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Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991)

DVD Cover (Echo Bridge Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
Puppet Master
> Puppet Master (1989)
> Puppet Master II (1991)
> Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991)
> Puppet Master 4 (1993)
> Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)
> Curse Of The Puppet Master (1998)
> Retro Puppet Master (1999)
> Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)
> Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)
> When Puppets And Dolls Attack! (2005)
> Puppet Master: Axis Of Evil (2010)
> Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012)
> Puppet Master: Axis Termination (2017)
> Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Supernatural Horror, Toys
David DeCoteau David DeCoteau
Guy Rolfe Guy Rolfe
Richard Lynch Richard Lynch
Ian Abercrombie Ian Abercrombie
Kristopher Logan Kristopher Logan
Aron Eisenberg Aron Eisenberg

6.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: September 11, 2007
Puppet Master probably should have sucked. It wasn't the best movie ever made, but it had its charm. Then they made Puppet Master II, which by the unspoken sequel rule, should have sucked in its own right. In some respects it actually beat the first, although it admittedly fell victim to a pretty bum ending. Now, here comes Puppet Master III. Not only is it the third movie in a B horror franchise, but it's actually a prequel, telling the back story that we pretty much already knew. Since it isn't Star Wars, it really has no business doing that. Let's face it, Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge didn't have a chance in Hell. Well Puppet Master III was fucking amazing.

During World War II, the infamous Andre Toulon is using his puppets to put on political satire shows for the kids. The shows feature an Adolph Hitler puppet (No worries; this one's not alive, folks) being harassed by Six Shooter, a six armed cowboy puppet. The artist apparently has a set of brass ones, because he's doing this right in the middle of Berlin. Obviously, the Nazis don't take too kindly to that and send a spy to watch him and Toulon's little friends are discovered. Of course, the Nazis love this little trick and raid his house, demanding that Toulon and his toys go with them, which they're able to convince them of by killing his wife. Fueled by rage, Toulon escapes with the help of his puppets and together they set out to avenge his wife's murder.

As you can probably tell, this isn't a horror movie. I don't know exactly what genre it would fall under, but the movie boils down to watching Toulon's puppets take out Nazis. Plus, the puppets are actually the "good guys" this go around, and you can't be scared of the puppets if you're rooting for the little bastards; which would normally be considered a horror do-not, but it actually turned out to be a really good decision. Considering this movie is centered on Toulon, there was really no other way to do it.

Continuing the trend set by the first sequel, the puppets' camera time has been upped even more. In fact, they and Toulon are the main focus this go around. And despite the fact this one was out less than a year after part two, you could see there have been some vast improvements in the puppets' animation. I'm not sure if there was a technological breakthrough between the two movies or if they just had a bigger budget this time, but the difference is very noticeable. Whatever it was, it was used well; especially in the cases of Jester, who makes up for his lack of activity in the last two movies, and newcomer Six Shooter. Considering he's a puppet sporting six revolvers obviously he's used in more than one kill, and they were done quite nicely. Makes up for the overused, "sinister" laugh they gave him.

It being a prequel, of course it's obligatory that we have a shitload of the franchise's questions answered and this one is no exception. Now, more often than not, it does more harm than good, but Puppet Master III was actually able to pull it off without smudging its roots. We learn a lot about the man Andre Toulon. We learn about the puppets themselves. Hell, we learn the very secret behind bringing puppets to life, which could have very well spelled disaster (*coughmidichlorianscough*), but instead it's so beautiful in its simplicity. Plus, as an added bonus, we get to see the very creation of Blade and Ms. Leech. And it all works very well in regard to the first two events, with only one plot hole created in II. I won't give it away, but I'll just say it has to do with Ms. Leech's creation.

Now, as is often pointed out on this site, the problem with prequels is that there are certain things you know are going to happen, because you've seen the future. While Toulon is attacking the Nazis, we know he's not going to be killed because he has to blow his brains out in the Bodega Bay Inn in 1941. Plus, I'm sure most people have a problem with this movie as it humanizes the puppets somewhat, thus making the other entries that were actually horror less scary. However, I still say, for what it had going against it this movie has no right being half as good as it ended up being. Almost gives me a new hope for prequels again. 8.5/10.
Recommended Movies
Puppet Master II Puppet Master Curse Of The Puppet Master Retro Puppet Master Puppet Master: Axis Of Evil
Puppet Master 4 Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter Puppet Master: The Legacy Demonic Toys Lurking Fear
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys Totem Puppet Master X: Axis Rising Doll Graveyard Dollman vs. Demonic Toys
QuietMan #1: QuietMan - added 09/11/2007, 10:07 AM
This is my favorite one great story good acting and 6 shooter 10/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 09/11/2007, 04:44 PM
I enjoyed most of these films, to an extent, and this one is probably my favorite just because it embraces more of a whimsical side to the story that was absent in the first and second film. These are horror films, yes, but they are also twisted fairy tales, of sorts. This installment gives us new puppets like Six Shooter and more of a back story to the previous two films. The rest after this one have been pretty lame, but part three certainly outshone the original and almost part two. It's rare when sequels outshine the original so consistently. 8/10.
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