The Puppet Master franchise has, for many horror fans, been a part of their lives since the original film premiered in 1989. The long-running series has produced twelve films (including one crossover with Demonic Toys) and a 13th film, The Littlest Reich, is on the way.
One of the stars of the film is none other than horror icon Barbara Crampton, who has appeared in films such as Re-animator, From Beyond, You’re Next, and We Are Still Here. She recently spoke with Scream Mag about her role in the 13th entry of the Puppet Master franchise, where she revealed not only her role but why she thinks she was brought back into the series (she had a cameo on the first film).
Let’s start with why Crampton feels like she was a part of this few film. She explains, “I had a cameo in the first one. I think they brought me into The Littlest Reich specifically because I worked in ’80s movies and specifically on the original movie. The producer on the Littlest Reich is Dallas Sonnier and he was one of the producers and the creative driving force behind Bone Tomahawk. He loves genre movies and the Puppet Master movies were a part of his childhood that he really loved so now that he’s working as a producer, he wanted to take over the rights for the project and have his own reboot of the film.”
She also speaks about how the film was written by Bone Tomahawk scribe Craig Zahler, saying, “He’s a really talented writer and this movie has a lot of comedy in it and a lot of heart and drama as well. It’s a really tight script and they wanted to bring some other ’80s people on board like Michael Paré and Udo Kier.”
When it comes to her role, Crampton reveals that she’s a tour guide/ex-cop, stating, “I didn’t know whether they wanted people to know that my character is a tour guide and an ex-police officer but I think now it’s okay because they’ve said it was okay to post pictures of me in my uniform. I was part of the police crew that brought Andre Toulon down many years ago and then thirty years later, something is happening. There’s a convention and some puppet’s are going to be sold at this convention so a lot of people that bought puppets from Andre Toulon many years ago have come back to this first ever convention so all these people and all these puppets are brought together for the first time in a very long time and something happens. Obviously, I can’t say what happens but it’s very slyly written and there are a few different storylines going on and Craig has written a lot of really interesting characters that you care about so I’m really excited about that one too.”
Udo Kier, Thomas Lennon (Hellbaby), Jenny Pellicer, Nelson Franklin (Scott Pilgrim, Jobs), Charlyne Yi (Cloverfield), Alex Beh, Tina Parker (“Breaking Bad,” The Final Destination), Skeeta Jenkins, and Michael Paré (Streets on Fire) also star for director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk).
The storyline for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich follows a recently divorced young man who discovers a mint condition Blade doll in his deceased brother’s closet and plans to sell the toy at a convention in Oregon celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose at the Postville Lodge during the auction when a strange force animates all of the various puppets throughout the convention as they go on a bloody killing spree.