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(aka "Puppet Master" )

 

directed by David Schmoeller
USA 1989

 

A quartet of psychics - Yale anthropologist Alex (Paul Le Mat, AMERICAN GRAFFITI), palm reader Dana (Irene Miracle, INFERNO), psychometrist Clarissa (Kathryn O'Reilly, JACK'S BACK), and mindreader Frank (Matt Roe, CHILD'S PLAY 2) - are summoned to a Bodega Bay hotel by horrific visions. They surmise that former associate Neil Gallagher (Jimmie F. Skaggs, GHOST TOWN) has finally tracked down the secret of Andre Toulon (William Hickey, THE RUNESTONE) a puppeteer/alchemist who was the last carrier of an ancient Egyptian secret for bestowing life onto inanimate objects. The four arrive at the seaside hotel to find out that Gallagher has committed suicide and requested of his young widow Megan (Robin Frates, THE ARRIVAL) that he not be buried until his "friends" have all assembled. Although she has made sure that Gallagher is indeed dead, Dana still senses evil in the hotel and takes measures to protect herself and the others, but Alex is more concerned with fragile Megan, and Frank and Clarissa plan to tear the place apart in the morning in search of Tulon's secret; but will they all survive the night with Tulon's deadly puppets - including the likes of Blade, The Leech Woman, The Jester, Pinhead, and The Tunneler - stalking the corridors? Barbara Crampton (CASTLE FREAK) has a "special appearance" early on.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 12 October 1989 (USA)

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Comparison: 

88 Films - Region 0 - PAL vs. 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Box Cover

 

Distribution

88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

88 Films

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:25:03 (4% PAL speedup) 1:28:45.278
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.36 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,018,523,993 bytes

Feature: 18,712,627,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.50 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1884 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1884 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Charles Band and Chris Gore
• Audio Commentary by Justin Kerswell and Callum Waddell
• NO STRINGS ATTACHED VideoZone featurette (4:3; 7:19)
• Trailer (16:9; 1:33)
• Introduction by Charles Band (16:9; 5:20)
• Full Moon Trailer Park featuring SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, CASTLE FREAK, THE
• DEAD WANT WOMEN, GINGERDEADMAN 2: THE PASSION OF THE CRUST, TOURIST TRAP, ZOMBIES VS
• STRIPPERS, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, SKULL HEADS, MERIDIAN, and CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE
• AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH

DVD Release Date: 20 August 2012
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,018,523,993 bytes

Feature: 18,712,627,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.50 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Charles Band and Chris Gore
• Audio Commentary by Justin Kerswell and Callum Waddell
• NO STRINGS ATTACHED VideoZone featurette (4:3; 7:19)
• Introduction by Charles Band (16:9; 5:20)
• Full Moon Trailer Park featuring SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, CASTLE FREAK, THE
• DEAD WANT WOMEN, GINGERDEADMAN 2: THE PASSION OF THE CRUST, TOURIST TRAP, ZOMBIES VS
• STRIPPERS, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, SKULL HEADS, MERIDIAN, and CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE
• AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH

Blu-ray Release Date: August 20th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 24

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (August 2012): There is a definite upgrade here. But there appears to be some contrast fluctuations that create odd artifacts in some of the background visuals. I wouldn't say it was detrimental to the viewing but I did notice at times. Perhaps it is not on the SD (?). There is some depth to the 1080P not present on the DVD. The color scheme matches but things are more layered in HD. It remains in the 1.78:1 AR. Generally, I am pleased but the artifact issue may plague some picky fans. Audio options of surround and stereo - both in lossless and, we presume, superior. Still no subtitles. Supplements are duplicated (see below) with the commentaries and featurette - can't find a trailer though (although may be in the 'Full Moon' menu option.

I'd never seen this before - I kinds liked it - Paul Le Mat, surprising gore, yeah - I could watch this again. Should definitely appeal to horror genre lovers.

 - Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: Before Full Moon's 2010 collector's edition DVD and 1080i Blu-ray (HERE), the US and UK DVDs utilized aged video/laserdisc masters. 88 Films' dual-layer, anamorphic DVD is progressive. Picture quality is much improved over the older master with deep blacks, but detail is not what one expects even of an SD encoding of an HD master. Reviews of the 2010 Full Moon Blu were not too hot, so presumably a large degree of filtering is part of the master (although 88 Films has reportedly done some additional digital clean-up). In short: not great, but the better than what came before and the best we are likely to get.

Although the film went direct-to-video in most countries, it was shot with theatrical release in mind and Sergio Salvati's compositions adapt extremely well to widescreen (the older video master was cropped). In addition to a Dolby Digital 2.0 encoding of the original Ultra-Stereo mix, there is also a 5.1 upmix that gives the score and the foley work some extra breathing room but the dialogue can be heard in all channels.

The introduction by producer Charles Band was featured on the previous Full Moon DVD and Blu while the "No Strings Attached" making-of featurette dates all the way back to the VHS release. The trailer is now in 16:9. New to the extras is a commentary by Band (moderated by Chris Gore), which will presumably also appear on the 2012 Full Moon DVD and Blu (the track has already been included on the Australian release). Regrettably, director David Schmoeller is not present to provide input (he provided an engrossing commentary track for TOURIST TRAP). The concept for the film was Band's, he was heavily involved in the shooting, and speaks with an obvious affection for his longest running series; on more than one occasion, however, he reminds the moderator that he did not actually direct the film so he cannot answer some questions (making the absence of Schmoeller all the more unfortunate). Recorded in Band's office (surrounded by the puppets) instead of a recording studio, the sound quality is uneven but the two speakers are always intelligible.

Exclusive to the 88 Films disc is a second audio commentary by Hysteria Lives' site writer Justin Kerswell (who moderated one of the dual commentary tracks on Arrow Video's SLAUGHTER HIGH) and Calum Waddell (moderator and extras features producer for a number of Arrow releases) that discusses the film (and the other entries) in the context of late eighties and nineties direct-to-video horror and slasher films. While their attempts to squeeze the film into the slasher genre seems bewildering at first, one becomes aware upon rewatching the film just how closely the film adheres to slasher conventions behind the novelty of the puppet killers. The two commentators do relate production details from interviews with producer Band and writer Kenneth J. Hall (also an effects artist on a number of Band productions), but the two slasher experts mainly riff off one another (not unlike the secondary commentary tracks on Intervision's SLEDGEHAMMER and THINGS discs, but more structured.)

88 Films will also release a
Blu-ray (HERE) edition on the same day.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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Screen Captures

 

1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) 88 Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Cover

 

Distribution

88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

88 Films

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 




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