We're used to seeing trailers for movies months before they arrive in theaters or on VOD, but the folks at RLJE Films really went down to the wire for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. The film from directors Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund has been tearing up the festival circuit and will finally arrive on VOD and in select theaters beginning August 17th, but we're just getting our first look at what's in store today. The NSFW Red Band trailer is definitely not for those with delicate sensibilities!
"Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother's room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash. Girl-next-door Ashley and and comic book pal Markowitz join Edgar for a doomed road trip to an auction at a convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that's motivated by an evil as old as time."
Now, before you go thinking a film about killer dolls is something you can laugh off, the Puppet Master franchise is no joke. Yes, b-movie schlock and gallows humor is a key component, but The Littlest Reich specifically is reportedly so extreme it couldn't even be contained within the parameters of an R rating. Then there's the fact that it's written by S. Craig Zahler, a rising star in the genre who left audiences stunned and enthralled with the gruesome shockers Bone Tomahawk in 2015 and Brawl in Cell Block 99 in 2017. His next project also has an evocative title that immediately oozes untraviolence; Dragged Across Concrete is currently in post-production targeting a winter 2018 release.
Puppet Master also deserves credit as a franchise launched in the 1980s that continues to survive and thrive today, no small feat considering studios can't seem to deliver a decent 21st Century iteration of Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street to save their lives. Launched in 1989, the series has produced a whopping 13 installments, 7 of which have arrived since 2003, making it one of the most significant horror properties of the 21st Century. It's worth noting that, though not as prolific, the Child's Play franchise is another example of an 80s franchise that successfully transitioned into the new millennium. Obviously, there's something universal and terrifying about killer doll flicks, something that immediately casts viewers into the darkest pits of The Uncanny Valley.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich stars Thomas Lennon, Michael Paré, and Charlyne Yi along with horror icons Barbara "Don't Call Me a Scream Queen" Crampton and the incomparable Udo Kier as the O.G. Puppet Master André Toulon, an occult dollmaker who plied his trade during the tumultuous years of World War II. In addition to the trailer, poster, and synopsis, we have a list of theaters that will be hosting Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. If you live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Huston, Dallas, El Paso, Lubbock, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, Columbus, Washington D.C., Tulsa, or Kansas City, you're in luck! RLJE Films dropped this latest trailer.