until December, or catching any subsequent rebroadcast or DVD thereof.

 

 

*†† While doing research for this, I discovered that a boxed set was already released illegally on DVD, then pulled off the market by Paramount.

 

 

-†† David Milchick


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