Blade: The Iron Cross          review by Bobby Blakey

The Puppet Master series has become one that is a stable in any horror fans collection, especially those fans of Charles Band and Full Moon Horror. This straight to video horror series debuted in 1989 and has since spawned ten official sequels, a cross over film with the Demonic Toys series and a completely separate film not through Full Moon. Now Charles Band is bringing not only the twelfth entry into the original franchise but also the first ever standalone feature film centered around it’s most beloved character - the homicidal hook-handed puppet assassin BLADE! Could this new chapter bring something fresh to the popular long running franchise or will it need to have its strings cut?

Blade: The Iron Cross follows Dr. Hauser, the Third Reich's maddest scientist, who rises again with murder and mayhem on his mind. As the deranged Nazi doctor's perverse plot is revealed, psychic journalist Elisa Ivanov awakens her own angel of death in Blade and together, maiden and marionette get set to hammer the evil Hauser back into hell where he belongs.

Before commenting on the film itself I want to deal with the question often placed with this series timeline that can be confusing. As with the last few films this one sticks the Nazi timeline and sits between the 5th (Puppet Master: Axis Termination) and 6th (original Puppet Master) entries to the franchise. This is obviously not the release order, but with a little internet search you can easily find the proper order they exist in the timeline if you would prefer to watch them like that instead of by release date.

Going into this film you already know the kind of film you are going to get so if you aren’t already a fan of the franchise then you won’t have your mind changed much here. It follows the same look and feel of the previous entries of the Axis story arcs. Where this one feels so different is the focus on Blade sort of. While this is a solo story for the character it still doesn’t overly focus on him. Sure he has moments to wreak havoc but felt sidelined way more than I would have expected being the focus of the story.

Instead of more Blade we got more of the Nazi scientists and detectives trying to solve murders making it tend to drag on when there is no fun to be had. This could still work had we had the supporting puppets to fill in the down time, but having to wait for something to happen with Blade made it feel off. It takes a while before he gets to get in on the fun making it feel like out of the Puppet Master series all together, but still jumps in enough to remind you it’s all connected.

In the end its more of the same thing that makes this franchise so popular but lacks the real punch that the puppets deliver together. I am always down for all things Puppet Master, but have to admit this might be my least favorite thus far.

 

If you are a fan like me then decide for yourself and check it out available now streaming over at https://www.fullmoonfeatures.com or on Blu-ray and DVD on November 10th from Full Moon Features.

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