Elizabeth Maclellan ... Carolyn Bramwell / Elsa
Collin Bernsen ... Michael Kenney
Steve Welles ... Andre Toulon / Eriquee Chaneé
Greg Webb ... Patrick Bramwell
Country: USA Runtime: 88 min
Surprise, surprise! The sequel to the 1989 classic that put puppet murderers on the map not only delivers a better plot, but grislier FX work. Blade, Pinhead, Tunneler, Leech Woman, and Jester are back, and joined by a new member in this eerie follow-up that manages to outdo the original's thrills.
This surprisingly superior sequel begins with the puppets digging up the grave of their master, Andre Toulon, and using their re-animation serum on the zombified corpse to revive him. The next day, the U.S. Office of Paranormal Claims (not a real agency) heads to the infamous Bodega Bay Inn to investigate...well, the paranormal. Led there by Alex Whitaker, the dull hero from the first film (who appears in name only), we find out that since the conclusion of part one the Inn has been left abandoned when Megan was found dead. Apparently her brains had been eaten. The group of four paranormal investigators starts to set up their equipment and weird things begin to happen. They are joined by a psychic who catches a glimpse of the puppets, but no one believes her. However, when she disappears they start to suspect something is wrong. And when they see one of their team drilled in the brain by Tunneler they KNOW something is definitely wrong! Then the creepy Invisible Man look-a-like Eriquee Chaneé shows up, claiming to own the property, and there is no doubt in anyone's mind that this is Toulon in disguise, of course the characters in the story just consider him some weirdo eccentric.
Tunneler is smashed to death by the team and Leech Woman is burned in an old fashioned oven by a fat farmer's wife, counting both of those puppets out of the game. But Torch, a neo-Nazi flame-thrower puppet gets revenge for Leech Woman. He and Blade return to the bandaged Chaneé /Toulon with brain matter and we see what brains have to do with anything. The puppet master uses special parts of the brain to make his life-restoring serum and the puppets need it to keep on ticking, so he is cooking up a new batch for them and himself with their homicidal help. Meanwhile, Carolyn, the lead investigator teams up with the missing psychic's strapping son Michael, to find out what happened to the lady only to end up in bed together after one day. This is a big mistake because Toulon's got a thing for Carolyn, who just so happens to look like his wife. We get a flashback of youngish Toulon in Cairo, gaining the secrets of immortal life from an Egyptian mystic and that part of the back-story is complete.
Carolyn's two other researchers are quickly dispatched. One of them is my personal favorite, Charlie Spradling (see pic below). After sex, Carolyn decides to wander the hotel and stumbles onto Toulon's lair. He ties her to a chair and shows her two human-sized puppets, a man and a woman, which he has created for them to live in for all of eternity. Michael awakens and dodges a flame-thrower attack from Torch, putting the puppet on ice with a face full of extinguisher foam. He makes his way into the lair and the puppets arrive to help Toulon, only to hear that their master has double-crossed them and is going to use the serum they helped create for him and Carolyn. Mimicking the end of the first film, the puppets take their revenge on the puppet man and show that size doesn't matter. In the end, the puppets use the serum to transfer the soul of the dead psychic lady into the female full-sized puppet and they drive away in search of "children to enchant"...sadly, this plotline is abandoned forever more.
Directed by the late Dave Allen, the guy who created the puppets in the first place and worked them in the first film, this sequel is surprisingly entertaining and creepy as hell. My one complaint is that at the end we get a great cliffhanger where the puppets have left Bodega Bay and drive off with the Puppet Woman to eat children or whatever, and that story is never dealt with again! It is the single most memorable thing (besides Charlie Spradling getting out of bed nude) about this movie, and sometimes I awaken in the middle of the night and wonder where that Puppet Woman is and if the puppets are doing okay in that long-forgotten Full Moon alternate universe. But all in all, this is a great film, and a much better puppet film than the first one. For you Full Moon fans, this movie is special because it features the first ever official Video Zone, which pioneered the idea of "special features" for VHS and took off when Laserdisc and DVD came about. In it, Charlie Band, the puppet master behind Full Moon, promises a third film...and it turns out to be the masterpiece entry of the entire series!