Friday, October 24, 2008

Attack of the Puppet People


(1958)***

Sally Reynolds answers an ad listing a secretary position for a creepy doll manufacturer named Franz. Although she senses that Franz is a bit too into his life-like looking dolls, he convinces her to stay after pleading with her. You see, his last secretary vanished without a trace and he is simply swamped with work. A few weeks into the job traveling salesman, Bob, pops into Franz’s workshop and after much flirting manages to sweep Sally off her feet. Soon after, he proposes and she accepts. When Sally arrives at work the next day Franz informs her that Bob has gone back East to take care of some personal business and that she should forget about him. Sally doesn’t buy it and after some sleuthing, she is convinced that Bob has been turned into a doll. When she goes to the police the Sergeant is understandably skeptical. After some additional snooping Sally learns the horrible truth, Franz has created a machine capable of shrinking people down to one-sixth their normal size. When confronted Franz shrinks her as well, how do you like them apples?

Uh, yeah, the film is not quite as exciting as this poster might have you believe

When Sally awakens from her suspended animation state she learns that in addition to her and Bob, Franz has shrunk at least 4 other people. The 4 others appear to accept their fate and actually appear excited when Franz gives them the opportunity to dance – we’re then treated to a long dance sequence with “swinging music”, which I’m quickly realizing is the way all these old films padded their running time out. Sally and Bob are like, “Are you kidding me?” They eventually convince the others to make an escape attempt. As the police close in on Franz he informs all his “friends” that he intends to murder them all and kill himself. How will our gang get out of this jam?

"Dance, little ones, dance!"

I admit, I snagged this film based on that first picture, how could I not? This was a fun little treat that basically unfolds like an episode of that mistake season of The Twilight Zone where they attempted hour-long stories with middling results. As noted above the film is heavily padded during two sequences including the before mentioned dance sequence, but overall its still fun in all of its ridiculousness. I’m a sucker for movies about shrunken people who must deal with new threats (e.g., “Look out, there’s a mouse!”). I must add that this is one of those annoying films where the little people have so many opportunities to escape but never take them - I guess because then the film would be over.

5 comments:

DCD said...

What a hoot! I also like the small people thing. I always thought it would be cool to be shrunk like that. At least until the inevitable fall into the cereal bowl. Will I make it out alive??

JPX said...

I know, and think how long a chocolate bar would last or a piece of popcorn the size of your head - the food possibilities are endless. Ants would kind of suck though.

50PageMcGee said...

how fun would it be to talk on a phone that big?

JPX said...

It wouldn't be fun at all, you'd have to scream at the top of your lungs! They actually try to call the police in the movie but the cop answering the phone just keeps saying, "Hello, is anyone there?"

Also, when it rang you'd go instantly deaf.

Maria said...

I'm thinking about the large piece of popcorn. I'd be all for being tiny if I could have giant sized food.