Puppet Master – Since Netflix is apparently too good now to carry any movies from before 1990 (except for four Friday the 13ths), I took it upon myself to dive into my DVD collection to see what kind of forgotten treasures might be found. I was actually feeling a bit like it was a Return of the Living Dead night, but then The Puppet Master Collection found its way into my hands. A series of nine films that I’d never heard of and never watched. Seemed to be a good way to satisfy my cheesy 80’s horror jones.
The first Puppet Master was released in 1989, so I was mere months away from being a hypocrite. It’s also not an especially good movie. I probably would have been obsessed with it in my early twenties. If you hadn’t guessed, this film is about puppets who come to life and kill people. Oh ho! Only… the murderous puppets are an afterthought at best. There’s a convoluted plot that was boring as heck and barely made any sense, and that’s what the people who made this movie decided to focus on. Not the killer puppets. For some reason.
I would really like to write more about Puppet Master, and I might! It’s perfect for a full article! The thing is, to do that, I’d have to watch it again. And I don’t really want to watch it again. So we’ll see! For now, I’ll leave you with this fun fact: Twice, I accidentally typed out the title of this movie as “Pupper Master” and quite frankly, I think that would be a much better film. Just an hour and a half of dogs doing dog things.
Murder Party – I went home on Thanksgiving night with a little time to spare, and a strong desire to watch a Halloween-styled movie. It was already pretty late, so when Netflix showed me this one, with a runtime of an hour-fifteen, I figured it was a sign from up above. Or, given the season and subject matter, down below?
Murder Party is about a dopey guy who randomly finds an invitation to a, well, murder party, and decides to attend, rather than spending his Halloween watching horror movies and eating candy corn with his asshole cat. He quickly fashions a (rather impressive) suit of knight’s armor from a cardboard box and heads downtown to the party. There, he finds a group of young artists who immediately capture him and reveal that the plan is to kill him as an art project to win some kind of nebulous grant.
It turns out (and was no surprise after the intro) that this is actually a horror-comedy, which certainly helped boost my opinion of it. Quite frankly though, it was a bit of a dud. While there were a number of genuinely funny gags, it spent way too much time making fun of artists. Like, that was the entire middle of the movie. We basically lost the hapless idiot from the beginning for most of the film, as he was gagged and bound while the rest of the cast went on and on about meaningless crap. Then the group begins to unravel (like they do), killing each other and allowing our “hero” to flee so that the film can end on a bloody chase sequence.
Like I said, there are some truly funny parts sprinkled about -I laughed out loud a few times- but for the most part I never really got into it. Probably because I was mostly just playing Picross with the movie on in the background. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad movie; I sure many folks consider this a really fun no-budget slasher parody. I just didn’t really dig the main theme of pretentious douchebags self-destructing, and they made it such an important part of the movie that I can’t just gloss over it in favour of the more appealing parts.