Drunken Monkey Movie Series Review: Puppet Master, Puppet Master II (1990)

Okay. I’m really really buzzed right now since I was in control of making my own drinks tonight. Nothing like being unsupervised and completely ignorant of how to cocktail properly, amiright?

Three drinks later…

As usual, I’m warning you that I might divulge some spoilers as my internal editor is sleeping off a 3-day bender in Tijuana.

The aptly named Puppet Master II picks up a little while after the original film. First we see the puppets standing over Toulon’s dug up grave and pouring a strange yellow liquid all over his body. HE’S ALIVE!! And very…goopy. We also find out that the two survivors from the first film, Megan (who inherited the hotel and the life restoring magic potion) and Alex, the professor, are dead and insane, respectively. Though, fun tidbit, Megan’s brain was extracted…but why?

The now abandoned hotel is the site for a group of paranormal investigators (Carolyn, Patrick, Wanda, Lance, Camille). They take time and care here to exposit on the history about the hotel – how it was built by mystics or some such bullshit which explains the weird occurrences.

But we know better, don’t we?

We also learn, via Toulon talking to his puppets, that he needs human brains to concoct the life-giving liquid he’s been using on them and himself. Eventually he will bring them all back to their regular selves (for anyone who has seen all the movies, or most of them, will understand that little gem) but right now he needs to help Jester, who is fading, and work on life-sized puppets for himself and his late wife.

I see your point.

In a flashback, we are introduced to Toulon, his wife, Elsa, and the mysterious stranger who educated them on the ancient magic. Toulon is resistant but Elsa seems a little TOO eager to learn these secrets.

(We get a lot learning about stuff from this film, folks. Any more info dumps and this place will look like the privy stations at the Renaissance Fair.)

Somehow Carolyn is Elsa or she’s reincarnated in Carolyn. I just don’t know. Doesn’t really matter because the giant puppets Toulon’s made are CREEPY AS FUCK and I sure as hell wouldn’t want my life force, reincarnated or not, in that damn thing.

Anyway, puppets are slicing and dicing and drilling and killing their way through the investigators, as well as an obnoxious white trash couple down the road. But we discover that Toulon is kind of a dick and the puppets don’t appreciate his attitude or him trying to force Carolyn to drink the liquid. They destroy his reanimated puppet body so he can’t hurt anyone again.

HOWEVER…they do give the elixir to the dead psychic of the group and she inhabits the female puppet body so she can drive them to some junior delinquent psychiatric hospital where it will be easy to get fresh brains at any time because who the fuck would believe a bunch of crazy people who talk about sentient puppets?

Wow, beeyotch. Surprising that the puppets support this plan but I suppose the survival instinct can be pretty fucking hard core.

Jesus Christ! What the ever loving fuck?? NIGHTMARE FUEL…

I love that we get to see more of the puppets and their kills, especially the new Nazi flame thrower guy, Torch. Trust me, that little kid had it coming. I also do like the back story on Toulon and his wife and how they were introduced to alchemy, as well as some more details on what exactly goes into the magic potion. Though Toulon loved Elsa, she seemed a bit on the edge of a psychotic ass hat if you ask me. She had the crazy eye, man. More Nazi than nice.

There’s a lot of douchebaggery going on with the characters in this one. Toulon ends up being a little cray and Carolyn’s brother is a major dick. The rest of the characters are basically fodder so who gives a shit about them? Granted, there is an obligatory sex scene, nude buttocks, and some nice titties but are we really sad when those people die? I didn’t think so.

Kills are awesome, of course. Blade, Torch, and Tunneler get the most action but we still get to see Jester and Leech woman having some fun. Again most of them are manipulated by hand or string but looks like there might be a little claymation/ stop motion animation going on. They look a lot better than the graphics used for the hotel, that’s for sure.

It’s a little bit of a head scratcher to me that the puppets don’t like Toulon wanting to kill Carolyn, after they’ve killed the others for him, but they’re okay with taking crazy brains from innocent young people. Um…huh?

Aside from the inconsistencies of the puppets’ actions, a little lazy story telling (read: exposition overload), and some crap computer graphics, this is still an entertaining film. Especially since we got to see more of the puppets and that’s why we’re all here anyway, right?

   (out of 5)

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