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Puppet Master (also titled The Puppet Master and Puppetmaster) is a 1989 American horror film written by Charles Band and Kenneth J. Hall, and directed by David Schmoeller. The film stars Paul Le Mat, Irene Miracle, Matt Roe and Kathryn O'Reilly as psychics who are plotted against by a former colleague, using puppets animated by an Egyptian spell.

Originally intended for summer 1989 theatrical release, before being released on home video the following September, Puppet Master was ultimately pushed to a direct-to-video release on October 12, 1989, as Band felt this was likely to be more financially successful than the theatrical market. It was very popular and has since developed a large cult following, and a franchise.

Plot

1939, Bodega Bay Inn, California: An old puppeteer named André Toulon is putting the finishing touches on his newest puppet, Jester, before he brings it to life. Two Nazi spies arrive and head for Toulon's room while Kahn, another living puppet, warns him. Toulon calmly places all the animate puppets in a chest and hides it in a wall panel compartment. As the Nazis break down the door, Toulon commits suicide.

Present day: Four psychics miles apart are all "contacted" by Neil Gallagher, all five of them previously being acquaintances: Professor Alex Whitaker through a nightmare involving Neil and leeches, Dana Hadley via a premonition of her own death, and psychic researchers Frank Forrester and Carissa Stamford through unspecified means. Dana has also uncovered Toulon's "hiding place" and tells the others, arranging a meeting at the Bodega Bay Inn, where Neil resides. Upon arrival, they are surprised to find that not only does Neil have a wife, Megan, but that he has also killed himself, leaving instructions for Megan on the others’ arrival. She leaves them with the body to pay respects and Dana stabs a long pin into Neil's corpse to verify that he is in fact dead.

While getting settled into their rooms, the psychics experience different confusing visions of Neil. That night at dinner, Dana intentionally riles Megan, causing her to leave the table and Pinhead, another animated doll, crawls out of Neil's casket. Alex follows Megan and tells her their history with her husband. Carissa, a psychometrist, can see any object's emotional history by touching it, Dana can tell fortunes and locate items and people, and Alex himself can foresee the future in his dreams. Neil was researching alchemy and with Frank's help discovered that Ancient Egyptians had created a method of reanimating inanimate figurines, a power also discovered by André Toulon, the last true alchemist. But because Neil had not made contact with them in a while, Dana and the rest thought that he had abandoned them and took whatever he was looking for for himself, and they are there to take it and settle the score.

That night, Theresa the housekeeper attends to the fire and is attacked by Pinhead with a poker, fulfilling Dana's fortune for her. Gallagher's body has moved to a chair which Megan finds, causing her to faint; Alex attends to her while the others return the body to the casket. After Blade finds protective spells on Alex and Dana's rooms, he moves on to Carissa and Frank's, who are having very loud sex and disrupting Alex and Dana's sleep. Two more puppets, Tunneler and Leech Woman, enter. Tunneler kills Carissa by drilling into her face when she inspects a noise coming from under the bed and Leech Woman regurgitates leeches onto Frank, who's tied to the bed, draining his blood. Returning from a walk, Dana finds Gallagher's body in her room and she is attacked by Pinhead, who breaks her leg. Pinhead chases her and repeatedly strangles and punches her until she manages to knock him away and crawl to the elevator, only to have her throat slit by Blade, fulfilling her fortune.

Alex suffers more nightmares, eventually woken by Megan, who shows him Toulon's diary and tells him that Neil found Toulon's secret to reanimation. Alex has a vision of Neil and they rush downstairs to escape but find the bodies of Dana, Frank and Carissa sitting around the dining table accompanied by the newly resurrected Neil. He explains that while he did commit suicide, he used Toulon's secrets to become reanimated himself in an effort to become immortal. He reveals that he killed Megan's parents and expresses disgust for the puppets, violently throwing Jester, now satisfied to have human puppets to experiment with. The other puppets witness this and descend on Neil; Tunneler takes out his legs and Blade pins him down while Leech Woman regurgitates a leech into his mouth and Pinhead finally breaks his neck. The next day, Megan sees Alex off and as she ascends the stairs, she brings Dana's stuffed dog Leroy to life.

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