Monday, 25 June 2012

Shadow Puppets

"Shadow Puppets" (2007, Shoreline Entertainment, Angel Entertainment, Michael Winnick) is a haunted insane asylum flick.

A woman (Jolene Blalock) awakes alone in a padded cell with no memory of who she is, wearing only a vest top and shorts. She eventually becomes aware of a man (James Marsters) in another cell. He too cannot remember who he is and is also wearing a vest top and shorts.

They decide to trust one another and go on a tour of the apparently abandoned building. They find several other people, all in the same state of dress and with apparent amnesia. Some are locked up in slightly more worrying ways, and so the group let them out dubiously. Amongst the crowd are the ever awesome and combative Tony Todd, Marc Winnick, Natasha Alam, Diahnna Nicole Baxter, Richard Whiten and Jennie Ford.

During this, they are being hunted down, and some killed, by a living shadow. It appears to have heat vision and is hungry for people...

For a sense of roundness, despite all the characters having supposed  amnesia(!), you have the nerd, the vixen, the scary guy, the one who just dies first, the moan-y chick who's probably talking sense, the hero, the heroine... etc... etc....

As well as trying to find their way out of the asylum, avoid or vanquish the monster and find out who they are, they also attempt to solve the mystery of what has happened to them.

Will they escape? Can they trust one another? Will they like what they find out about themselves? Watch and see!

The special effects are computer generated and low budget. Some of the scene dialogue is a bit 'by the numbers' but Jolene Blalock shines as the lead character and the cast as a whole are really very well rounded. And when can you not love Tony Todd getting angry?

I'm a James Marsters fan. Any movie he is in I'll watch. Any movie he's in running around in a state of undress is really a bonus. It's nice to see him playing a role in his own accent and a human too! Although, as usual, he's not all he appears....

There's a twist which you may not see coming if you keep away from the internet. The characters are built up well to make each look suspicious, and the setting is spot on!

Not a huge fan of the end, and poor James gets the worst of the special effects for his big exit! Some shadow spokes through the nipples? Really?!

There is one really fun scene in the lab though, which they used in the trailer.

The start might make you jump if you're not expecting it. But all in all, it's not a very scary movie. But it has promise, and I wouldn't chuck it out of my collection, even if it's just so I can own things with Mr. Marsters in that don't involve bleached hair...

A good yarn.

[Picture: Shoreline Entertainment]