Drunken Monkey(TM) Movie Review Series: Puppet Master VI-Curse of the Puppet Master (1998)

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I was out earlier celebrating a friend’s birthday and two martinis later, I’m so ready for another Drunken Monkey (TM) movie review it’s not even funny.

I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but let’s just roll with it. REMINDER: Spoilers are possible as I’m drunk and my editor is off playing house with the hot new divorcee down the street. The last time he did that, I didn’t see him for three days.

We open the latest installment of the PM series with a dark and stormy night (how original). A man is boxing up what we assume to be a ‘bring a puppet to life’ mistake so he can go burn it and bury it out in the woods. Blade and Pinhead are observing, from inside a cage, looking all judgmental. Well, at least as judgy as they can with their carved features.

We’ve just met Dr. McGrew. He somehow got a hold of the puppet filled steamer trunk that was left in the Bodega Inn after it was abandoned. Now he’s trying to discover the secret that Toulon used to bring the puppets to life. HINT: it’s not the same method and he’s failing spectacularly. Or succeeding terribly, depending on how you look at it.

Now son, when I boy reaches a certain age, his body begins to change…

With his old assistant missing, Doc needs a new one. He chooses a local boy named Robert (nicknamed Tank since he’s all big and strong) because his carving skills are outstanding! And bonus for doc’s daughter, Jane, that Tank is a hunka hunka hottie McCutiepie. Doc doesn’t care for that and tries to warn her off falling too hard for the boy because you just never know when things will end or change.

Hmmm…whatchoo trying to say, Doc? Are you perchance referencing something regarding the disappearing act your former assistant pulled?

No? Well, okay then. Carry on…

Jane and the Doc introduce the Toulon puppets to their new house guest and he’s surprisingly chill about the whole idea. Maybe Jane distracts him enough to keep any worries at bay. Next thing we know, Tank is working round the clock for McGrew and is suffering for it. He quickly becomes wan and weak, sickly even, exactly how the doc wants him.

What a douche.

That failure puppet? Yeah, that was the old assistant after the doc transferred his soul into it. And now this new deep-sea diving looking puppet is for Tank. FINALLY the Toulon group has had enough of the doc’s shenanigans and puts an end to all this madness! Well, a little late if you ask me but better late than never, I suppose.

If you want my body and you think I’m sexy, come on sugar slit my throooaaaat…

I have actually seen this movie, too. I didn’t remember much except Tank and the townie douche who teases him and attacks Jane. And now that I’ve watched it again, this is the first real stinker of the series. Very little character development, bad acting and scene chewing, tons of soapbox lecturing and philosophizing. But the worst of all? Very little puppet action. And what little does exist shows us they’re not being the good guys we all know and love – at least for a lot of the film. When Toulon went all Darkside in #3, the puppets stopped him. With McGrew? They did his bidding! Well, at least until they realized they couldn’t let him continue.

In fact, I think this is the first time we see Jester actually slice and dice someone! In his human life he was a jokester but never hurt anyone and that transferred to his puppet life, too. So seeing him acting like a raging animal broke my heart a little (he’s my favorite, if you couldn’t figure that out on your own).

Sure the kills were nice and bloody but the inconsistencies this flick delivered made my dick itch. Overall this is pretty boring and rather irritating. I didn’t give a shit about anyone except the puppets, even the poor monstrosity that got burned in the woods (read: DIDN’T DIE, Y’ALL!). They’re the only reason this poopfest gets any margaritas at all.

2 out of 5 (but not full pours of tequila for either glass)