Article 5970 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by David Schmoelller
Featuring Paul Le Mat, William Hickey, Irene Miracle
What it is: Malicious marionettes
An assortment of psychics show up at a hotel to discover that one of their group has died. The hotel was once the home of a puppeteer who knew how to instill life into his creations. His puppets are still around… and they’re homicidal.
One of my guides suggests that this may be Charles Band’s best movie, and maybe it is; I’m not about to embark on an exploration of his entire oeuvre to find out for myself. I will suggest it was one of his most successful, as it spawned at least sixteen sequels that I know of. By comparing to a few of Band’s other titles that I’ve seen, I’d say this is one of his better efforts; the POV sequences of the puppets running around are entertaining, the puppets are imbued with a nice sense of character, the human villain is suitably creepy, and I do like how this one ends. I do find myself asking why the original puppet master would design some of these puppets, though, especially the one with the drill on top of his head and the leech-spitting woman.