Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a 2018 horror film directed by Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund (Animalistic, Wither, Blood Runs Cold, & Madness). It was written by S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, & Dragged Across Concrete). It was produced by Charles Band (Puppet Master franchise, Ghoulies 1/2, Troll, From Beyond, & Dolls), Dallas Sonnier (Bad Milo, Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, & Some Kind of Hate), Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects, Hard Eight, Gosford Park, & Dead Snow 2), Wayne Marc Godfrey (Gotti, Siberia, Mom and Dad, & Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), & 13 others. Legendary Italian horror composer Fabio Frizzi (Zombi, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, The Psychic, & Pieces) did the score for the feature. Richard Band (Puppet Master franchise, Re-Animator franchise, The Resurrected, & Castle Freak) also did some additional music for the production. Actress Barbara Crampton had a small cameo in the original movie. This is only the 2nd film from the Puppet Master series that wasn’t made by Full Moon Features.
Edgar (played by: Thomas Lennon from Reno 911, Lethal Weapon, I Love You, Man, & Santa Clarita Diet), a recently divorced man returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. He discovers a mint condition Blade puppet in his deceased brother’s closet & plans to sell the puppet for some quick cash. Joined by his new girlfriend Ashley (played by: Jenny Pellicer from The Bridge, State of Affairs , & Cocaine Godmother) & his comic book nerd boss Markowitz (played by: Nelson Franklin from The Office, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Veep, & Jobs), the three set out on a doomed road trip to a convention in Oregon to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon (played by: Udo Kier from Flesh for Frankenstein, Blood for Dracula, Suspiria, & Blade) Murders. They get a tour of the infamous location from Carol Doreski (played by: Barbara Crampton from Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak, Chopping Mall, & Puppetmaster) who experienced the chaos first hand back then. They meet all kinds of interesting characters at the convention including Detective Brown (played by: Michael Paré from Eddie and the Cruisers 1/2, Streets of Fire, Bad Moon, & Village of the Damned), Strommelson (played by: Matthias Hues from Dark Angel, Kickboxer 2, Star Trek VI, & Big Top Pee-wee), & Nerissa (played by: Charlyne Yi from Knocked Up, This is 40, House, & The Disaster Artist). All hell breaks loose at the Postville Lodge during the auction when a strange force that is motivated by an evil as old as time animates all of the various puppets throughout the convention as they go on a bloody killing spree!!!!
I’ve been a huge fan of the Puppet Master franchise since I was a kid. The first 3 films are classics & they are some of my all time favorites when it comes to the genre but the series has been going downhill for awhile now due to lack of a budget. The last few looked really cheap, they had their moments but overall they were nothing special. Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is the best entry since Part 3!!!! I was very impressed on how much better this reboot was compared to the previous 9 sequels. It’s awesome to see a Puppet Master feature in this day with a decent budget because it’s been forever! It actually had a solid cast that featured some familiar faces from so many other movies. It’s definitely the most brutal & gruesome Puppet Master film made so far. The body count is ridiculous & the kills are very creative here. The special effects were top notch & they are the true highlight of the production. I really enjoyed the new look of the puppets for The Littlest Reich plus it’s great to see Torch back. As for the story line, there’s not much going on here at all but they made up for that in the entertainment department. If you are looking for a slasher with non stop gore then you will be very happy with this experience. I had so much fun with this, it brought back what these films should be. I hope this re-imagining continues for awhile, HIGHLY recommended!!!!
Let’s discuss the presentation & special features from RLJE Entertainment! Since I am reviewing the DVD version, I am not really going to get technical on this write up. The aspect ratio is 2.38:1 on the standard definition transfer & the audio track is English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 plus it has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. “Behind the Scenes of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich” is almost 6 minutes. It has interviews with various producers & a special effects artist. It has all kinds of behind the scenes footage from the crew doing FX for the production. “The Cast of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich” is almost 7 minutes. It has interviews with Thomas Lennon, Michael Paré, Udo Kier, Barbara Crampton, Nelson Franklin, & Jenny Pellicer. They chat about their characters & their experience on the film. “Puppets: From Concept to Creation” is almost 2 minutes. It’s a quick look at various puppets in their early stages & what the final version turned out to be. “Lightning Girl Comic: From Sketch to Final” is 40 seconds & shows some artwork from the lead character’s comic. It also has a “Photo Gallery” that features various images for the feature. It comes with a slipcover, it’s available everywhere right now, it was released in various other formats including 4K/UHD & Blu Ray, check it out!!!!