If this series stays this consistently second-rate, I’m going to quickly run out of things to say about it. So the puppets have managed to resurrect their creator, Andre Toulon (Steve Welles). When a group of paranormal investigators start researching his former hotel residence, you know that there is going to be death by puppets. I’m only two movies in, and I think I’ve begun to regret my decision to experience this series in his entirety, but I’ve got moxie, so I will muscle through. I actually got my hopes up at the beginning, as the actors playing the paranormal investigators featured here can deliver their lines better than the full cast of the first one, but then it was slowly revealed who the hero to this story is: Collin Bernsen, who is probably the worst actor to be found in either of the first two movies. The biggest positive from the first film is completely absent here: the POV puppet cam. It was easily the most interesting aspect about the original, and I was severely disappointed that this new director chose not to include it. I think I can pinpoint why this series is as mediocre as it is, and it’s not because of low budgets. As an audience member, ask yourself this question: What do you want to see in a movie about killer puppets? Obviously, it’s puppets maliciously attacking people, and to see them get into overall mischief.
This saves the majority of what you are looking to see for the third act, and pretty much everything that is interesting about this movie occurs in the last 15 minutes; being that so much of the first 70 minutes is excruciatingly dull, when you finally get to the good stuff, you’re kind of ready for it to be over, as so much of this has felt like a chore in watching it. There is also much less memorable content featured in this movie, although I will say that the addition of the Nazi puppet Torch is a definite high point.
When you break this down, it is hard to be genuinely frightened of something that is 1/8 the size of you, and the thing that this series desperately needs is an injection of any sort of humor; these are killer puppets, it is okay to wink at the camera. Any stuff that doesn’t involve puppets or Toulon, you couldn’t care less, and speaking frankly, I can only see this series getting worse.
Puppet Master II (1990) **
– Critic for Hire