Review: The Puppet Man brings sonic shocks to the Florida Film Festival


  • Image via Puppet Man Official Site
Short horror film The Puppet Man, currently making the film festival rounds (including a recent Sundance engagement), is part of this year's round of "Midnight Shorts" at the Florida Film Festival

The film directed by Jacqueline Castel (known for video work with Zola Jesus and Soft Moon) and produced by Sacred Bones Records, has the irresistible hook of a cameo appearance by legendary director John Carpenter. It even features a soundtrack largely built around the director's distinctive synth work.

The film is equally heavy on the atmosphere as it is tension, with lurid colors that wouldn't be out of place in an Argento film, and a finely-paced dread that builds before a bloody explosion. However, what really stood out to me is the film's use of the entirety of Bob Morrison's juvenile delinquent garage rock jam "Hey Puppet Man" during a pivotal scene of the film. The snotty primitivism of Morrison's voice and riffs meshed with the total slasher chaos on a level with the Cramps' "Surfin' Dead" perfectly soundtracking a zombie home invasion in Return of the Living Dead. And I mean that as the highest of praise. (Listen to both songs below.)

Puppet Man screens this Saturday, April 16th, at midnight (naturally) at the Regal Winter Park Village A.

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