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Retro Puppet Master

USA 1999
produced by
Kirk Edward Hansen, Vlad Paunescu, Charles Band (executive), Peter Locke (executive), Donald Kushner (executive) for Full Moon, the Kushner-Locke Company
directed by David DeCoteau (as Joseph Tennent)
starring Greg Sestero, Brigitta Dau, Stephen Blackehart, Jack Donner, Guy Rolfe, Robert Radoveanu, Vitalie Bantas, Sando Teodor, George Calin, Juliano Doman, Vlad Dulea, Dan Fintescu, Serban Celea, Elvira Deatcu, Claudiu Trandafir, Marcello Cobzarju, Viorel Manole, Mihai Verbintschi, Adrian Ciobanu, Razvan Popa, Aurelian Popa, Cristian Irimia, Ion Bechet
story by Charles Band, screenplay by Benjamin Carr, based on characters by David Schmoeller, music by John Massari, puppet design and effects by Christopher Bergschneider, Jeffrey S.Farley, visual effects by John R.Ellis, Jerrod Cornish, David Lange

Puppet Master

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Paris, 1902: André Toulon (Greg Sestero) is nothing but a mere puppeteer, but he's good enough that Ilsa (Brigitta Dau), a diplomat's daughter, falls in love with him because of his art. That's when he saves Afzel (Jack Donner) from certain death though, and Afzel just happens to be a magician who has stolen the secret of life from Egyptian God Sutekh. And since Afzel has only days to live anyhow, he teaches Toulon the art of giving life to lifeless objects (Toulon's puppets in this case) - and Toulon soon has to notice he is in bad need of some puppet friends since a trio of mummies (Stephen Blackehart, Robert Radoveanu, Vitalie Bantas) in Sutekh's employ kill all of his real friends because they are after Afzel ... and once Afzel is dead, they come after Toulon. Toulon is able to fight off the mummies' first attack with the help of his puppets, but the mummies are quick to take Ilsa hostage and lure Toulon onto a train for a showdown ... where Toulon manages to defeat them all with the help of his puppets and save Ilsa of course.


Not too great a film about the (humble) beginnings of the Puppet Master-saga, which is much better in mere ideas and concept than it is in actual execution: The whole premise to blend the series' formula with Parisian turn-of-the-century settings might sound interesting, and mummies are always lots of fun (well, not really), but way too much room in this film is given to a Romeo and Juliet-style lovestory, plus the film's directorial effort is way too slick to make much of its period settings and too old-fashioned to make the film special in any way. Well, at least the puppets are nice to look at ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD