'Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich' Trailer Offers Up Gore Galore

Those murderous marionettes are back in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. This is somehow the 13th entry in the Puppet Master franchise, because you just can't contain such an incredible story into one film. The latest Puppet Master flick hails from directors Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, with a script by Bone Tomahawk scribe S. Craig Zahler. Watch the Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich trailer below...if you dare.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich Trailer

Well...that sure was something. I've heard a bevy of buzz surrounding The Littlest Reich. Some horror critics revel in how glorious gory the film. While others seem a bit...underwhelmed. One thing is for sure: this movie will have puppets killing people. And at the end of the day, isn't that what really matters? This is definitely the best-cast Puppet Master film in the entire franchise. Thomas LennonJenny PellicerNelson FranklinCharlyne YiMichael Pare, the always-welcome Barbara Crampton, and Udo Kier (!) all have parts in the film (although I hear Keir's role is very, very small, so be warned, Udo-heads).

In case you're unfamiliar with the basic Puppet Master mythology, here's a crash course. A puppeteer named André Toulon created living puppets, and they kill people. There. That's it. Alright, I suppose there's more to the story than that, but that's really all you need to know. The franchise kicked-off in 1989, and has been chugging along ever since. Have any of these films been good? Well...there's a cheesy charm to some of them, I suppose. The first one is serviceable, and the third film – which is actually a prequel – is fairly interesting. The rest mostly blur together. If you've watched the franchise, though, there's a good chance you have a favorite puppet. My personal favorites were always Blade, who is in all the movies and wears a cool trench coat, and Six-Shooter, a cowboy puppet with six arms that shot six tiny guns.

Eventually, the puppets went from being the antagonists in the franchise to the heroes (that was in Puppet Master 4, which had the tagline "When Bad Puppets Go Good!"). Then they went back to being evil again. Those killer puppets, I tell you – they're fickle.

And now here we are. The franchise has been revived. In this new entry, Edgar, a recently divorced man, "returns to his childhood home to where he finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother's room. He decides to sell the doll for some quick cash at a small-town 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." Will this new film appease fans of the series? Will it attract a new generation of puppet-lovers?

There's actually some controversy surrounding the film. At the start of the franchise, the killer puppets were actually created to fight Nazis – then they eventually started killing everyone they came across. In this new take on the material, however, the puppets themselves are Nazis, committing hate crimes. I have no idea why Zahler decided to change the story to this, and having not seen the film yet, I don't want to pre-judge it. But that does not sound...great.

You can judge for yourself when Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich opens August 17, 2018.