19 April 2024

Film Review – Puppet Master: Littlest Reich (2018)

Recently divorced comic nerd Edgar attends a sinister convention with his new love interest Ashley in order to sell a potentially valuable puppet. Little does he know it is part of a soon to be awakened raging Nazi death squad that will unleash bloody havoc on the unsuspecting guests.

This profane franchise reboot is shameless in its mission to disgust and indeed entertain. The script from the ascendant S. Craig Zahler, director of Bone ThomawkBrawl in Cell Block 99 and the upcoming Dragged Across Concrete, is a masterclass in the old adage that if you make sure you offend everybody then you end up offending no one.

The holocaust humour is relentlessly crass and whilst nobody going into a killer puppet flick is expecting Schindler’s List it does become a tad eye-rolling at times. Played relatively straight the dialogue carries the laconic DNA of Zahler’s other projects that lends an air of trash proud class to the proceedings.

The acting is surprisingly solid with Babara Crampton adding cult kudos and Udo Kier stopping by briefly to cash a paycheck with style.

Both repellent and whimsical the alarming gore set-pieces are spectacularly realised by a talent-rich effects team showing a similar aptitude for grotesque carnage as the early Peter Jackson. The inventively brutal offings are made all the more hilarious by the static nature of the victims and some of them really do raise or lower the bar in on-screen murder depending on how broken your moral compass is.

Throwing in some perfectly gratuitous nudity, acidic one-liners and a raft of throwaway stereotypes for cannon fodder staves off any dullness.

Watch out for the early relationship arc of Edgar and Ashley. Depicted without even the lazy foreplay of a montage it is the next level in knowing genius.

If you like your marionette massacres drenched in final solution funnies then this future midnight movie classic is the seditious good time you are looking for.

Bradley Hadcroft |[rating=4]

Comedy, Horror | USA, 2018 | 18 | 19th April 2019 (UK limited) | Exploitation Films | Dir: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund | Thomas Lennon, Michael Paré, Nelson Franklin, Barbara Crampton, Udo Kier

Originally Posted as part of 2018 Arrow Video FrightFest Coverage | Original Link Here.

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