Mr. Salk (Robert Englund) is really having a day...

You Had Me at Puppet Horror… ‘ABRUPTIO’ Review

I would really hate to be your scrotum right about now.” ~Police Chief Richter
Danny (Jordan Peele) offers his best dating and romance advice.

When I heard “puppet horror” and saw all the notable names doing voices, I had to see what Abruptio was all about. It’s about a little over an hour and a half (94 minutes and 35 seconds to be exact). Kidding! That is its runtime, but Abruptio was a strange trip. Most definitely a great use of puppets.


Abruptio Sypnosis

Les Hackel hates his life. He works a dead-end job, was just dumped by his high-maintenance girlfriend, and still lives with his nagging mom.

One night, he discovers a fresh incision behind his neck. His friend Danny tells him it’s a bomb, that someone has implanted one in his neck, too. And then the messages start coming in, forcing Les to carry out missions with deadly results.

Les is partnered up with a series of oddball characters to commit heinous tasks. The violence escalating around him, Les pieces together the clues that reveal the horrific plans to breed a monstrous race of beings.

Sal (Sid Haig) trades dad jokes for magic tricks in an attempt to cheer Les up.

Abruptio is a puppet noir, with horror and sci-fi elements and most definitely comedic moments. The film prides itself on the use of full-scale puppets in real-world locations, and they most definitely pulled it off. There’s no shortage of interesting characters. And once you get past the initial creepiness of foam latex puppets with glass eyes that blink, you really start to have fun with them. The story is engaging and just gets wilder and wilder as it goes along.

Doreen (Les’ mom voiced by Carole Ruggier) being maternal the best way she knows how.

I have to say that my mind was blown by the cinematography. Such beautiful lighting and so many fantastic shots– action shots even, WITH PUPPETS. GINORMOUS PUPPETS! I can only imagine the work it took to get here, but the labor of love absolutely paid off.

Les (James Marsters) contemplates what he’s done.

They began filming in 2015 and have an all-star cast; James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1997), Christopher McDonald (The Collection 2012), Hanna Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect Trilogy), Jordan Peele (Nope 2022), Sid Haig (3 From Hell 2019), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984), Darren Darnborough (True Blood 2011) that bring life to the characters in the best way.

The husband and wife team of Evan and Kerry Marlowe mention on their Seed & Spark campaign that they do the bulk of the work to keep the costs down; Evan shot and edited the film, and Kerry did production design and costumes.

Shooting Lala

Final Thoughts

I come from a microbudget filmmaking background, which gives me a deep respect for the efforts indies make. But that’s not the only thing I’d give love to on this project. The story is pretty crazy which of course makes for a fun ride, and for me, adding puppets always makes things better.

Evan and team did a fantastic job of bringing this wacky tale to life using ginormous, freaky puppets. So, if you love puppets and have passionate support of indie filmmaking, you definitely don’t want to miss out on a chance to check out Abruptio.

Abruptio Poster

About Tiffany Warren

Along with writing for PopHorror, Tiffany is a video editor and 3D rendering and animation enthusiast. When not writing, she's hiking and making photos, or loving on her precious furbabies.

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