At least there’s no laser tag. So picking up right where 4 left off, Rick (Gordon Currie) has accepted his role as new puppet master. He decides to go back into the hotel to regroup with all of the lost puppets, but in addition to another interested party, there’s still that pesky demon that keeps coming back, and he is peeved that he has been bested by dolls. I have a piece of advice to horror franchises: unless you’re Final Destination, you should avoid using the word “final” in your title. I know you’re making one last ditch effort to milk the money cow for all its worth, but all it does is put egg on your face when you go on to make another five subsequent sequels.
For the first 15 minutes, they almost exclusively use recycled footage from 4; seriously, the only thing it’s missing is a voiceover saying, “Previously, on Puppet Master”. I think this is entirely for padding purposes and it’s wholly unnecessary; if you’re watching 5, there’s a 98% chance you’ve seen 4. Who’s going to jump into the Puppet Master series at the fifth movie? If anything, you should be starting at 7 so you can start at beginning of this shuffled continuity timeline.
This is a slight step up for 4 (honestly, I cannot harp enough on what a disconnect I had with the laser tag), but frankly speaking, this is pretty much the same movie as 2, and I don’t have a whole lot of new comments to make on the series as a whole. As always, there’s lots of wandering around aimlessly in a hotel until somebody’s demise is reached, except this features the most recognizable face in the series in a small role: the guy who says, “think the gimp’s sleeping” in Pulp Fiction. The puppet sound effects are probably my favorite thing about this, although I still can’t figure out if Six Shooter is laughing or crying. I love the noises that Jester makes, as he always sounds like a cross between Mickey Mouse and the Pillsbury Doughboy.
There is an eerie 45 second dream sequence towards the beginning of the film, which is the most memorable thing about the movie (and is very much what this series needs more of), but on its own merits, this sequel is just more of the same.
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994) **
– Critic for Hire