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Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich 4K UHD Review

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“Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich” should please fans of the franchise.

In this franchise reboot, the story revolves around a divorced comic shop worker/comic book artist and writer named Edgar. While he stays with his parents during a transitional period, things appear to be looking up for him as he dates a new woman (Ashley) and finds a rare puppet that his brother once owned. Edgar decides to try and sell the puppet at a Toulon Murders 30th anniversary convention at a hotel. Tagging along with him on this journey is Ashley and his co-worker Mankowitz. Unfortunately, this trip turns into a living hell once his puppet (along with many others in the hotel) come to life and begin murdering everyone in sight.

Going into “Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich,” I was seeing a fair amount of press for this movie. Not only were the death scenes supposedly next level, but the movie also contains a surprisingly stacked cast comprised of Thomas Lennon, Udo Kier, Barbara Crampton, Charlene Yi, and Michael Pare. After seeing the latest entry in this long-running horror franchise, however, I’m left wondering what all the fuss is about.

Going back to the death scenes, I will admit that the movie does go all out in that department. There’s plenty of blood and guts and some truly messed up death scenes (see the toilet and the pregnant woman sequences). If this is what you want out of a horror movie, you’re going to love it. For myself, I was hoping for something more. Granted, this is a slasher movie with puppets at the end of the day, but the movie feels like pretty standard slasher film stuff. There’s sex appeal, dopey humor, awkward editing, very little characterization, death galore, and a paper thin plot to boot (the movie is in a hurry to showcase the death scenes). A lot of the characters also don’t seem remotely surprised by the atrocities they are seeing which is odd to say the least.

The film is at its best when it does focus on the three main characters of Edgar, Ashley and Mankowitz. Every other character in the film is essentially just fodder for the puppets. These 3, on the other hand, feel like legitimate characters thanks to a trio of fine performances. Thomas Lennon really plays it straight here as Edgar and he makes everything seem as believable as it possibly can. Nelson Franklin (Mankowitz) steals the show here and has the best comedic moments. Jenny Pellicer (Ashley) also makes an impression here and has good chemistry with Lennon.

Production wise, it’s clear most of the money was spent on the cast and especially the visual and practical effects as the film’s cinematography, lighting, and sets are very cheap looking (expect to see lots of cheap hotel rooms). That shouldn’t come as a surprise though given that the puppets and their gruesome murders are the clear selling point for this movie.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? It’s rather weird to see a low budget movie in 4K. It feels like overkill here especially considering how cheap looking the movie is from visual standpoint. Still, it’s certainly the best transfer of the movie you will see.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This track was rather frustrating as the dialogue is almost always too low here.

Extras: * Photo gallery *Blu-ray copy * RLJE trailers * “Lightning Girl Comic: From Sketch To Final”- The title says it all. * “Puppets: From Concept To Creation”- A look at the evolution of the puppet designs from sketches to final versions. * “The Cast Of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich”- Interviews with cast members talking about their characters. * “Behind The Scenes Of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich” contains set footage, interviews, discussions about this new installment, a look at the SFX workshop and more.

 

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September 18, 2018 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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