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Soundtrack review: Puppet master: The littlest reich (Fabio Frizzi – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Puppet master: The littlest reich (Fabio Frizzi – 2018)



“Puppet Master” is an American horror film franchise which focuses on a group of anthropomorphic puppets animated by an Egyptian spell, each equipped with its own unique and dangerous device (although not in all installments of the series are the puppets portrayed as threatening) and are represented as heroes, antiheroes and antagonists. The littlest reich is a reboot of the franchise. Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother’s room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash. Girl-next-door Ashley and and comic book pal Markowitz join Edgar for a doomed road trip to an auction at a convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time. Fabio Frizzi wrote the score.

I was not aware that this huge franchise existed, to my shame. The composer is Italian though and this is a guarantee that there will be romance even in these dire conditions. No sooner than the first cue, the main titles, I am welcomed by an elegant waltz (I suppose all waltzes are elegant though) which announces nothing bad. In the next cue it gets a bit darker, the orchestral music is still there but quieter, getting menacing. There are chimes that hide the muffled music in “Third floor hallway”. It’s an interesting hybrid of a cue with a violin motif also popping up every now and then. As the score progresses I hear a definite retro vibe in the way Fabio Frizzi wrote the music; it’s in the early electronic motifs and in the orchestral passages that echo back to the classical Jerry Goldsmith horror scores. “A puppet named Blade” tickles my nostalgia bone.

Then as the story dives more into horror the music changes even more towards electronic tension; the score never gets loud and scares by making that tension very intense. There are times when the music sounds as if it was more fitted for a space isolation horror movie. All these elements make the score work also on its own as it engages me and keeps me interested for the entire duration.

There’s a bit of something for everyone in “Puppet master: The littlest reich”, from romance to retro to horror so it’s a nice little score to give a listen to.

Cue rating: 75 / 100

A puppet named Blade

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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