Puppet Cast: Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Tunneler, Leech Woman, Torch, Egyptian Goblin (cameo)
Directed by Dave Allen
Expectations: High. I enjoyed the first one enough to be thoroughly stoked for this one.
On the general scale:
On the B-Movie scale:
Puppet Master II definitely falls into the category of sequel that surpasses the original film. It is bigger and better in every way you’d want, featuring more puppets, more killings, and more puppets thrown against walls. What more can you ask of a low-budget horror movie? Full Moon does its flagship series proud and delivers a fun, over-the-top sequel sure to please fans of the original.
Puppet Master II opens with the puppets digging up the corpse of André Toulon and pouring a nasty green juice onto him. Rise from your grave! From here the film picks up loosely from the events of the first film. The surviving psychic from the first film, Alex, has been committed to a mental institution (and thus cannot appear in the sequel) and the Bodega Bay hotel has defaulted ownership to the federal government. The Bureau of Paranormal Investigations is dispatched to check the place out. It’s all harmless pranks and sexual encounters amongst the group until one night Tunneler creeps into one of their rooms and drills into a dude’s forehead. Let the carnage begin!
Stop motion wizard Dave Allen takes up the directorial reins this time around and does a great job. As you might expect, the puppets get more screentime with him in charge and they do not disappoint. The puppets are of such a high quality that it’s very easy to forget you’re watching a low-budget horror movie. Each puppet is represented on-screen by a regular puppet controlled with wires and rods & a stop-motion version for more intense motion. Pinhead also gets a puppet body/human hand combo that never fails to make me laugh. The stop-motion FX are once again the standout here, but each version of the puppet serves its purpose well. Throwing a physical puppet against a wall works much better than trying to animate it! There’s more gore than the first film, but there’s still not a whole lot. What’s here is good though, and this isn’t trying to be a gorefest, instead playing more to the fun aspects of horror so often overlooked these days.
Puppet Master II is a great follow-up to a pretty good first film and ends in a fantastic way, paving the way for future sequels. Full Moon did the unexpected with Puppet Master III though and went the prequel route! I can’t wait till next week!