(director: Jeff Burr; screenwriters: Douglas Aarniokoski/Steven E. Carr/Jo Duffy/Todd Henschell/Keith Payson; cinematographer: Adolfo Bartoli; editor: Mark S. Manos/Margeret-Anne Smith; music: Richard Band; cast: Gordon Currie (Rick Myers), Chandra West (Susie), Jason Adams (Cameron), Teresa Hill (Lauren), Guy Rolfe (Andre Toulon), Felton Perry (Dr. Carl Baker), Stacie Randall (Dr. Leslie Piper); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Charles Band; Paramount Home Entertainment; 1993)

“Stupid fun.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Stupid fun. Jeff Burr (“Puppet Master 5″/”From a Whisper to a Scream”/”Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3”) was directing “Puppet Master 5” at the same time he was filming “Puppet Master 4.” Burr’s creative filmmaking breathes some needed life into the moribund franchise, but not enough to keep me fully interested.

Sutek, the chief demon in the underworld, is pissed that his secret of reanimating life which he gave to the ancient Egyptian magicians to use as an evil force has been usurped by deceased puppet master Andre Toulon (Guy Rolfe) in modern times to bring the magic back as a force of good. The bad dude therefore sends his children demons, demonic toys, to protect the secrets of the underworld and kill those searching for the secrets.

Self-absorbed whiz kid robot inventor Rick Myers (Gordon Currie) is living at the deserted Bodega Bay Inn and working for a top-secret program called Omega on artificial intelligence, under his bosses Dr. Baker and Dr. Piper. While Rick’s playing with his robots and getting close to sniffing out the ancients’ secret, his bosses are attacked and killed by the demonic toys mysteriously showing up in their labs.

Rick is unaware of this tragedy, and plays host to his gritty girlfriend Susie (Chandra West) and her grad school psychic research grant endowed friend Lauren (Teresa Hill) and her obnoxious pompous scientist date Cameron (Jason Adams). Due to the psychic powers of Lauren in channeling, Rick discovers a locked trunk that belonged to Toulon in the musty storage room that has a number of puppets of the puppet master. After being injected with gas, the puppets become animated and act as Rick’s protector against the evil demonic toys that attack him and his guests.

It’s all goofy, cornball and playful stuff that has the puppets either come to life to kill people or protect them. The only purpose of the film that I could detect, is to provide enough maiming for entertainment. If you can live with that then you can live with the film.

Puppet Master 4 Poster

REVIEWED ON 3/6/2009 GRADE: C+    https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/