I completely missed out on the cult classic Puppet Master film franchise growing up, but knowing that it comes from the mind of B-movie maven Charles Band — the same guy behind movies like Trancers, Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, and The Gingerdead Man — tells me pretty much everything I need to know. The franchise contains eleven movies so far and has been dormant since 2012, but a press release just informed me that Bone Tomahawk writer/director S. Craig Zahler has come on board to write a new movie called Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich that's intended to kick off a new Puppet Master universe.
Charles Band is executive producing, while Bone Tomahawk's Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller will produce alongside Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers) and Mark Vahradian. No director has been hired yet.
"We couldn’t be more excited to take the series in a new direction while embracing all the practical effects and terrifying insanity that fans of the PUPPET MASTER films love,” said Heller.
The original PUPPET MASTER is an American horror film franchise that focuses on a group of anthropomorphic puppets animated by an Egyptian spell, each equipped with their own unique and dangerous device and are represented as heroes, anti-heroes, and antagonists. Produced by Band and his Full Moon Features label, the series was established in 1989 with the eponymous first installment, which has since been followed by numerous sequels, comic books, collector's items and toys.
Zahler’s completely new take on PUPPET MASTER maintains all of the brutally inventive puppet kills infused with the comedic tendencies that made the original franchise so popular with fans, while expanding upon Toulon’s backstory and developing richer dialogue, characters, and narratives.
The storyline for THE LITTLEST REICH follows a recently divorced young man who discovers a mint condition Blade doll in his deceased brother’s closet and plans to sell the toy at a convention in Oregon celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose at the Postville Lodge during the auction when a strange force animates all of the various puppets throughout the convention as they go on a bloody killing spree.
If the brutality of Bone Tomahawk is any indication, Zahler certainly has that aspect of this franchise covered. Let's see if he's able to infuse this new entry with the kind of tongue-in-cheek humor that made the first one a cult classic. Take a look at the trailer for the original movie below to get a sense of what to expect from this new installment: