Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)

Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)

Now the legacy can be told

The killer puppets are now in the hands of Peter Hertz who, as a young boy, toured the world with Andre Toulon. However someone breaks into his house and holds him hostage so that he will give them the secret formula used to bring the puppets to life. He then explains the story of how the puppets came to be in his possession.

 

In an attempt to bring about some closure for one of the series of films that made Full Moon a low budget powerhouse in the early 90s, this eighth sequel supposedly signalled the end of the puppets (although they’ve since been featured in another two films since!). Full Moon had a good thing on their hands with the Puppet Master series back in the early days. The first three films are entertaining low budget horrors with varying degrees of violence, blood and boobs. Once budgets started getting slashed and creativity began to dwindle, the series took a dramatic nosedive and the last couple of sequels were atrocious. So you’d have thought that the puppets would get a decent send-off as a thank you for their contribution. Fat chance!

About three quarters of Puppet Master: The Legacy is stock footage from the previous seven films. It plays like a Best of Puppet Master with the best kills from the other films shown. It does actually set about re-arranging the films so that the sequence of events that turn Andre Toulon from a mild-mannered young man into the desperate man struggling to find eternal life are all in chronological order. Seeing the films in this manner is extremely welcome and does shed a bit of new light on the poor sequels such as Retro Puppet Master once you realise where they fit into the canon. The Puppet Master timeline has never been particularly cohesive and there are countless plot holes and contrivances that this attempts to put right. But the editing job is rather poor and if you haven’t seen the other films, you’ll wonder just what the hell is going on. On the flip side, if you’ve already seen the rest of the series, then this is going to be a pointless watch. There’s little in the way of new footage and it just consists of the two new actors talking to each other. The puppets don’t do anything at all. They’re just ‘sat’ on the table or hung up from hooks in the background. There’s little to no movement from any of them and certainly nothing to indicate that they used to be malicious killing machines.

Full Moon sold the rights to the series after this one and don’t consider the Puppet Master Vs Demonic Toys film part of the timeline. That’s despite the fact that it had infinitely more puppet action in it than this (by infinitely I mean the puppets actually move around a little bit, they don’t get to do that much more). The really sad thing about Puppet Master: The Legacy is that through the flashbacks and old clips, you realise just how entertaining the earlier films were: people getting torched, having drills rammed into their head, getting their heads smashed, throats cut and forced to swallow leeches. The puppets got a lot to do, they all had their own individual characters and the special effects were great for the low budgets they had. Fast forward to the later films and it’s annoying to see how limited the roles of the puppets became in the sequels. They just stand around glaring at each other, doing little in the way of destruction and basically making cameo appearances.

 

Puppet Master: The Legacy is a nostalgic view at the low budget series which somehow managed to spawn just about as many films as Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers did in their big budget careers. If you’ve already got the others on video or DVD, just slap them in and watch the films in their entirety. Don’t bother with this ‘best of’ reel.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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