A mad doll-maker turned scientist shrinks some hapless young people and makes them his living dolls. Directed by Bert I. Gordon, this was originally released in 1958 by American International Pictures in a double-feature package with War of the Colossal Beast by the same director.
This film provides examples of:
- Chroma Key: It's especially noticeable when the doll maker holds a shrunken cat.
- Covers Always Lie: The dog attacking the dolls in the poster art (and on the DVD cover) is a totally different dog from the one in the film.
- Empty Piles of Clothing: Averted, in that we never see the dolls in anything but doll sized clothes or a napkin. It's implied, as one states they saw their old clothes hung up in a closet.
- Evil Old Folks: Zig-Zagged. The doll-maker shinks people against their will, but he treates them very nicely, and mostly just seems to be lonely. Until he decides to Kill 'Em All.
- The '50s: Clothing, slang, all of it is typical fifties.
- Informed Attribute: Mr. Franz's old friend Emil often describes his marionette act as one of the best in Europe, but what little is shown is downright amateurish.
- Never Trust a Title: The Puppet People are more like doll people. Also, they never attack anyone.
- No Ending: Two of the dolls get back to normal and leave saying they're calling the police, but we never see what happened to the other little people, what the police did, or if the doll maker decided to kill himself instead of living the rest of his life alone.
- Police are Useless: A detective is following the doll maker, but never catches him doing anything. He never even gets past the Not Now, Kiddo subplot, even when a little girl backs up the missing character's story.
- Puppet Shows: Only one starring the living dolls and a Jekyll & Hyde puppet.
- Shrink Ray: Although all the shrinking is done off screen.
- Taking You with Me When the doll-maker is about to be connected to all the vanishing people, he decides mass murder/suicide is a better alternative to being alone.
- That Poor Cat: He shrinks his cat to demonstrate the shrink ray, then shoves it in a matchbox and lets a little girl play with it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never learn what happened to four of the six puppet people.
- Wicked Toymaker: A friendly puppet/dollmaker is shown to secretly shrink people in order to store them in his lab. Every once in a while he pulls them out and makes them "play" for him.