Puppet Master (Movie)  » Movies  »
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  • I also enjoyed the performance of Robin Frates as Megan, she brought an innocence to the role which makes the very end of the movie more disturbing

    • by Ivylaz

      all reviews
      Puppet Master is a classic 1980s horror movie released in 1989, starring Paul Le Mat and William Hickey. It tells the story of a group of four acquaintances meeting at a remote hotel following the death of the enigmatic Neil Gallagher, the man who originally brought the group together. All have various psychic abilities that Gallagher utilised to uncover the ancient Egyptian magic for bringing inanimate objects to life.

      Upon arrival the group (consisting of white witch Dana, dream psychic Alex and lovers Frank and Carissa) discover that Gallagher had a young wife - Megan, who inherited the hotel when her parents died. The only other person present is Theresa the maid who is very protective of Megan and suspicious of the new


      These events follow the opening scenes of the film which saw an old man alone in his room at the same hotel, bringing a series of puppets to life. Two assassins arrive at the hotel, clearly after this old man, who hides the puppets away before shooting himself, just before the assassins arrive. Jumping forward to the “present” we learn that Gallagher shot himself, so I initially thought he was the same old man, but upon seeing the body he is much younger so I was very confused.

      Eventually I worked out that Gallagher was not the old man but was interested in the puppet master’s work as he successfully utilised the ancient Egyptian magic Gallagher was researching to bring his puppets to life, loving ...

      • them like children, but this took place some 50 years previously. Gallagher learned the secrets and discovered the puppets who now carry out his wishes, gradually picking off the guests at the hotel.

        There are some humorous horror moments as the psychics are killed by the puppets who have features including a drill head, giant hands and a lethal blade. I generally find puppets and dolls scary, but was not frightened by this element of the movie, particularly as it later transpires that the puppets simply follow the guidance of a master so are not inherently evil.

        For me the most unsettling element of this movie was the setting of the hotel, which was in many ways reminiscent of The Shining, being remote and old fashioned,

        with endless doors and corridors. I also enjoyed the performance of Robin Frates as Megan, she brought an innocence to the role which makes the very end of the movie more disturbing. Gallagher himself looks something like a human puppet but was more annoying than scary as the true villain of the piece and for this reason I relished his gruesome demise.

        The special effects in the movie, primarily relating to the puppets, were surprisingly good for the time, as was the overall quality of the look of the piece. These added greatly to my enjoyment of what was ultimately an enjoyable horror movie with nice elements of humour and some strong performances. I look forward to watching the other movies in the Puppet Master series.

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