The Curse of the Puppet Master
Curse of the Puppet Master is a 1998 direct-to-video horror film written by Benjamin Carr and David Schmoeller, and directed by David DeCoteau. It is the sixth film in the Puppet Master franchise and stars George Peck as a scientist, Dr. Magrew, experimenting with transforming humans into puppets, his daughter, Jane, played by Emily Harrison and Robert (Tank) Winsley, played by Josh Green as an orphan commissioned by the scientist to construct a puppet for his experiment. While Puppet Master 5 was intended to be the final installment of the series four years earlier, Curse of the Puppet Master (which borrows quite heavily from the 1973 eco-horror film Sssssss) is a standalone sequel that promptly revived the series, which has been ongoing since.
The film begins at The House of Marvels, a doll museum, with André Toulon's puppets in a cage, watching their current master, a man named Dr. Magrew (George Peck), stuffing something into a crate. Before leaving, he promises the puppets that things will be different next time. He drives into the woods, where he puts down the crate and douses it with gasoline, then sets it on fire. From inside the crate, faint screaming can be heard. The next morning, Dr. Magrew's daughter, Jane (Emily Harrison), has just returned home from college. She asks her father about Matt, his assistant. Her father tells her that Matt left, since his father was ill. He and Jane decide to drive into town to take their minds off things. Robert "Tank" Winsley (Josh Green), a very tall but meek young man, works at the gas station in town. He passes his time by carving small wooden statues. He is frequently harassed by bully Joey Carp (Michael D. Guerin). Jane and Dr. Magrew arrive and tell Joey to get lost. Jane finds one of the statues that Robert was carving and complements him on it, then shows it to her father. Dr. Magrew introduces himself and Jane to Robert, and offers Robert a job helping him with the Marvel show. Robert accepts and they drive back to the house.