Friday, March 28, 2014

Attack of the Puppet People (1958)

Loopy doll maker hires a new secretary. She isn't interested because he seems to think his dolls are real people. He begs her to take the job because ... it's the fifties.

She confesses her suspicions to a salesman who laughs in her face. They date (because that makes sense) and shortly after he proposes, he mysteriously disappears. Just like a bunch of other people. After she accuses her boss of turning people into dolls, he shrinks her and adds her to his collection. See, he wasn't crazy. Just lonely.

Well crafted, well paced, predictable, unimaginative, uninspired, watchable. You know what would have made this better? If the puppet people actually attacked something. Or if the scene in the poster took place. Or threw a hint of sexual perversion, or cold war fear, or drama, or action. A well crafted baloney on white is still a baloney on white. Hey, sometimes I get hungry.

A key element in any Sci-Fi film is the hardware. Sounds harsh, but for the most part that's true. Puppet People has hardware, but it's barely described. There was the analogy to how a projector makes images larger, but Willie Wonka did a better job on the exposition.

Director Bert Gordon took a break from making giant-people movies to make a little-person movie, but has our protagonists go to the drive-in to see one of his films. Anything else interesting here? Nope. Maybe I'd say John Agar deserved a better movie, but let's face facts. This was right in his wheelhouse. AMRU 3.

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