Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003) is made up primarily of "flashbacks" permitting footage from previous films to be recycled. It truly marks the unutterable deterioration of the series.
To call this the eighth puppetmaster film is a stretch; it was just a big rip-off to get another film into the marketplace without actually making another film, interesting primarily for conveying the desparation Full Moon Productions in the new millenium, their glory days behind them, their remaining days in fact numbered & few.
Full Moon made a lot of films over its existence, none better than the best of the Puppet Master series, but the best that can be said of this poor excuse for a new tale is it's a nice bit of nostalgia for anyone who doesn't want to see the actual films a second time, & might like a random choice of best scenes without the full context.
Eric Weiss (Jason Witkin) was formerly known as Peter Hertz. He had an association with the late Andre Toulan going back to the second world war. He was the boy Toulan saved in Puppet Master III: Toulan's Revenge (1993). He has only positive remembrances of the man.
He is assaulted by a female assassin (Kate Orsini) whose knowledge of Toulan suggests that he was a madman who enslaved human souls with the dolls to do his demented bidding. In search of Toulan's lost secrets, this woman threatens murder if Eric fails to tell all he knows.
Eric begins a history of the adventures of Toulan's living puppets, & the excuse is in place for the clips. The new material that sews these clips into a whole doesn't amount to a full half hour.
As bad as films from Full Moon productions often were, to see their Puppet Master characters used by a different production outfit altogether really makes one appreciate Full Moon.
In Full Moon's favor, they did give us us Dollman (1991), an occasional film of unexpected quality like Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994), & a full array of films about Andre Toulan's living puppets. But once someone handed their best creation, the Puppets, to another company for the sake of a cable film, what we get is, hock, ptui, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004).
It's a miserable little embarrassment, almost bewildering in its awfulness. Even the puppets suck, because they're not the originals. They're close approximations, but not close enough, so after a couple scenes they get slightly burnt in a laboratory fire, as an excuse to change them a good deal more.
The changes are not for the better. Six-Shooter gets laser blasters (losing his chief appeal as a cowboy); Pinhead gets extremely stupid metal hands (losing his chief appeal, big meaty fists).
Only four puppets are used -- Jester & of course Blade are the other two, & Blade's the only one not too agregiously altered. To see him once more I guess is worth suffering through this terrible film.
That a greater array of puppets & toys are not seen is just as well, as we won't have to be stuck with memories of how crummy they can be made to seem.
It aspires to be the ninth Puppet Master film following The Legacy, & third Demonic Toys film following Doll Man vs. Demonic Toys (1993). It's obviously intended as comedy, but someone mistook stupid for humorous & there are not the least little giggles to be gained from any of it.
The iffy timeline for the Puppet Master films is not consecutive, & if the puppets hadn't been so horribly altered this one would probably follow Puppet Master 4 (1993). Really it just doesn't fit at all, & some fans refuse even to count it as part of the series, preferring to forget it exists.
Christmas is on its way & a crazy bitch with satanic contacts runs the toy factory with help from the Demonic Toys. The toys are Grizzly Teddy the evil teddy bear, Jack Attack the evil jack-in-the-box, & Baby Oopsie Daisie the disgusting baby doll, with drop-in privileges for the demon Bael (Anton Falk). Jack has an almost-scary scene or two; the other two toys are merely tiresome.
The toy syndicate is mass-producing a heavily advertised line of dolls that will be under every family's tree on Christmas morning. Thanks to a deal with Bael, all these dolls will spring to evil life while being unwrapped, killing children.
Meanwhile Robert Toulon, the grand-nephew of the late Andre Toulan, operates a doll hospital which is actually a laboratory in which he is trying to duplicate his grand-uncle's formula for bringing the Toulan puppets once more to life.
Robert & his daughter Alexandra (Danielle Keaton) do not realize their lab is bugged by a toy ladybug & that the toy factory owner Erica Sharpe (Vanessa Angel) is witness to the very moment the formula is sythesized.
Erica wants that formula, which requires Toulan blood to function. Robert has been promised to Bael for eternal torture, but Erica gets Alex to put in her human juicer to squeeze out all her virgin blood.
It's up to the heroic Puppets to save Christmas from the grinchy Erica & her evil toys, Robert from the devil, & Alex from the juicer.
Absolutely the lamest doll animation ever done for either series ruins even the camp value, & the climactic battles couldn't look less interesting if they were all just filmed being shaken up in a box together.
Corey Feldman as Robert speaks throughout in a gutteral voice that wouldn't even work in a cartoon let alone live-action. The only thing praiseworthy about his "acting" is he makes the other dreadful actors look competent by comparison.
Along the way to saving Christmas, there's a ridiculous romance brewing with a policewoman Jessica (Silvia Suvadova), with a happy ever after inevitable. Even the Puppets are invited over to Jessica's house for Christmas dinner.
Completists like myself have had no choice but to watch this damned film. Pity us all.
One might suppose a "clips episode" Puppet Master: The Legacy would've been the lowest point for faking a new entry into the series, perhaps even the bullet to the brain that would put an end to the puppets' career forevermore, & the awful "crossover" with the Demonic Toys just seemed to cinch the sorry deal. And yet worse was still to come.
When Puppets & Dolls Attack! (2004) is a feature-length collection of clips from previous films about killer dolls & killer puppets. We get fragments primarily of Demonic Toys (1992) & the Puppet Master series, with bits of Dollman vs Demonic Toys (1993), Totem (1999), Blood Dolls (1999) & blaxploitation Ragdoll (1999).
There's nothing new added to these clips, not even a narration, so if you see a fragment of something that looks like it might be worth getting the movie, there's a good chance you won't be able to figure out which film it is.
The only valild excuse for such a clips collection would be to provide a documentary narration about Full Moon's history in making doll & puppet horror movies. But there's nothing. It was cleary a package put together to trick video renters into grabbing a box that shows killer pupțpets & which seems at first glance to be an actual movie.
The dvd does also include an hour & a half of extras with plenty of behind the scenes material. The radical devotee of Full Moon's doll & puppet films will find some slight appeal. But mostly this disc is one of ill-will with intent to defraud.
Start over from:
Puppet Master 1
or continue to the next evil doll:
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl