attack of the puppet peopleAmerican International Pictures

Mr. Franz is a kindly, old, silver-haired doll-maker…who turns people into living puppets! He forces his human inventions to put on parties and sing to him, but one day, tired of being toyed with, the puppets launch an attack, and suddenly Mr. Franz finds he’d better stop playing–and start praying–because these miniature moppets are hell-bent on revenge!

Okay, so, I wonder who wrote that back cover blurb on the DVD this movie is on. Did they even watch the movie when they were tasked to write out the description for use to draw people into watching this “amazing triumph of special effects” (also on the back cover blurb, but that part was superfluous to the review, here0, accuracy be darned to heck? I envy not their task; I doubt that any kind of hyperbole would have been sufficient to cover the fact that this is a movie that features no actual attacks from the titular puppet people. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, here.

Attack Of The Puppet People was a movie that was made by one of the more prominent names in B-Movie horror and sci-fi back in the 50s and 60s: Bert Gordon. He’s tied to the likes of The Amazing Colossal Man, The Beginning Of The End, and another movie I need to get around to reviewing, Village Of The Giants. Yeah, he seems to have a thing for big/small type special effects-laden movies.

Anyway, Attack Of The Puppet People involves the classic story of lonely widower doll maker who plies his trade by, shall we say, unconventional ways. By that, I mean he has a shrink ray, and he turns people and their various accessories fun-sized. it’s the same kind of technology Willy Wonka pioneered in making his T. V. Chocolate bars. As you may have guessed, he has a rather high turnover rate in secretaries for his business, because he has this habit of shrinking them for his collection. His best friend runs a marionette puppet theater, and he at the last part of the movie lends his living doll people for him to use in one of the shows, so that’s probably where the title of the movie comes from. Meantime, he enjoys making his living doll collection throw little parties and sing for him…songs about dolls, of course.

Here’s the thing, though. The movie doesn’t live up to the promise of the title, let alone that boisterous descriptive that was slapped on the back of the DVD release, there. I’m going to spoil this for you, here: There is no attack. The big climax is actually the tiny people distract him long enough to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow or whatever on the shrink ray to get back to actual size…and then they just leave while the old man begs them not to go and leave him all alone. The end.

No, I don’t think I was expecting too much from the movie. The title is Attack Of The Puppet People. I don’t care if they were technically doll-sized people; there was no attack. No sir, I hadn’t this kind of disappointed in false promises since I went to a “Rock Marathon” at the local mall as a kid, only to discover it was a bunch of college students rocking in rocking chairs as a fund raiser. There was carnage that day, let me tell you. I won’t be watching Attack Of The Puppet People again any time soon.