Attack of the Puppet People

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Attack of the Puppet People

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:10 pm

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Mr. B.i.G. is at it again - after astounding us with The Amazing Colossal Man (57), Bert I. Gordon switches things up by shrinking down a group of people. In a sense, there is a giant in this one, too - the villain of the piece played by John Hoyt. He seems to be a nice, harmless doll maker, but in reality he has been shrinking down various people for some time before the film begins. His secretary has disappeared Wink so he hires a new one (June Kenny). Then a salesman (John Agar) comes around. They soon get suspicious over the disappearances and become the latest additions to the doll maker's special collection - there's 6 of these little people in all, each about 6 inches in height. The mad doll creator explains his technique - it's similar to the transporter of The Fly films, involving the dissolution and reintegration of matter - at a smaller level. His chief aim is to just relieve his loneliness at choice moments. At all other times, the doll people are kept in suspended animation in their containers.


The whole visual of the doll people in their clear plastic containers recalls the doll people of Dr. Praetorius in The Bride of Frankenstein.  
Mr. B.i.G.'s FX aren't too shabby, with a multitude of giant props to keep things in perspective. He also uses the split screen technique a lot. I think this was more a labor of love for Gordon because of his background in puppetry - he even includes a scene with a real puppet show. He has also written that actor Hoyt considered this his favorite role. One weak part to the script: when the doll people first make an appearance, they seem strangely complacent with their lot in life, even at 2 weeks or so. This diffused the possible tension of such a scenario. There's also an annoying little girl character who almost makes away with a shrunken cat. The ending is abrupt, with most of the puppet people still shrunken.
BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10

Trivia of Puppet People: THIS OBVIOUSLY TRIED TO CAPITALIZE ON THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, RELEASED THE PREVIOUS YEAR;
UK TITLE: SIX INCHES TALL; IN ONE SCENE IN A DRIVE-IN, WE SEE THE FILM THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1957)
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