Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Spoiler Free
Horror/ Comedy
Rated 18
Available on DVD & Blu Ray
You do not need to have seen any other Puppet Master films, trust me

I am aware there are plenty of Puppet Master films, I’d never seen any though and the title Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich was too good to resist. Nazi Puppets? 18 certificate? Yep, I’m in. Plus it was recommended by the guy in For Your Eyes Only, Forest Hill’s top rental store (yes I am going to continue to plug them ad nauseum). He likes horror as much as I do and his tips are usually spot on.

Minor gripe before we start. Are they Nazi puppets really? I mean they looks like Nazis, they're Nazi-y (bar the one in a WW1 uniform who is perhaps very hateful and ahead of his time in terms of National Socialism?). But I can't remember if the puppets operate a prejudiced eugenics system, then pick off the Jewish and Polish characters first. I suppose it's irrelevant to the film, but I think it is a vital philosophical question which needs addressing; what makes a Nazi Puppet?
Nazi Puppet?
Because it promised an 80’s style, largely practical effects based, cheesy gore-fest, I did no research on the film until I got home and checked its IMDb. Immediately learning that Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, responsible for inflicting the awful Wither on the world. Bugger. Still, S. Craig Zahler writes and he penned Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99, both of which are brilliant. There is hope! 

The film starts slowly (after an initial kill to set the tone at the start), but gets faster once the blood starts spurting... If you really need to know the plot: Nazi puppets kill people. You’re welcome. At first I thought Zahler’s either having a bad day or deliberately dumbing down to match the tone. There are some wonderful lines, but largely it is clunky and simplistic. I then realise that’s exactly what he’s going for. Probably. Benefit of the doubt is called.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich’s cast is made up of people you’ve never heard of except for Barbara Crampton, who was in the original, and Udo Kier. Much like the script, let’s be honest here, you’re watching the film because you want to see Nazi puppets wreak bloody havoc, aren’t you. 

On to the carnage!

The gore is plentiful, gloriously cheesy, bloodythirsty, inventive and you can tell the filmmakers had a load of fun doing it. Laguna and Wiklund massively go up in my esteem for the ingenuity and thought put into how many ways Nazi puppets might be able to kill (I’m sure they’ll be over the moon to hear this given my revered standing in the online film blogger world). I had a load of fun watching the mass of murder, though sadly not some of the claret free scenes.

Bedsit it? While it is exactly what I wanted and excels in the violence area, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is also no more than I expected. I also strongly suspect that just like I did in the video store, you’ll know immediately whether a horror film about Nazi puppets is going to be for you. 6/10


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