Review: Retro Puppet Master (1999)
Six-shooter, Tunnel Sergeant, Dr. Death, Pinhead, Cyclops, and Blade help the young Andre Toulon take out Sutek's Egyption henchman in the best sequel this series has seen.
Retro Puppet Master is atmospheric with many sets, quality acting and some fun puppet FX. What it lacks in gore, it makes up for with an interesting well-paced plot.
Best Quote: Dr. Death: "Don't you know, my friends? Smell the sulfur, see the smoke..."
This is easily the best Dave DeCoteau film I've seen. The actors do a more-than-credible job: Jack Donner as "Azfel" turns in an inspired performance, and the young Toulon does well with the puppets. Oh, and the ring-needle is cool.
John Massari's score is a nice symphonic take on the original Puppet Master tunes by Richard Band, keeping the movie playful and eerie. It's rare for a Full Moon score to actually add something to a film, and this one does.
Unfortunately, Dave Allen didn't seem to be affordable enough for Band and Co. in the late-90's and beyond, so all of the puppet action is done rod and string. There's no stop motion such as the famous and funny scene in the original where Pinhead's looking for his pinhead.
And, of course, as with all of the Full Moon fare of this time period, RPM was shot in and around Castel Studios in Bucharest, so most of the bit parts were cast to Romanians: hearing their "Parisian" accents was a bit annoying.
All in all, this is probably one of the top-10 Full Moon films. It's certainly the most inventive of the Puppet Master sequels.