The remake train continues to make regular stops at franchises and cult favorites of the 1980s and 90s, specifically. Horror remakes have been an especially big boom, with not-so-great attempts to resurrect classic slashers and other horror totems, ranging from Friday the 13th to A Nightmare on Elm Street to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Only the last one has found any kind of real footing as a new franchise, spurring four new films, none of which are worth even 30 minutes of your time. And of course, there have been several attempts to relaunch Hellraiser, including a de-railed, incredibly promising effort spearheaded by French horror maestros Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury.
We can now add the less-celebrated Puppet Master franchise to that list, as Di Bonaventura Pictures and Caliber Media are teaming up to reboot what they are calling the “Puppet Master universe.” The original film, which came out (straight-to-video) in 1990 and was helmed by David Schmoeller, was, at best, a curiosity about a gaggle of possessed dolls who started cutting up West Coast denizens after the death of their owner. Some five or six sequels were made, none of which were released beyond small theaters, and none of which were good under any definition of the word.
The new film will hopefully be a bit more intriguing, considering the fact that Bone Tomahawk writer-director S. Craig Zahler has been hired to script an early draft of the film. The title for the remake right now, and I am not making this up, is Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, which is not entirely surprising as Blade, Tunneler, Torch, Jester, and the rest of the puppets always had a certain interest with the Nazis. In all honesty, the new Puppet Master movie would almost have to be better than the original and its spawn, and with a title like The Littlest Reich, its going to be hard not to hand over my money, either in theaters or (more likely) on VOD.