Tonight on MeTV-we’d like to thank all the little people- no thanks to a deranged dollmaker who somehow has the scientific genius to actually shrink living things! It’s another classic 1950s feature from Bert I. Gordon- augmented with some vintage Sven anniversary segments from the last time we ran it many years ago! Even though it's the full-sized man who’s the menace- the movie is titled “Attack of the Puppet People!”
As this 1958 film begins, we join a troop of Brownies on a field trip ( hope you have a signed permission slip) to a doll manufacturing company- “Dolls Incorporated”- a title that may have been appropriated in later years by some gentleman’s club. This one is the factory where owner and operator Mr. Franz creates some amazing playthings- some of which are in a locked glass cabinet, which the visitors are warned not to mess with.
The “help wanted” sign is out (actually in a newspaper ad), since Franz’ previous secretary seems to have unexpectedly disappeared without a trace- and a pretty young woman named Sally answers the ad, and, though finding the boss a little odd, takes the job.
Visitors constantly seem to drop by the place- like an old puppeteer pal of Franz, and various salesmen- including one named Bob who starts out annoying Sally- but she warms up to him- big time! He eventually proposes marriage, asking her to join him and go to his home in St. Louis- and she accepts! Bob says he will stop in at her workplace to inform Franz of their plans and her resignation.
Something is not right, though- Bob never shows up the following day to pick her up. When she goes into work, Franz mentions that Bob had already departed for home, alone- the cad! He advises her to just forget him- but Sally still has the feeling that something is amiss- especially when she spots a perfect replica doll of Bob in the case with the boss’ “special collection”! She goes to the police, who are skeptical about her claim that perhaps her boyfriend was turned into a doll, but they still check out her story- at which time Franz manages to convince the policeman that the doll is just a doll, and nothing more.
It appears Sally has made a grave error by bringing suspicion upon Franz- he won’t let her depart, and shows her what he does to anyone who tries to leave him ( he has a sad backstory of how the love of his life ran away “with someone she liked better”). Soon, Sally is shocked to find that she too is now doll-sized- and meets the other victims of his shrinking ray- including Bob, and the others who were held in suspended animation in glass tubes as part of his collection!
Franz keeps his little friends to assuage his loneliness and to have them entertain him- with no chance of escape, though they make their attempts. Meanwhile, the policeman is getting suspicious because people have been disappearing- could Franz be responsible?
This begins a cat-and-mouse game (and there actually are both in the film)- as Franz forms a sinister plan that will spell the end for them all. Can his tiny treasures get away from him and return to their normal size before he can carry out his scheme?
This is another film with Bert Gordon’s specialty- featuring a menace that is big ( compared to his victims who are small- and puppets only in the sense that they are under his control)! We’ll talk about the cast, including a member of Gordon’s own family, plus John Hoyt, and John Agar, who we just saw last week tussling with the Gill Man. We will also provide a new song- and, as mentioned above- show a couple segments from a Sven anniversary back in 2009.
“Attack of the Puppet People” begins tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time. The live-Tweeting during the show continues on Twitter, with viewers using the hashtag #svengoolie – and again making us a high trending topic nationally! This morning on our local Chicago station CW26, those in the area can again enjoy the Gill Man’s return in “Revenge of the Creature” at 11 am.
We are truly touched by the many submissions for MeTV’s #LoveSven February “month of love” initiative every week-we have one more week to go, with the final request being that, starting tomorrow, fans post photos of themselves with their Sven merchandise, again using the hashtag #LoveSven! Speaking of merchandise, until the end of this month, you can still get that 14% discount on purchases using the code LOVESVEN. It’s another way to thank you for the love you show us!
You can show us more love tonight by tuning in to MeTV for the story of a less than lovable villain who prefers to be the next big thing for his victims!