Jacqueline Castel’s The Puppet Man harkens back to 80’s style slashers very much in the vein of John Carpenter. This is no accident. John Carpenter not only wrote the score to The Puppet Man, he also has a cameo as a cab driver in the 9 min short.
Full of style and atmosphere, The film does seem to lack much of a narrative. Four friends looking for a good time and a drink wander into a seedy bar with an even seedier bartender. He initially tells the foursome that the bar is closed, but is persuaded to serve booze after one of the males drops $100 to stay at the bar.
That’s when Creepy McBartender (played excellently by Bradley Bailey) asks if they’ve ever heard of “the Puppet Man”. They haven’t. A cab is called by the briber to take the group home. The movie then descends into madness and bloodshed. One girl is flirting up a drunken storm, the other is fighting for her life to get the fuck outta there. It doesn’t end well for anyone, not even the cabbie John Carpenter since He drove out there to pick up four people who would never leave that bar or pay him.