Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

söndag 16 september 2018

PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH (2018)

Directed by: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund
Written by: S. Craig Zahler, Charles Band, Kenneth J. Hall
Stars:  Charlyne Yi, Thomas Lennon, Michael Paré... read more

Country: UK | USA
Style: Action | Horror
Runtime: 1h 30min
DATE: 2018-09-16 | WRITER: RICHARD TAYLOR SCREENSHOTS:

The original Puppet Master films are definitely a guilty pleasure from my youth in the nineties. A time before the internet where you would walk into your video store and check out the new VHS tapes adorning the shelves. Myself and a friend were bored one summer staying with my aunt and we would rent as many Full Moon titles as possible. Full Moon would pack their titles with enough self promotion and trailers of other titles they had available as a guide for you to seek out new ones. I remember Trancers, Demonic Toys, Crash And Burn, Subspecies, Shadowzone, remake of The Pit And The Pendulum, Dollman and of course Puppet Master.

The early Puppet Master films were filled with cheese but at that time and at my age to me the effects were impressive. I loved watching the sinister puppets dispatch victims and display their personalities. I followed the series up until the 3rd or 4th sequel. I remember the original characters well such as Blade, Pin Head, Tunneler, Leech Woman, Jester and later Torch and Six Shooter. I have never revisited the films until I heard of this new installment The Littlest Reich.

The film has been receiving some positive feedback. I wasn't sure what to expect going in but maybe my expectations were a little too high. For people who take it for what it is, I guess they enjoyed it for the abundance of well done practical gore effects, crude humor and some mean spirited laughs. Accompanied by legendary Fabio Frizzi's score and some key genre actors such as Michael Pare, Barbara Crampton and Udo Kier one would think the formula for success would be imminent.

The biggest letdown for me were the puppets or the lack thereof. They had no personality like the earlier films and were just merciless killers endlessly carving through victims. I also didn't recognize some of the puppets because I stopped watching the series early and even some of the originals were not even present. The Littlest Reich felt like a bad TV movie to me and even the heaps of gore couldn't save it.

I have to commend the effects department on this one, they outdid themselves to the fullest of expectations. flesh is severed and skewered in many multi-faceted ways plus there are a couple of highly memorable scenes of gruesomeness that take things one step further. One of my favorite sequences has a man standing up urinating while he is decapitated, his head falls into the toilet as the headless torso is still whizzing on his own lopped off head in the toilet bowl.

Lots of great actors in this one like I mentioned before but the amazing Barbara Crampton plays a rather lackluster role as a police officer/tour guide and is wasted. Michael Pare is a detective in an annoying role which has one hoping the puppets would do him in sooner. Udo Kier has a cool role in the intro as the one and only Andre Toulon, the creator of the puppets but his appearance is short lived. The main cast members can't carry the film well enough and try too hard to be witty and satirical that it comes off rather forced in execution. Thomas Lennon from Reno 911 fame comes off rather stiff in this as Edgar, an aspiring comic book store employee attending a rare puppet auction in an attempt to make some quick cash.

The Littlest Reich tells the tale of a bunch of folks including Edgar who take their puppets to an auction at a mansion to sell. Once there the puppets are awakened and go on a killing spree throughout the place. The cops show up led by Detective Brown (Michael Pare) and decide to foolishly quarantine everyone in the place so the puppets can finish the job it seems. If your looking for a gore film with humor and some crude laughs that sometimes work then you'll dig The Littlest Reich. I'm guessing my expectations were too high. Even Frizzi's score sounded too familiar to what he did on Lucio Fulci's The Beyond.

To top it all off it seems Fangoria were heavily involved in this as a possible production company so I had some hope for it but like the demise of the original magazine this is not the case. They also completely flipped the story line and made Toulon an evil nazi while in the original he was against the Nazi's, producers claim this film takes place in a parallel universe!? A lot of folks are digging The Littlest Reich but I couldn't get into it. I enjoy a great low budget splatter epic like the next gore hound but when it tries as hard as this to be witty and edgy I just can't jump on board so I cannot recommend it. Excuse me while I revisit Puppet Master 1-3.


My rating: 2 out of 5












MORE DETAILS:

Produced by:  Charles Band, Derek D. Brown... read more
Cinematography by: Dillon White, Joey Falsetta
Editing by: Alex Campos
Special Effects by: Wayne Anderson, Rayce Bird... read more
Music by: Richard Band, Fabio Frizzi
Language: English
Color: Color

Distributor: Zero Trans Fat Productions


RICHARD TAYLOR:

Owner of and writer for Twisted Minds. Combined his love for underground films, music and comics with writing in the 90's. Started tape trading the good stuff around that time when originals of Italian classics by Fulci, Argento, Deodato, Castellari and Margheriti were hard to find. Then came German gore by Ittenbach and Schnaas, Mondo movies and Japanese gore such as Guinea Pig and Men Behind The Sun. Written for Violent Maniacs Cage, Mortados Pages Of Filth, ZFE Films With Attitude, Severed Cinema, Goregasmic Cinema, Pophorror & Extreme Horror Cinema.
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