The evil killer doll sub-genre is always a good one for creeping out the kiddies and it is surprising how often you find adults even more creeped out by dolls than children. Dolls always have kind of creepy quality in the first place
This is a bizarre film from Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon and though it is quite cheesy but still violent manages to be violent and disturbing, like a violent modern fairy tale.
What can you say about film that two people get torn apart by a giant teddy bear? What is even more disturbing is that this is actually a little girl called Judy’s (Carrie Lorraine) fantasy. She is on a vacation with her father David Bower (Ian Patrick Williams) and his wife Rosemary (Carolyn Purdy-Gordon who is Stuart Gordon’s wife and meets a gory end as usual in his films). When their car gets stuck in the mud during a sudden storm they go looking for help and find themselves in a strange spooky old house with a sweet old man Gabriel Hartwicke (Guy Rolfe) and his lovely wife Hilary (Hilary Mason). The house is full of dolls and toys because the old man is a toymaker. Judy is delighted when Gabriel gives her a punch doll to make up for the teddy bear she was forced to leave behind in the car
Another three stranded travellers show up, Ralph (Stephen Lee) and two unpleasant English punk girls called Enid (Cassie Stuart) and Isabel (Bunty Bailey) that were hitch-hiking. The old couple show everyone to their rooms and are nice and patient no matter how unpleasant some of their guests are. As the night goes on Ralph and Judy discover that the toys are alive but they are okay because the like toys the toys like them. The others suffer a much more grisly fate at the hands of the dolls and the mysterious toymaker.
This is the latest story in the series about the serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) known as Chucky who was trapped in the children’s doll by voodoo way back in the first film. It plays with the idea of being a reboot but as the film goes on it is clear that it is a true sequel
Nica (Fiona Dourif) is a young paraplegic who lives with her mother Sarah but Sarah dies not long after someone mysteriously send them a Good Guy doll, a creepy red-haired doll with a set of programmed catchphrases.
Nica’s sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) comes with her family to help Nica make arrangements for the funeral with Father Frank (A Martinez) the local priest. Nica gives the doll to her niece Alice (Summer H. Howell) who loves him right away. The doll is Chucky but he seems a lot less messed up than the last time we saw him and there is room for a bit of doubt.
This vanishes when we see Chucky put rat poison into a plate of chilli just before the meals are served and we have no idea who has the poison plate. It is obvious who it had to be for the sake of the structure of the story but the film pulls a couple of false scares before the surprisingly brutal death for a poisoning.
I liked that this film took a look into Chucky’s history so we get to see him as a real nasty living person. Chucky is not a physically strong character which is why his kills involve some element of ambush but there was a nice bit of tension created when the main protagonist is paraplegic making the showdown a battle of wits.
The ending was a nice little call out to fans of the earlier films though anyone not familiar with them will just be puzzled. The story starts slow but at the halfway point it picks up pace. One of the best things about these films is the effects which bring Chucky to life which are just great and I have no trouble believing that doll is an evil little bastard.
This film from Full Moon director Charles Band has a strange story that almost feels like a sequel. Although the puppets do play an important part in the film they are not the main villain but then the film is called Puppetmaster, not Puppets.
We see André Toulon (William Hickey) in his room at the Bodega Bay Inn in California putting the finishing touches to his jester puppet before infusing him with magical life. Two Nazi agents arrive at the inn looking for Toulon but Toulon hides his puppets away in the wall then blasts his brains out to stop his secrets falling into the hands of the Nazis. This intriguing start hints a back story that would take two sequels to reveal.
Cut to the present day (sometime in the 80s) and a bunch of psychics in different parts of the country get a strong psychic message from Neil Gallagher (Jimmie F. Skaggs) another psychic they all used to work with. They know he was searching for Toulon’s secrets and go to see him at the Bodega Bay Inn.
There they discover that he married the owner of the Inn Megan (Robin Frates) and that he is also now dead and they are not sure which revelation is more surprising to them.
Despite them all being psychic they seem shockingly unprepared when the puppets start killing them off and we see the puppets in action: Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Leech Woman and Drill Sergeant.
The showdown is between Gallagher and Alex Whittaker (Paul Le Mat) but when Gallagher disrespects the puppets they turn on him and finish him off.