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June 4, 2016

Movie Review: Puppet Show (2008)

Puppet movies can be scary (Puppet Master). Clown movies can be terrifying (IT). Put these two together and you’ve got the biggest disappointment since Ray Finkle missed the winning field goal for the Dolphins.

Puppet Show is about a homicidal psychopathic killer clown puppet, Charlie Chowderhead. That in itself is just all kinds of layers of creepy. We discover through a series of flashbacks that old man Rick Springer used to be the famous ventriloquist, Ringmaster Rick, on an old television show called Circus Town. He and his puppet, Charlie, were a huge success on the children’s TV circuit despite the fact that Charlie looks like he’d slit any random 8 year old from crotch to skullcap in three seconds and enjoy every moment of it.

Michael, RR’s number one fan and journalist, is finally granted an audience with the retired ventriloquist for an exclusive interview. Even though he never does interviews and keeps Charlie padlocked in a closet in the back of the house, Rick deems now an appropriate time to talk about his past. But before he can tell the whole truth, his heart starts to give him fits and he sends Michael on his way.

Once gone, Rick’s heart goes to Defcon 1 (yes, that is the highest level, folks). Unfortunately, Charlie has come to life and hold Rick’s meds hostage. He berates the old geezer for locking him in a closet all these years, despite the fact that Charlie (or the demon that possesses him) is responsible for Rick’s fame and success thanks to a deal his great grandfather made years ago. And since Rick’s heart isn’t giving out fast enough, Charlie strangles him with his puppet strings.

Rick’s granddaughter, Casey, inherits the fugly puppet and she has no love for the damn thing. She keeps having nightmares about it. Actually they’re memories but either way it’s fucking creepy. As Casey tries to get on with her life after losing her grandpa, Charlie wreaks all kinds of havoc but makes it look like Casey is the crazy one, not a walking talking clown puppet. Not that it’s difficult - his victims are Casey’s boyfriend’s ex (who still acts and dresses like she’s in high school for cripes sake); her best friend, Kat, and Kat’s boyfriend (who decide to have sex in Casey’s bed so I wouldn’t really blame her).

When Casey is finally confronted by the evil puppet, Charlie stabs the shit out of her knees while she struggles to fight him off. While she’s fighting for her life, her boyfriend calls the cops to turn her in. *cough cough DOUCHE KNOCKER cough cough* Of course Charlie falls limp (that’s what she said) when witnesses arrive and Casey is carted off to the loony bin and Charlie is auctioned off to some poor sap where he can harvest more souls.

There is some marvelously shitty acting in this flick. I don’t think even one performance can be considered as high as sub-par. More like sub-par’s subbasement’s crawlspace. The ‘old man’ makeup for Rick would have been great for a stage play where you can’t see the actor all that well. Up close it just looks like a bunch of lines were drawn on his face and crappy latex painted in splotches across his neck to give him that aged look. 

The flow of the movie is terrible. There are a lot of ‘no dialogue’ spots (Kristy in the bath or putting on make up, Michael grinning like a retarded fan boi while watching old clips of Circus Town with Rick). A lot of the editing for the kill shots is shoddy at best. Even the sound was terrible. The Circus Town show sounded like it was inside a pillow case but for one outdoor scene, the crickets sounded like someone slipped them crack and stapled them directly to my auditory nerve.

Wanna know one good thing about this movie, though? It was only an hour.

No Hatchets (out of 5)

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