Title: Puppet Master: Axis of Evil
Directed by: David DeCoteau
Starring: Levi Fiehler, Jenna Gallaher and Taylor M. Graham
Running Time: 83 minutes, Not Rated – Available on Blu-Ray
It’s the beginning of World War II and mildly disabled Danny Coogan wants to do more with his life and serve his country besides working in a hotel. Danny discovers a chest hidden in the wall of murdered guest, Mr. Toulon’s hotel room, and takes it home where he and his enlistee brother find a cache of puppets in the chest. When Danny’s family is attacked and his girlfriend Beth kidnapped, he discovers Nazi’s were behind it all and are plotting to attack an American factory. It’s up to Danny and his puppet friends to stop them, and rescue his girlfriend.
When I was younger, I wasn’t really a fan of the Puppet Master movies; mainly because puppets just freak me out. Pinocchio was cool because he was animated, but I guess ever since I saw a rerun of the Twilight Zone’s Talking Tina episode when I was 8, I developed a case of “pupaphobia.”
In the extras section of the DVD, there is a documentary on the special effects animation of the puppets, which really makes me want to brave my phobia and go back and watch the other films. The stop motion animation of yore seems so prehistoric compared to now, but so admirable that they worked to hard to make it seem real. I felt a bit gypped when watching Puppet Master: Axis of Evil because there was none of the stop motion animation used in the entire movie. The puppets were basically filmed from the waist down and could’ve had hands up their keisters for all we know. I want Full Moon to make a new film, not because they leave it open for more, but they need to go back to what made the series what it is.
The production designer should be reprimanded for getting the American flag wrong. The flags in all the scenes had 50 stars when in 1939 only 48 states existed. Danny mentions kamikaze pilots to the villain, “Dragon Lady” Ozu, and the kamikaze units didn’t exist until 1944. It’s little details that most people would overlook, but just be a little more careful next time.
I was entertained, but the story felt a bit rushed; 83 minutes is too short for any movie. There was so much more they could do with the movie if they just paid more attention to detail and focused more on the puppets. The movie is called Puppet Master, where were all the puppets? Not that much blood either; it was pretty tame compared to the other in the series.
After watching this movie there’s no way in hell I will ever leave my sushi unattended, because a puppet could’ve barfed a leach onto my spicy tuna and kill me from the inside.
Story – 2 out of 5
Acting – 3 out of 5
Special Effects – 3 out of 5
Overall Rating – 3 out of 5
Reviewed by JM Willis