Puppet Master 4 title

Tag line : When bad puppets turn good!

Puppet Master 4A group of scientists working on an artificial intelligence project die under mysterious circumstances, after they're each sent a mysterious miniature statue, resembling a strange demonic creature (kind of like a skeletal "Gremlin"). Turns out these are not just statues but actual demons, who will stop at nothing to prevent humans from discovering the secret of artificial life.

One of the younger members of the team, Rick (Gordon Currie), is fortunate to be not at work that day, as he divides his time between working with the scientists, and his other job, being the live-in caretaker at the Bodega Bay Inn (the hotel from the first 2 films).

The hotel is closed for the quiet season, and Rick is expecting some company for the weekend. But unfortunately for him and his friends, he too receives one of these Demon statues through the post, and pretty soon him they find themselves fighting for their lives against these miniature monsters.

The good news however, is that the killer puppets from the previous movies are still inhabiting the building and have taken a liking to Rick. So when the demon creatures attack, they quickly spring into action and start taking them out. Much to the annoyance of the chief demon, Sutekh. Also helping them is their former master Andre Toulon (Guy Rolfe reprising his role), albeit in spirit form, who has a very special puppet that will allow them to finish off the rest of the demons, if only they can get it completed.

Arguably one of better films in the series, this one seems less darker than its predecessors, as the puppets in this have gone from terrorising the cast to defending them. Though as I pointed out in my other reviews, it could be argued that they only did bad things when instructed to. Also, as with the other films, there is a bit of a discontinuity between this and its predecessors.

In part 2 (remember part 3 was a prequel), the puppets had gone off at the end, yet here they're back at the hotel and no mention of what happened to the life size puppet that was leading them. Also, whilst Blade, Pinhead and Jester are back, there's no sign of Torch, plus I was kind of surprised to see Six Shooter in this (the six armed cowboy puppet) as he only appeared in the prequel film, so am not sure where he was in the first 2 films which were set afterwards.

But anyway, lets not quibble over these minor details. As with it's predecessors, this is a very fun film and I found it to be sufficiently entertaining. If you liked the other movies, you'll like this.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The film was originally titled "Puppet Master 4 : The Demon", but the sub-title was dropped prior to release.

  • Director Jeff Burr also directed "Leatherface : Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3" and "Stepfather 2". He also directed "Puppet Master 5".

  • Jake McKinnon who played the demon Sutek, is probably better known for his special effects work, having worked on "Return of the Living Dead 3" the "Ginger Snaps" sequels, "From Dusk till Dawn", "Land of the Dead", "Predators" and "Cowboys and Aliens", either as part of the effects crew, or playing a monster.

  • Filmed back to back with Part 5, they were originally intended to be one feature and released theatrically. However, this idea was shelved, the story stretched to 2 features and both released direct-to-video.

  • Chandra West, who played Susie, went on to star in "Universal Soldier 2 & 3". She also played Anna in the 2005 horror "White Noise".

  • The Decapitron puppet idea was taken from an unfilmed movie entitled "Decapitron", which was to have been a big budget picture by Charles Band's previous studios Empire pictures. However, the studio went bankrupt before the project got off the ground.

  • The film spawned a spin off movie entitled "Totem" about the small demonic creatures, which was directed by David DeCoteau and released in 1999.

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