Prior to my site crashing back in 2012, I had the opportunity to review PUPPET MASTER 3 & 4 on Blu-ray, and I loved them both. I’ve been a big fan of the PUPPET MASTER series for many years, after seeing the first one way back in the early 90s. Since the release of the original, the franchise has taken many twists and turns, mostly for the better. PUPPET MASTER 4 was recently released on Blu-ray, and it, like its brothers, is still a blast after all this time. If you’ve never experienced the PM films before, now is the time to do so; the HD transfers will give you all the crazy puppet mayhem you can handle and then some!
If you are not familiar with PUPPET MASTER 4, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Full Moon Features:
Toulon’s Puppets for once, are about to do something good. As the bad puppets turn good!. The mini-menaces Blade, Tunneler, and Pinhead go toe-to-toe with their most menacing enemy yet-a team of terrifying, gremlin-like creatures known as “Totems” that are sent by the evil Egyptian demon Sutekh to recapture the magic stolen by Toulon. The demons target a young scientist, Rick who is now in possession of the Puppet Master secrets. As the creatures attempt to terminate his research and regain the “secret of life”, they leave a deadly path of destruction until the evil Totems finally find Toulon’s puppets in their way. However, Rick has a secret weapon on his side and the newest head-swapping puppet…Decapitron!
This is one of my favorite films from the series. I think in part because the puppets are in a transitional phase, reinventing themselves as ‘heroes’ as opposed to bad guys. This is intriguing for several reasons, as it changes the perspective by which the viewer judges them. Not to mention, it’s funny as well.
PUPPET MASTER 4 is shot well and looks great from a production standpoint. The same high quality stop-motion techniques are used, and the result is yet another satisfying film experience.
The acting is good with Gordon Currie and Chandra West heading up a decent cast. None of the actors give a truly breakout performance, however they still do a nice job in their roles. I did thoroughly enjoy Guy Rolfe, however, who portrays the aged Toulon. The original Toulon was played by actor William Hickey, who will forever remain Toulon to me…but Rolfe does an excellent job of filling Hickey’s shoes.
The special effects, as I mentioned above, are once again top notch and worthy of recognition. I never tire of seeing the puppets in their motions, as they always appear to actually be moving. There’s a stark difference between stop-motion and CG, and it shows sometimes onscreen. Even the best CG can appear cartoonish, however the best stop-motion can be hard to differentiate from real life. Such is the case here; you might just be blown away by what the effects team accomplishes.
PUPPET MASTER 4 is a great film, and it’s a worthy addition to the franchise. The Blu-ray looks great with a nice HD picture and some quality sound. I recommend picking this one up soon.