The Schlock VaultRating: 4 of 5 yaps
The Puppet Monster Massacre
Never has a movie title been more appropriate than “The Puppet Monster Massacre” in terms of both plot and aesthetic appeal. The film oozes low budget B-movie goodness but with a puppet twist.
As you may have already guessed, the film is almost exclusively a blend of puppets and crude CGI graphics. The puppets all bear a striking resemblance to the same ones used on “Sesame Street.” Don’t be fooled, though; this movie is not at all kid-friendly. In fact, it’s an explicitly filthy and foul film. Not since “Team America: World Police” have I been able to say I’ve seen a topless puppet. It’s hard to fathom how a movie consisting entirely of puppets could be so gory, but it’s definitely a heavily blood-soaked good time to say the least.
In terms of a B-movie, “The Puppet Monster Massacre” has it all: Nazis, flesh-eating monsters, prolonged fart gags, puppet sex, evil scientists, penguin sidekicks … the proverbial works. The plot is essentially borrowed from “House on Haunted Hill,” something even brought up by one of the characters at one point. A group of teenagers is invited to a castle in which the ones who are able to survive the night will win a million dollars. The castle in question belongs to former Nazi paranormal scientist Wolfgang Wagner, who plans on feeding the eager teens to the monster he has locked up in his basement. Self-proclaimed wuss Charlie and his Nazi-hating gramps are the only developed characters in the film; everyone else essentially exists for the sake of dying.
The comedy is of the lowbrow variety, which goes hand in hand with the cartoonish quality of the movie. Despite being released in 2010, the film actually takes place in the year 1985, explaining the various homages to ’80s movies both of the horror and teen-comedy persuasion. You can tell the film is influenced a great deal by equal parts “Evil Dead” and “Revenge of the Nerds.”
The special features on this DVD are pretty sparse, but there are some cool featurettes nonetheless. It includes two different commentaries, one with the director and the other with the assistant director. According to the commentary, the film cost a modest $3,500. I admire the bare-bones nature of the film and the heart put into making it come to fruition. There is also a look at different adaptations of the monster as well.
My only real complaint is that the film is too short for my liking. It was originally setup to be a short film that was eventually stretched into a full-length feature, but at a mere 65 minutes, it left me wanting more. Overall, it’s a fun-filled throwback to a time when horror movies didn’t take themselves too seriously. I look forward to seeing more from up-and-coming young director Dustin Mills, especially in the way of horror comedies.
Film: 4 Yaps
Extras: 3 Yaps