Hi everyone I'm Jack Red, I saved the biggest horror movie series for last. Puppet Master series is very underrated horror movies that more people need to watch. Yes it wasn't as good as it once was after the fifth movie. I still enjoy watching most of them with an passion. Puppet Master is easily one of the best long horror movie series to date. Of course this is mixed just like Scream by many people. This is my Halloween marathon, Puppet Master series does belong here for all the right reasons.
Please note this is before both Puppet Master: Axis Termination & Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich comes out. If you are wondering no review of either movie that's why. Also I will likely will be doing an double review blog entry of those movies to make up for it.
Puppet Master (1989)
The original Puppet Master is one of the best killer doll/toy movies in history. The story covers an group of psychics searching the place where Andre Toulon died. Unknown to him, someone has control of his puppets. These puppets doesn't require strings, they move around similar to Chucky from Child's Play series. Yet how they go about things is very different. They only server their master that brought them all back to life. I am an huge fan of these puppets since my child hood. My personal favorite since the very beginning of my time getting into those movies has always been Blade. One of the few puppets to appear in every Puppet Master movie to date. Some of the most goriest kills in that category horror movie series. Especially when the puppets turn on their master. Still among one of their best kills to date as all of them are working together to kill him. Keep in mind Fullmoon Features was partnered with Paramount at the time. This was during Fullmoon Features prime as some of their best movies came out in those years including this one. Puppet Master is still one of the scariest low budget horror movies for many reasons.
Puppet Master II: His Unholy Creation (1991)
Oh man Puppet Master II to me was my favorite among the original five Puppet Master movies. The story involves the puppets brought Andre Toulon back to life. The puppets are killing people to come back to their master with particular parts of them. All of this leaves to one of the most disturbing endings in any horror movie sequels. This is occurring at the same place in the original Puppet Master movie. This also introduces one of my absolute favorite puppets named Torch. You don't want to piss this guy off because when he's angry everything gets set on fire. He looks more like an mix between an crazy Nazi & some kind of tank man. I didn't think they could top the final kill of the original but they did. It's even more difficult to watch because it is way more intense & violent. This particular kill isn't for those of an fainted heart or children. I love how all of this plays out so well with an ending you wouldn't expect. You learn a little more about the puppets which is always an good thing.
Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991)
To most fans of the franchise this easily is their top favorite movie. I won't argue that but it comes more off like an war movie. Not an actual war movie, more like someone trying to escape the Nazis. I would recommend two Indiana Jones movies with them over this one. I am not saying this isn't an good movie. There are horror parts with some of the best kills in the whole series. One of my favorite kills involves another favorite puppet of mine Six Shooter. Andre drops him off where he climbs up an building. An high ranking Nazi officer was just coming out of the room to get gunned down falling out the window. This movie also explains the origins of Tunneler, Pinhead, Leech Woman & Blade. This is one of the earliest movies in the Puppet Master time line. I would say this is an amazing movie for what it is. Early on Toulon's wife gets murdered by an Nazi officer. The more this movie goes on you do feel for his pain. Some people would love him getting revenge on him. Which for many fans stands as one of the best kills of the series. Maybe not as sick as the previous two movies but it makes sense to fit that man's punishment. This stands as one of the best third horror movies or has number 3 in the title. Now some may not like it coming more off like an war movie than an actual horror movie. I felt to say it could count as an great mixture of the two movie genres.
Puppet Master 4: The Demon (1993)
An new puppet master revived Toulon's puppets. Of course many wondered how would the puppets react to an new master. This stands as one of the few movies where the puppets are good guys. This time he with his friends are in danger from an Egyptian god. This being summons smaller demons all connected to his minions into their world to hunt down the secret of Toulon's puppets. These creatures remind me of Gremlins or Critters but doesn't talk & nastier. I like watching the puppets fighting these demons off. Of course I should mention the special puppet that has the soul of Andre Toulon. It is debatable how this is possible because of that scene from the original movie. This puppet takes a lot of effort to revive but stands as one of the most powerful ever created. Honestly it kinda like Frankenstein except an man's soul gets transferred inside an puppet that uses electricity as an weapon. This puppet also comes with a few heads to switch between. Every time these demons dies, his minions die with them. Surprisingly this works more than you would expect it to. Without question one of the best fourth horror movies or has number 4 in the title.
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)
The final Puppet Master movie while Fullmoon Features was partnered with Paramount. This directly follows Puppet Master 4 similar to Halloween 2 & Halloween 5. This time Eygptian god is pissed enough to make an powerful small demon for himself. Yes this plays out very similar to the previous movie with a few notable differences. For one thing Torch wasn't presented in Puppet Master 4. This small demon is easily fighting off the puppets. One of their friends is alive at an hospital recently receiving messages that are helpful to what's going on. I would say this is one of the best fifth horror movies or has number 5 in the title. But I agree Puppet Master 4 by itself is better than this movie. This is usually considered the worst among the original five Puppet Master movies. It is not bad by any means, just wasn't as good as the previous movies. I do recommend this to many horror fans especially those into Puppet Master series like myself.
Curse of the Puppet Master (1998)
Sadly the series started to go down starting with this movie. Curse of the Puppet Master is one of the more recent events in the time line. The story follows an old man experimenting with things. He becomes obsessive with possibilities of Toulon's puppets. This led to many murders through out the whole movie. To me this movie stands as one of the worst in the franchise. For one it never exists how Leech Woman is there when back in Puppet Master 2. She just killed an man to get killed by his wife in an furnace. They did an great job keeping the puppets looking good. I felt this has some of the worst kills in any Puppet Master movie. The ending is probably the most rememberable part of the whole movie. He forced an man that's been working for him soul inside an new robot puppet that ends up killing him. In all honestly this felt rushed from the moment it starts. The movie keeps you wondering does any parts stand out except for the ending. Sadly no I can't recommend this movie not even among Puppet Master fans. This stands as one of the worst technically sixth horror movies I ever seen. I should mention this is where the series became direct to video. Probably wasn't the best idea but the other good thing surprisingly this movie has going for it. Although it wasn't great, it did revive the franchise which is mixed among people. I am happy about it since I can't get enough of them.
Retro Puppet Master (1999)
In my opinion the best out of the next five Puppet Master movies. Just when you thought this would suck like the previous movie it doesn't. Retro Puppet Master covers an great deal that many people didn't know about Toulon & his puppets. This is exactly what ended in Puppet Master 4 & 5. An young Toulon meets an strange man that forever changed his life. To sum it up this man gave Toulon the secret of life that gets used on his puppets. Similar to Puppet Master 3 where it shade light on those puppets origins. This move does that with his original puppets he gave life to. Easily the best told story in the newer Puppet Master movies. Some of the best newer kills are present here. Before Nazis came looking for that secret, an Egyptian god tried getting it first. All of this not only one of the absolute best horror movie prequels but also gives you an idea to many things to come. In an nut shell the whole legacy of these puppets started an long time before World War 2. I like Toulon is telling the newer puppets about his past. Sadly this was the last time Guy Rolfe does the character before he died in real life.
Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)
To me this is the worst among all official Puppet Master movies. But second worst considering the unofficial cross over movie. Very new scenes are new because an lady is holding an man at gun point. This man later gets revealed to be not only the new puppet master but that boy Toulon met back in Germany. The entire movie is replaying several clips of the previous movies. There are better ways of going about such an concept. I kinda felt this was lazy because they should've cut it a little more. Then give us more of an story with newer footage instead. But we ended up getting ripped off with footage used from previous movies that it doesn't feel like an movie at all. Honestly it comes more off an like an poor science experiment you did for school to get laugh at. This is an joke officially this is one of the more recent in the time line yet it doesn't come off like that way. Some of the worst acting in any Puppet Master series. This is the only time the puppets kill their master with no reason given. I do like they show you how their new master knows of all these events. I highly recommend avoiding this movie at all costs. It is really not worth the attention by any means as it is simply an waste of your time & money.
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)
This is the bottom of the barrel for a lot of great reasons. Charles Band & his company weren't involved with the making of this movie. In fact they did it without getting permission making it difficult to find on DVD because of it. The worst looking puppets in the entire franchise especially after they get upgraded. Upgraded really haven't these puppets did plenty of damage without it. Why in god's name do they need to ruin the appeal of the puppets by doing that. What's worse is they also used another of their franchises, Demonic Toys in this cross over movie. What's sad is those toys look better than the puppets. I should mention an evil toy company taking orders from Satan is behind all of this. An family with relations to Andre Toulon gets dragged into it. All of it felt more like an strange science experience than an actual Puppet Master or Demonic Toys movie. From what I heard there already exists an good cross over movie with Demonic Toys. Why did Syfy chose to do this route is beyond me. Everything in every category is below average with terrible acting. I personally consider this an insult to Fullmoon Features movies. Easily the worst cross over movie I ever seen. Even Boa vs. Python was an better movie and that sucks too.
Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010)
Six years after the abomination that is Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys. Fullmoon Features comes back with an interesting take. They realized they never covered what happened after Toulon's death to the puppets. Considering the original actor William Hickey the original guy who played Andre Toulon already passed away back in 1997. They used some of their original movie footage with newer ones. If you are taking the time to compare it, there are several things they got wrong. For example the guy in newer footage whose playing an dead Andre Toulon is Chinese. I am not by any means an racist, I am just pointing that out. They screwed up the wall paper designs which was very notable. This shades more light on those two guys looking for Toulon in the original. This is taking place directly after that scene of the original. An new puppet master who is trying to get into the military but can't. This guy is like Captain America in his beliefs for this era. I like the Nazis are working with the Japanese for an similar goal. Obviously they are waiting to screw each other over. Some of the sickest kills in the series is in this movie. Like the guy eating his dinner to get sucked by leeches. I will be honest to say this has an great story for what it is. Sure it's not perfect but considering what the angle is. I could live with that since I like the new Ninja puppet. This has mixed acting but an huge improvement over two movies counting that cross over.
Puppet Master: Axis Rising (2012)
An direct follow up to Puppet Master: Axis of Evil. Fullmoon Features took an page from Halloween series. They made an sequel not too long after with the story continuing right at the end of the previous movie. An mad Nazi general wants an army of the undead to conquer the world for Hitler. They brought an concept originally used in Puppet Master 3 with an similar character whose also an scientist. For the first time the puppets fights puppets because the Nazis created their own. Honestly half of them doesn't fit the theme at all. Bombshell's name is misleading as this puppet doesn't have explosives. I'm sure some of you seen the Fembots from Austin Powers. This puppet literately has the same weapons as them. Kamikaze is likely to be seen racist as this puppet has an Chinese man's soul. His weapon fits perfectly for his name because he blows himself up. But the racist part is this taking place close to World War 2. In our history we were fighting the Japanese while other nations were taking on Germany & Italy. Plus some could reference the Atomic Bomb event that would be too much. The only Nazi puppet I like is Blitzkreig whose similar to Torch. An robot tank that can fire bullets from it's two uneven machine guns. Blitzkreig also can electrocute people by touching them. Also this was the only puppet to fit the theme perfectly. Yes I got side tracked a little bit but some would like to know what I think of those puppets. The acting is not as good as the previous movie but an more interesting story. However it doesn't play out as good as the previous movie. Yes I know moving on the Nazi general doesn't getting kill very well. In the previous movie with another Nazi got an better death & he was much lower in ranks. Some characters got different actors but with the exception of Ozu, they do their characters better. Yes I did say the previous movie has better acting. I can't help the people playing them in this movie is doing them slightly better. Of course the script also plays an role in that. This movie was ridiculous in what it was attempting. Not bad but still miles below the great Puppet Master movies.
I am done reviewing movies, but I have something very personal to me coming next to conclude my marathon.