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Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich


Stars: Thomas Lennon, Jenny Pellicer, Nelson Franklin, Michael Paré, Barbara Crampton, Udo Kier, Charlayne Yi, Skeeta Jenkins, Matthias Hues, Anne Beyer, Alex Beh, Kennedy Summers

Director: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund

This horror film with its tongue firmly in (or even detached from) its cheek consists almost entirely of guests at a bizarre convention being eviscerated by demon puppets, all of who are armed with in some way or another with very sharp objects.

But then who would really organise a convention to celebrate grisly murders of 30 years previously, and an ageless puppet master, Toulon (Kier), who worshipped the Nazis and still serves their cause?

It seems that Toulon's ghastly puppets - actually operated by mechanical controls rather than strings, are now collectors' items - and about 60 of them have been assembled for auction at the end of the convention.

Comic-book author Edgar (Lennon), recently returned to Texas after his divorce, to the decidedly unwelcoming arms of his ex-cop father, is headed there with his latest squeeze (Pellicer) and his Jewish boss Markowitz (Franklin); the film is big on Jews, Hitler and sex - almost like the horror film Russ Meyer never made - and, despite a tone as light as the flood of gore, entrails and severed limbs will allow, these elements still carry a faintly unpleasant feel - although Markowitz's disposal of a baby Hitler puppet by throwing it in a gas oven is darkly amusing.

The acting, apart from Pellicer and veteran Paré as the beleaguered police chief - 'If they're not dead, they're suspects,' he rasps as the body count mounts - is pretty perfunctory and at times barely serviceable. All in all, it's for gorehounds only, good for a laugh if not always intentionally so.

Incidentally, this is the 13th film in the series, and there were 13 of us at the preview screening. You couldn't make it up.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Exploitation Films (Fangoria). MTO Color.
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Apr 2019