When an independent film studio stumbles upon a cult classic, chances are that they’ll milk it for all it’s worth with a barrage of sequels. Full Moon Entertainment (now Full Moon Features) had its opus with Puppet Master, so we dive into the original, the sequels, and the cross-overs to see if the milking was deserved.
Movie:Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)
Plot: An assassin named Maclain (played by Kate Orsini) hunts for the secret behind the immortality of Andre Toulon’s puppets, and finds Eric Weiss, formerly known as young Peter Hertz from Puppet Master 3, acting as the new puppet master.
Through a series of flashbacks that overshadows any original content of the film, The two learn that being a puppet master is more of a curse than a blessing.
Killer: There are only 2 killers from the original footage: Eric and Maclain, both using guns.
Critique: You know how an original Netflix series has that season recap prologue that catches you up with what happened in previous seasons in case you may have forgotten anything important? That is what Puppet Master: The Legacy is for the Puppet Master series, just without the coherence.
The plot doesn’t really make sense, as we’re left with the question, “Who are these immortals created by Andre Toulon? Aren’t they the puppets lying about Eric’s workshop? Did they hire Maclain? How? They can’t speak, much less use a telephone to talk to Maclain as she starts off the film.” Obviously, the magic of the franchise was lost.
Another issue that arises is how Legacy tries to condense the plot of the entire series, plotholes and all. We start off with the origination story of Andre and Ilsa in Egypt, but are later told about the events of Retro Puppet Master, which don’t line up at all. Add in the issues that Curse of the Puppet Master gives to the canon of the franchise and we are left with a story even more confusing than if you watched the films yourself in succession.
Then there’s the issue of having barely 15 minutes of original footage in a 75 minute film, most of which is an old man finding tape reels and playing them to start the flashbacks.
If nothing else, Puppet Master: The Legacy was a cheap way to cobble together another Puppet Master film to see if there were any fans left after Retro Puppet Master.
Scene of Awesomeness: Nothing even close to a shadow of awesomeness.
Scene of Ridiculousness: One of flashback tapes has Andre Toulon speaking about the events of Puppet Master 4 and 5, where he was only a spirit whose head morphed in place of Decapitron’s once in a while. Not exactly a character you would expect could work a tape recorder.
Body Count: 1 on-screen, 1 off-screen, 27 flashback deaths
27 flashback deaths from previous films
1 off-screen shooting
1 very long death by gunshot (Awesomely Overkill Award only because it is the only new, on-screen death.)
No breasts. not even flashback breasts.
Actors/Actresses of Note: Both Kate Orsini and Jacob Witkin have a bit of an acting resume, but nothing truly noteworthy.
Quote: “I’m not here for the secret of what brings these puppets to life. I wanna know what makes them die. For good. Damn fool… I was sent here for the secret by the creatures Toulon left behind. The immortals. Souls trapped in wooden bodies, living every day in agony. All they want is revenge on their puppet master. And now that’s you. Congratulations on your legacy.” – Maclain