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Klaus Kinski’s Miniature Doppelganger in Puppet Master

Puppet Master series is modeled after Klaus Kinski, allegedly director David Schmoeller’s favorite actor. Considering the weirdness of this particular fanbase (or haven’t you seen the tribute videos?) and how easily nonsense becomes “true” after being repeated enough, I have to admit this seemed like a dubious bit of trivia. In fact, I was rooting for it to be false — designing a murdering puppet in someone’s likeness is certainly an unsettling way to demonstrate affection.

As it turns out, the story is true, as Schmoeller himself reveals in an interview with Terror Trap. “Blade is really Klaus Kinski – see the resemblance?” he says, neglecting to address a detail that has me feeling a little strange: Schmoeller’s movie was made in 1989, and Kinski died in 1991, the same year that Puppet Master II came out. Considering this is a franchise in which living humans’ “life essence” is often channeled into doll-sized avatars, is no one else afraid of the voodoo at work here?

With seven sequels and no end to the franchise in sight, what’s been
keeping this low-budget cult juggernaut wheezing along all these years?
And why does Blade stand out so prominently as a fan-favorite among the
franchise’s many gruesome avatars? Are you in there, Klaus? These are
all tough questions, but re-watching the original Puppet Master as good a place to look for answers as any .

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