ABRUPTIO (2023) Reviews of full-sized puppet horror

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‘Everyone’s a puppet’
Abruptio is 2023 American horror film about a luckless guy who wakes to find an explosive device has been implanted in his neck.

Written and directed by Evan Marlowe (The Impact; Horror House; Blood Rush, plus masses of shorts). Produced by Kerry Finlayson and Kerry Marlowe. Executive produced by Barry Finlayson, Susan Finlayson, Evan Marlowe and Martin Lee White.

The HellBent Pictures production features the voice talents of James Marsters, Hana Mae Lee, Jordan Peele, Christopher McDonald, Robert Englund, Darren Darnborough, Rich Fulcher and Sid Haig.


Plot synopsis:
Les Hackel (James Marsters) 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 his missions with deadly results.

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



“While it’s obviously not a film for every taste and not leavened by humor, Abruptio is a creature of its own device. Any film trying to push and use the boundaries of cinematic storytelling is at least worth your attention. The nightmare of Les Hackel’s mundane life may stay with you for a while, and you’ll find yourself recommending it to certain friends.” Fanboy Planet

Abruptio keeps the viewer enthralled throughout as we try to figure out the puzzle of just what the heck is going on. And there is plenty of blood and gore presented, so horror fans should be satisfied with that […] Abruptio is a trippy, enthralling film, a treat for the eyes and the brain. The visuals are eye-popping, and the level of voice talent and writing takes it over the top.” Fansided


“Whether or not you find the story capturing, there is no doubt that Abruptio is a unique cinematic experience, a surreal spectacle. Darkly comic, in the way you find yourself laughing every time you think, “what the…”. Abruptio is a wild ride of a film with a whole lot of time and effort by everyone behind it. It claims to be unprecedented, and it is not wrong; it is definitely something audiences have never come across.” 3.5 out of 5, Fear Forever

“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 for indie filmmaking, you definitely don’t want to miss out on a chance to check out Abruptio.” Pop Horror

“I had hoped the story would have a more meaningful resolution than it got, and I felt there could have been more made of the characters essentially being forced to act like puppets with the removal of most of their free will. Despite those small issues though, this was well worth watching though, not only for the lovely voice actors, but also for the inventive look, there are few films which look so visually unique.” 8 out of 10, The Rotting Zombie

“With all the paranoia, suspicion, wild ideas, and odd contraptions, Abruptio feels like you just fell into a Philip K Dick story. In a good way. Aliens, armed robbery, possible alternate dimensions, implanted devices, the list goes on and on. All of it leading to a point of clarity as if the whole movie up to that point was a necessary catharsis.” 4 out of 5 stars, The Scariest Things


“Abruptio is a wild ride that frequently has you questioning just what is going on and how much of it is real and how much is illusion or madness. There are several moments that recall other films, aliens that look like the critters in Southbound or Toho’s Space Ameoba, as well as nods to Brazil and Phantasm and a tone taken from Black Mirror. The final reveal however may be a step too far for some viewers…” 4 out of 5 stars, Voices from the Balcony

Abruptio had its world premiere at the 2023 Santa Monica Film Festival. You can watch it streaming (March 1 – March 12) via the Cinequest film festival’s online event, Cinejoy


Cast and characters:
James Marsters … Les Hackel
Christopher McDonald … Police Chief Richter
Hana Mae Lee … Chelsea
Jordan Peele … Danny
Robert Englund … Mr Salk
Sid Haig … Sal
Darren Darnborough … Clive
Rich Fulcher … Dummkopf
Sohm Kapila … Nurse Victoria
Patrick Cavanaugh … Dennis
Carole Ruggier … Doreen Hackel
John Wuchte … Dr Travers
Kerry Finlayson … Allison/Janie
David Alen … Rich Dad
Alice L. Walker … Rich Mom
Ross King … Lloyd
Elizabeth Arends … Nancy
Evan Marlowe … Abe/Radio Announcer
John Alexander … Human Les

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