REVIEW: PUPPET MASTER 1-10

CAST

Paul Le Mat (American Graffiti)
William Hickey (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Irene Miracle (Midnight Express)
Jimmie F. Skaggs (Catch Me If You Can)
Robin Frates (Man’s best Friend)

In 1939 Bodega Bay, California, an old puppeteer named Andre Toulon is putting the finishing touches on a living puppet called Jester. A living oriental puppet, named Shredder Khan, stares out of the window for Blade. Meanwhile, Blade scouts the grounds of the Bodega Bay Inn that Andre is staying. Two Nazi spies get out of a car and head for Toulon’s room but Blade beats them there and Andre puts Blade, Jester and Shredder Khan into a chest with the Indian puppet, named Gengie, before hiding the chest in a wall panel. As the Nazis break down the door, Toulon shoots himself in the mouth with a pistol. 50 years later, in 1989, psychics Alex Whitaker, Dana Hadley, Frank Forrester and Carissa Stamford make contact with an old colleague of theirs, Neil Gallagher, and conclude he found Andre Toulon’s hiding place. Each one of them experiences a different vision; Alex sees Neil pointing a gun at a young woman’s head, and dreams of leeches sucking blood out of his stomach, while Dana for-sees her possible death.

The psychics meet at the Bodega Bay Inn that Neil resides at and meet Neil’s wife, Megan, the woman from Alex’s vision. They also meet the housekeeper, Theresa. The psychics are skeptical that Neil took a wife but it is forgotten when Megan tells them that Neil shot himself. Theresa, Megan, and Alex leave the body, leaving Frank, Carissa and Dana. Dana stabs a long pin into Neil’s corpse to verify that he is in fact dead.

Each psychic experiences a vision; Dana tells Theresa not to go near the fireplace, Alex sees Neil wearing a mask while dancing with Megan in the dining room, and Carissa sees Neil assaulting a woman in the elevator. As the sun sets, Pinhead, who is another living puppet, climbs out of Neil’s casket. That night at dinner, Dana makes several remarks about Neil that causes Megan to leave the table. Alex goes after her and explains about the powers of the people in the group. Carissa is a psychometrist, and she can touch an object and give the object’s history, Dana can tell fortunes and locate things and people, and Alex himself has premonitions in his dreams and when he’s awake. All four of them were helping Neil in his research of Alchemy, and during that time, Frank and Neil discovered that the Egyptians created a method of giving life to inanimate figurines, a power passed down to practitioners of magic, and Dana tracked down the location of Andre Toulon, the last true alchemist, to the hotel. But because he hasn’t made contact with them in a while, Dana and the rest think he screwed them over and took whatever he was looking for himself, and they’re there to take it and settle the score.When night falls, Theresa goes near the fireplace and is knocked out when Pinhead hits her with a poker. Someone moves Gallagher’s body to a chair, and causes Megan to become ill. Before going to bed, Dana puts protection spells around Alex and his room, forcing Blade to leave Alex alive for now. Carissa and Frank spend some intimate time together to open up a channel and make contact with Neil in their hotel room but two more living puppets, Tunneler and Leech Woman, enter. Tunneler kills Carissa by drilling into her face and Leech Woman vomits poisonous leeches onto Frank’s body, which drain his blood, which it disrupts Alex in his sleep. Meanwhile, Gallagher’s body reappears in Dana’s room, and she puts a spell on him to put him at rest until she is attacked by Pinhead, who breaks her leg. Pinhead chases her and repeatedly strangles and punches her until she manages to knock him away, only to have her throat cut by Blade, using his knife-hand, fulfilling her fortune.

Alex has a premonition of Megan taking him to Toulon’s room when nightmares of Megan having a gun put to her head by Neil and the other psychics being found dead block him from seeing the room, but is eventually awoken by Megan, who takes him into the room that Andre Toulon was in, and tells him that Neil found Andre’s secret to bringing inanimate objects to life. Alex has a vision of Neil shooting him and they go downstairs to escape when Alex senses the others in the dining room, and finds their dead bodies sitting around a table. They are stopped by the newly resurrected Neil. He explains that “metaphysically speaking”, he did commit suicide, but he used Toulon’s secrets to give himself eternal life. He contacted them all so they wouldn’t take the secret from him, and he hopes to use their bodies for future human experiments (the first being Megan’s parents), expressing disgust of working with the puppets and violently throws Jester at a chair. Seeing this attack on one of their own, the puppets revolt against Neil, brutally killing him in front of Alex and Megan. The film cuts to Alex saying goodbye to Megan and leaving the hotel. Now alone, Megan picks up Dana’s taxidermic dog, and in the following scene, the dog becomes completely animate, walking up the stairs with Megan, suggesting that she, too, has learned Toulon’s method.

I was surprised: it was good very entertaining. It inspired me to see the sequels, too, and they – most notably the third one – were good, too. It’s a little slow to start with, but once the puppets begin their attack story gets interesting, concluding with a gruesome ending.

CAST

Elizabeth Maclellan (Crash and Burn)
Colin Bernsen (Naturally Native)
Steven Welles (The Addams Family)
Greg Webb (Boone)
Charlie Spradling (The Doors)
Jeff Celentano (The Player)
Nita Talbot (Girl Happy)
Sage Allen (Armageddon)
George Flower (Power Rangers In Space)

The film begins in 1991, when Shady Oaks, a cemetery in the backyard of the Bodega Bay Inn. We see Pinhead digging Andre Toulon’s grave. Pinhead opens up the coffin, climbs out, and pours a vial of the potion on the skeleton, with Tunneler, Leech Woman, Blade and Jester watching. After pouring the formula, the skeleton raises its arms, indicating that Andre Toulon is alive again. A few months later, a group of parapsychologists, led by Carolyn Bramwell (Elizabeth Maclellan), are sent to the hotel to investigate the strange murder of Megan Gallagher and the lunatic ravings of a now insane Alex Whitaker. It is explained that Megan’s brain was extracted through her nose (by Blade), and Alex, suspected of the murder, is now locked up in an asylum. While at the asylum, he begins to experience terrible seizures and premonitions.

That very evening, one of the investigators, Camille Kenney (Nita Talbot), decides to leave after spotting two of the puppets in her room. However, while packing, Pinhead and Jester attack and kidnap her. The next day, Carolyn talks to Michael (Collin Bernsen) about the disappearance of his mother, due to finding Camille’s belongings and car still at the hotel. That very evening Carolyn’s brother Patrick (Gregory Webb) gets his head tunneled by Tunneler. Another investigator, Lance (Jeff Weston) runs in, knocks Tunneler out, and kills him by crushing him with a lamp. After dissecting Tunneler, they realize that the puppets are not remote controlled, but rather that their gears and wood are run by a chemical. From this, they deduce that the chemical must be the secret of artificial intelligence.

The next morning, while still trying understand the puppet’s motivation, a man named Eriquee Chaneé (Steve Welles) comes in, stating that he had inherited the hotel, and that he was in Bucharest while the investigators moved in. Afterwards, Camille’s son Michael travels to the hotel, trying to figure out what happened to his mother. That very evening, Blade and Leech Woman go to a local farmer’s house, where Leech Woman kills the husband, Matthew (George “Buck” Flower), but gets thrown into the fireplace by the wife, Martha (Sage Allen). Just before Martha shoots Blade with her shotgun, a new puppet, Torch, walks in and burns Martha with his flame-throwing arm. It is then revealed that Eriquee is really Andre Toulon and he created Torch after being brought back to life, and he believes that Carolyn is a reincarnation of his now deceased wife, Elsa.

Toulon then has a flashback of him (played by Steve Welles) and Elsa (also played by Elizabeth Maclellan) buying the formula of eternal life from a Cairo Merchant (Ivan J. Rado). The next morning, Michael and Carolyn go into town to find Camille and to find out more about Eriquee Chanee. During this, it is revealed that the puppets are killing because they are growing weaker and need the secret ingredient that makes that formula: brain tissue. Carolyn finds no records of Eriquee Chaneé, and starts to connect Eriquee to the disappearance of Camille and the death of her brother, Patrick. At the same time, she also realizes she has a crush on Michael. That same evening, Carolyn and Michael kiss, and have a little romantic interlude, as do Lance and Wanda (Charlie Spradling), the remaining two investigators. While Wanda goes back to her room, Blade kills Lance, killing Wanda afterwards. After killing them, he uses their tissue for the formula.

During this, Carolyn sneaks into Eriquee’s room, and finds two life sized mannequins in the wardrobe. Eriquee sneaks up behind Carolyn, and still thinking she is Elsa, ties her up. Michael, hearing her screams, wakes up and goes to rescue her, all while fighting off Torch, Pinhead, and Blade. On his way up, the dumbwaiter opens, revealing Jester and Michael’s dead mother, Camille. Toulon transfers his soul into one of the mannequins, and explains that after seeing Carolyn, he decided for them to live together forever. The puppets, upon hearing this, realize Toulon used them for his evil needs, and start torturing him. Michael then breaks into the room, saves Carolyn, and the two run out of the hotel. Up in the attic, Torch sets Toulon on fire, causing him to fall out a window and die. Afterward, Jester goes back to Camille’s body with the remaining of the formula.

Several days later, it is revealed that Camille’s soul has been put in the woman-sized mannequin, and is now running her own little puppet show. Blade, Pinhead, and Jester, are locked up in a cage, leaving Torch free. Camille takes them to the Bouldeston Institution for the mentally troubled tots and teens. Camille puts the puppets in the back of her car, and Torch up on the passenger’s seat.

I love the Puppet Master series. Puppet Master 2 keeps the feel of the first film and did well in many categories. Average acting, good gore, nice kills, plenty of puppet screen time, a good storyline, and an awesome ending.

CAST

Guy Rolfe (Dolls)
Richard Lynch (Scarecrow)
Ian Abercrombie (Birds of Prey)
Kristopher Logan (Blood Dolls)
Aron Eisenberg (Star TRek: DS9)
Walter Gotell (From Russuia With Love0
Sarah Douglas (Superman 1 & 2)
Michelle Bauer (Vampire Academy 2)

The film is set during 1941 (in contrast to Puppet Master 1 establishing that Toulon committed suicide in 1939, and should’ve been 1938) in World War II Berlin. A scientist named Dr. Hess is forced by the Nazis, especially his Gestapo liaison Major Kraus, to create a drug capable of animating corpses to use as living shields on the battlefield after losing too many on the Eastern Front. But, Dr. Hess cannot get it right: While the corpses do reanimate, they have a tendency towards mindless violence. In a small theater downtown, Andre Toulon has set up a politically satirical puppet show for children, starring a six-armed American Old West puppet named Six Shooter, who attacks an inanimate reconstruction puppet of Adolf Hitler. The show is, next to a crowd of children, also attended by Lt. Erich Stein, Kraus’ driver. After the performance, Toulon and his wife Elsa feed the puppets with the formula which sustains their life force, but they are watched by Stein, who informs his superior the next morning. Hess, genuinely fascinated by the formula, wants Toulon to freely share the secret with him, but Kraus wants to take Toulon in for treason.

The next day, Andre gives Elsa a puppet crafted in her likeness as a gift, but soon afterwards Kraus, Hess and a squad of soldiers break into the atelier and take Toulon, Tunneler, and Pinhead. When Elsa attempts to prevent them from taking the formula as well, she is shot by one of the escort, and Toulon is dragged away from her. When Kraus prepares to leave, the wounded Elsa spits at him in defiance, and in retaliation, Kraus cold-bloodedly shoots her dead. However, while transporting Toulon off, the two soldiers guarding him are killed by Pinhead and Tunneler, enabling Toulon to escape.

After hiding for the remainder of the night, Toulon returns to his theater to find that the stage has been burnt by the Nazis. He finds Six Shooter and Jester and leaves with them, then discovers a partially destroyed hospital and decides to set up camp in it. Toulon wants revenge, so he, Pinhead and Jester break into the morgue to get his wife’s life essence and inserts it into the woman puppet he made for her, and as she comes to life, he inserts several leeches he found in a jar into her. Later that night, Toulon carries out the first revenge attack on Stein while he fixes Kraus’ car, along with Pinhead, Jester and Leech Woman, and on his flight from pursuers Toulon subsequently finds shelter in a bombed-out building.

Back in his lab, Dr. Hess is studying Toulon’s formula, and desperate to meet and talk with him, he goes back to the old theater. Meanwhile, some friends from the puppet show, a boy named Peter Hertz and his father, find Andre and decide to live with him after Peter’s mother was arrested on charges of espionage. The next day, Toulon sends Six Shooter to kill General Müller, the supervisor of the Nazi reanimation project, while Müller is visiting a brothel. While Six Shooter manages to kill the general, Müller shoots off one of the puppet’s arms beforehand. Peter goes back to Toulon’s old atelier to look for a replacement arm and is caught by Dr. Hess, who treats him kindly and gets him to take him to Toulon.Dr. Hess finds and talks to Toulon, who tells him about the puppets’ secret, and the two become friends. But Peter’s father betrays Toulon by telling Major Kraus about his hideout in exchange for a pardon for his family. Kraus and his men storm the ruin, but the puppets fight back, enabling Toulon and Hess to escape. Kraus stops Peter and his father, demanding to know where Toulon is; Hertz fights against and is shot by Kraus. While searching the nearby houses, one of Kraus’ men is shot by Six Shooter; but when Hess approaches him, the soldier puts a knife into him before expiring. Hess dies from the injury, telling Toulon to keep fighting. Toulon returns once more to his old theater, where he falls asleep from exhaustion and is soon joined by the now orphaned Peter.At night, Major Kraus returns to his office, only to fall prey to an ambush by Toulon and his puppets, now joined by Blade, infused with Hess’ essence. Toulon takes terrible revenge on Kraus by hanging him from the ceiling by his limbs and neck, which are impaled by sharp hooks. After having a halberd from Kraus’ office decorations planted into the floor, point up, Toulon sets the rope on fire; the rope eventually snaps, and Kraus falls fatally right onto the halberd. The film ends with Toulon, posing as Kraus, and Peter leaving the country for Geneva on the express train.Toulon’s Revenge is one of the best in the whole Puppet Master series. What makes this movie great is it tells who the puppets are and shows the making and birth of leech woman.

 CAST

Gordon Currie (Highwaymen)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Ash Adams (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Teresa Hill (Cruel Intentions 2)
Guy Rolfe (Dolls)
Felton Perry (Robocop)
Stacie Randall (The Assault)
Michael Shamus Wiles (Fight Club)

In the underworld of Hell, the demon lord, named Sutekh, sends forth a trio of diminutive servants called the Totems, magically controlled by his netherworld minions, to kill those who possess the secret of animation, including the magic Andre Toulon used to give his puppets life. It transpires also that a team of researchers working on the development of artificial intelligence are close to discovering Toulon’s secret. Sutekh sends one of the Totems as a package to two of the researchers involved, Dr. Piper and Dr. Baker of the Phoenix Division, who are taken by surprise, killed and stripped of their souls by the foul creature.

One of the researchers, a talented young man named Rick Myers, is working as a caretaker at the Bodega Bay Inn and has also been using it for a place to conduct his experiments on the A.I. project. The same night Drs. Piper and Baker are murdered, Rick’s friends Suzie, Lauren, and Cameron come to visit him. At dinner, Lauren, who is a psychic, finds Blade (who had been discovered earlier by Rick inside the house and is still animate) and then Toulon’s old trunk, with the puppets, Toulons diary and some phials with the life-giving formula inside. Out of curiosity, Rick and his friends use the fluid on the puppets, and one by one they awaken; next to Blade, they find Pinhead, Six Shooter, Tunneler and Jester. (Torch, who joins the puppet cast in the sequel, makes no appearance here.)

Fascinated by the puppets’ spontaneous reactions, and believing that the formula is the answer to the running AI projects, Rick wants to see how smart they are by playing a laser tag game with Pinhead and Tunneler. Cameron, who is competing with Rick for success, tries to use the formula’s secret for his personal gain, and he and Lauren decide to use a strange gameboard found in the trunk to try and contact Toulon for its exact composition (the recipe of which was not recorded in the diary). But the glowing pyramid icon which goes with the board is a conduit between the mortal world and the underworld; Sutekh uses the link to send two of his Totems to attack. Cameron and Lauren attempt to flee by car, but Cameron is ambushed by one of the Totems inside his car and killed, while Lauren manages to get back into the hotel. When Rick looks after Cameron, the Totem attacks him as well, but he manages to escape.

But inside the inn, the third Totem, sent in earlier by package, is also on the prowl. The puppets, intend on protecting Rick, search the hotel and soon manage to kill one of the Totems in the kitchen and, through its supervision link, its controller in the underworld. Then Toulon’s spirit, who has been appearing around the hotel all night, tells the puppets to animate the Decapitron. Under Rick and Suzie’s astonished eyes, the puppets move up to Rick’s room, retrieve a box which contains yet another puppet with a soft plastic head, and revive it with the formula and a lightning strike. The two remaining Totems attack to disrupt the process, but one is electrocuted when Six Shooter uses a wire as a lariat to divert some of the lightning’s power into the Totem. Decapitron briefly awakens, and his head morphs into the likeness of Toulon, who explains to Rick the origin and the secret of the life-giving formula. The phial, however, turns out to be missing; immediately suspecting Cameron, Rick goes back to search his body, where he does find the phial.Meanwhile, the last Totem corners the panicked Lauren and prepares to drain her life away when Suzie interferes and douses it with acid. Toulon speaks through Lauren, urging Rick to animate Decapitron to destroy the Totem, and Rick uses his computer to divert power from his generator into Decapitron, bringing him to life. As the Totem attacks, Decapitron exchanges his plastic head for an electron-bolt launching system and destroys the creature. Afterwards, Toulon speaks to Rick yet again, surrendering custody of his puppets and the formula to him and promising his help in times of need.

I thought this was entertaining enough. Not as good as the third, but fun. And the puppet FX were good once again. The whole puppet vs. Puppet concept works great on providing action and effects, and the demon-puppets were good villains. I found there is plenty of clever stop motion here, all done very well.

CAST

Gordon Currie (Highwaymen)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Teresa Hill (Cruel Intentions 2)
Guy Rolfe (Dolls)
Ian Ogilvy (Death Becomes Her)
Nicholas Guest (Star Trek II)
Willard E. Pugh (Robocop 2)
Diane McBain (Spinout)
Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction)
Kaz Garas (Mean Creek)

Following the events of Puppet Master 4, Rick Myers has been arrested under the suspicion of having caused the murders of Dr. Piper and Baker, but Dr. Jennings, the new director of the Artificial Intelligence research project and Rick’s temporary superior, gets him out on bail. Blade has been confiscated, but he escapes from the police department’s evidence room and jumps into Susie’s purse as she comes to fetch Rick. Lauren lies comatose in the hospital following the events in the inn. Meanwhile, in the underworld, Sutekh decides to take matters into his own hands and infuses his life essence into his own Totem figure.While Jennings professes scepticism toward Rick’s story, he becomes actually quite interested in acquiring Toulon’s secret, especially since the project’s unofficial sponsors are luring with a sizeable contribution, should he succeed in presenting a prototype soon. Jennings returns to the Bodega Bay Inn with three hired thugs “Tom Hendy, Jason, & Scott” to collect the puppets and the formula, but in the meantime Rick is roused by a nightmare and finds Blade by his side. Sensing that something is about to happen, Rick and Blade depart for the hotel. Susie, while paying a visit to Lauren, witnesses her friend receiving a vision of Sutekh and his Totem. Unable to contact Rick, she proceeds to the hotel as well.Jason enters the room that Cameron and Lauren had the Ouija board set up in. The Pyramid on the board starts glowing as Jason looks at it, the door slams behind him, and he looks in the puppet trunk as the Sutekh/Totem jumps out on him and claws him to death and takes his life-force. Scott encounters Pinhead and makes fun of him and Pinhead hits him in the jaw. Scott then enters the kitchen and attempts to hit Pinhead with a rolling-pin as Jester hits him between the legs with a meat tenderizer. Hendy encounters Sutekh/Totem and trips over a wastebasket as Sutekh/Totem claws him to death. Jennings finds Hendy’s body and later on encounters Sutekh as Sutekh chases him until he is saved by Torch and Six-Shooter. Sutekh knocks down Torch with his powers. Six-Shooter shoots Sutekh as Sutekh runs off. Jennings attempts to retreat, then he encounters Pinhead and Jester and he changes his mind. Jester heads to Rick’s room as Pinhead sees Sutekh/Totem go through a door. Pinhead pounds on the door as Sutekh/Totem jumps on Pinhead and dominates him until Blade pulls him off and stabs him as he takes off flying. Rick goes back to his room and runs into Suzie; the door slams and locks them in. Rick gets on his computer and tries to figure out who the source is on the “Life Force Rick” and “Help Me!” messages, and the source turns out to be Lauren, telling Rick to activate The Decapitron. Jennings enters the room and tries to convince Rick to get his puppets and for them to leave. Jester enters the room and leads Rick to where the Decapitron is hidden.

Rick, Suzie and Jennings proceed to revive Decapitron, and Toulon advises them to leave the hotel while the puppets will engage Sutekh. Jennings, however, insists on taking one of the puppets with him, despite Rick and Suzie’s warnings. Rick, Suzie, and Jennings take the elevator down as Scott encounters Sutekh/Totem and it claws him to death. As the elevator passes the floor he was on, Rick gets ready to step out of the elevator as Jennings starts attacking Rick. Rick kicks Suzie out of the elevator to get her out of harm’s way as Jennings and Rick go back up. Jennings knocks out Rick with his flashlight; he steps out of the elevator and gets stopped by Jester and Decapitron along with Tunneler and Torch. As the elevator goes back down, Pinhead opens the door as Decapitron transforms his head into Jennings, informing Jennings that three lives were taken over Jennings’ selfish greed. Tunneler and Torch go toward him and Torch flairs his flamethrower at Jennings as Jennings falls to his death down the elevator shaft.Sutekh corners Rick and Suzie, but Decapitron shows up, allowing them to escape. Sutekh weakens Decapitron with his powers. Sutekh gets shot by Six-Shooter as it distracts him for Decapitron to blast a bolt of lightning at him. Blade walks over to Sutekh and checks to see if he’s dead. Jester sees Sutekh moving and tries to warn Blade but Sutekh knocks Blade into the wall and takes down Six-Shooter with his powers. He attempts to take down Blade with his powers, but having stayed too long in the mortal world, Sutekh’s essence has become vulnerable, and his power wanes. In desperation, Sutekh attempts to escape back into the underworld by opening a portal, but Decapitron fires electron bolts at it, overloading the conduit and causing it to explode, destroying Sutekh.Rick takes the puppets back home to repair and care for them. Toulon speaks with Rick one final time, again entrusting his puppets and their secret to him while they will act as his protectors. And Rick muses that his fight has now just begun.

Although intended to be the final chapter, it wasn’t, having this be a direct continuation of the fourth was a good idea. It’s another worthy sequel.

CAST

George Peck (Anywhere But Here)
Emily Harrison (Take)
Josh Green (Spiders)
Michael Guerin (The Dentist)
Jason-Shane Scott (The Bay)
Robert Donavan (Murdercycle)

The film begins at The House of Marvels, a doll museum, with Andre Toulon’s puppets in a cage, watching their current master, a man named Dr. Magrew (George Peck), stuffing something into a crate. Before leaving, he promises the puppets that things will be different next time. He drives into the woods, where he puts down the crate and douses it with gasoline, then sets it on fire. From inside the crate, faint screaming can be heard. The next morning, Dr. Magrew’s daughter, Jane (Emily Harrison), has just returned home from college. She asks her father about Matt, his assistant. Her father tells her that Matt left, since his father was ill. He and Jane decide to drive into town to take their minds off things. Robert “Tank” Winsley (Josh Green), a very tall but meek young man, works at the gas station in town. He passes his time by carving small wooden statues. He is frequently harassed by bully Joey Carp (Michael D. Guerin). Jane and Dr. Magrew arrive and tell Joey to get lost. Jane finds one of the statues that Robert was carving and complements him on it, then shows it to her father. Dr. Magrew introduces himself and Jane to Robert, and offers Robert a job helping him with the Marvel show. Robert accepts and they drive back to the house.Upon arriving, they introduce Robert to Toulon’s puppets, which amaze him, since they’re alive. At dinner, Magrew reveals that he bought the puppets at an auction years ago, and that he tried to make a living puppet just like Toulons’, but has never been successful. He asks Robert if he’ll help him carve the puppet, to which he agrees. The next day, during the show, the town sheriff, Sheriff Garvey (Robert Donavan) and Deputy Wayburn (Jason-Shane Scott) arrive. They tell Magrew that Matt is missing, and they wonder if Magrew’s seen him since he left. He insists that he has not, but they do not quite believe him. That night, Magrew gives Robert the wood and the blueprints for the puppet. Robert does not understand how the puppet will live. Magrew tells him the way to make a dead thing live is: “You put your soul into it”. Robert begins carving and works non-stop. At dinner a few nights later, Magrew reveals that Matt did carving for him as well. While Matt’s work had quality, Robert’s work has perfection, which is what he wants to make. He uses Blade as an example: “He never tires, never hungers, knows no fear, tells no lies, feels no pain, knows no secrets. And what is man except a being at war with himself? But not Blade. He has no hidden motives, no secret self. He is purely and perfectly what he is. In fact, I think the world would be a better place if we were all like him.”That night, Robert wakes up and finds that his legs have turned into carved, wooden legs, like a puppet. But this ends up being a nightmare. While Robert carves the puppet, Jane thinks he is working too hard and while trying to get his attention, causes him to cut himself. She bandages the cut on his hand for him, and asks him about himself. He reveals that he is an orphan, and he has never been smart enough to go to college. Jane tells him that his hands can do things that people with brains only imagine being able to do. They both develop feelings for one another and kiss. Later that night, Robert has another nightmare, but this time, his entire body (minus his head) is wooden, complete with inner clockwork gears. The next day, Jane, thinking that Robert is working too hard, convinces him to take a break. They drive to the woods, and Jane tells him about a beautiful clearing in the woods she found as a little girl. On the way, they stumble upon the half-burnt box that Dr. Magrew burned at the film’s beginning.

Robert reaches in and pulls out a carved wooden hand, much like a puppet hand. He tries to show it to Jane, but she is walking away. Meanwhile, Joey and his friends are in the woods when Jane arrives. Joey begins to harass her and steps in her way, blocking her. She continuously shoves him to the point where he is angry, and he sexually harasses her. Robert arrives and tells Joey to leave her alone. Joey ignores Robert and threatens to rape Jane. Finally, Robert snaps and throws Joey onto the hood of his car and begins choking him. Jane pulls him off, and they drive back to the house. At the house, Robert confesses that when he was choking Joey, it had nothing to do with him or Jane. He felt like he was choking all the things that ever plagued him in his life. Dr. Magrew tells Robert that he is at war with himself: “There’s another self inside, a true or more natural self. A creature of violence, with no fear, no conscience. A killer. You spend your whole life battling the self that lives inside. And what happened today, though just for a moment, you lost that battle. The real you, the true you, came out.” Robert does not know if he is right or not, but he would “rather die than have it come out again.”

Later that night, Joey comes to the “House of Marvels” to beat Robert up, but then decides to try to rape Jane again. As Jane sees him and tells him to get out, Pinhead, who was in the room, jumps at Joey and starts choking him, but Joey pulls him off and then starts squashing him with his foot, breaking off his left hand, and breaks his right arm. Dr. Magrew and Tank show up, but Joey makes a run for it. Dr. Magrew, who wants revenge, takes Blade and Tunneler to Joey’s house, and sends them to kill him. Joey, who’s lifting weights, gets his forehead slashed by Blade, and gets his crotch drilled by Tunneler. Back at the house, Robert shows up at Jane’s room and shows her that he fixed Pinhead, Jane thanks Robert, then they start to kiss, she then tells him that he can stay if he likes, then they kiss again. As Dr. Magrew comes back, he sees Robert coming out of Jane’s room, and then decides to talk to Jane, and is then surprised when he sees that Pinhead’s fixed, but then he starts going crazy when Jane says she loves Robert, and tells her that he does not want to see her get hurt, and then leaves. Five days later, Friday, Jane finds Robert very sick, and then has her father call the doctor, but he really does not, he just fakes it. Then he tells Jane that he has to go pick up a stuffed mermaid oddity for the “House of Marvels”at the post office at the edge of town, and tricks Jane into offers to picking it up for him, while Dr. Magrew waits for the non-coming doctor to come. Back at Joey’s house, the medical examiner (William Knight) believes that Joey’s death was intentional. Sheriff Garvey starts to ask one of Joey’s friends, named Art (Marc Newburger), when was the last time they saw Joey and who else was there, and he says last Sunday in the woods, and Mr. Magrew’s daughter was there. Hearing the name Magrew, Sheriff Garvey and Deputy Wayburn decide to give Dr. Magrew a little visit. But as Garvey and Wayburn arrive at the House of Marvels, Six Shooter throws a rope around Wayburn’s neck and Pinhead pulls the rope, causing him to fall and gets his head tunneled by Tunneler, killing him. At the same time, Blade slashes Garvey’s leg, making him fall and drop his gun, and then he and Jester start slashing his face, with Magrew laughing as he watches them kill. Meanwhile at the post office, Jane keeps asking the shipping agent (Patrick Thomas) if he is sure what her father ordered is not there, so the agent calls Tommy Berke (J.R. Bookwalter) to ask him will it come in, but Tommy says that Magrew has not bought anything from him in the past six months.

Hearing this, Jane decides to go back to the woods to see what that burned box was. She sees that it’s one of Matt’s carved puppets, then it starts to speak: “Jane!” for help in Matt’s voice. She then realizes that her father’s going to do the same thing to Robert, so she quickly drives back to the House. Meanwhile at the house, Dr. Magrew puts Robert’s soul into the puppet, named Tank, he especially made for Robert via electricity, and it finally works this time, but the puppets are angry because they did not want him to kill Robert, so Blade slashes Magrew’s legs, hand, and face, Tunneler drills through his leg, and Pinhead hits him with a metal cane. As Jane arrives at the house, she finds her father nearly dead, bleeding to death, with him pointing at Tank, saying “I did it”. Suddenly, the Tank Puppet starts to move and points its arm at Dr. Magrew. The arm shoots out a bolt of electricity, and electrocutes Dr. Magrew straight between the eyes. The film ends with a shot of Dr. Magrew screaming before death, and Jane screaming in horrified terror.

A much better entry than expected, this one has some good parts and a few mild flaws to put this one down. If you’ve come this far into the series, it’s not a bad one and is certainly watchable by series standards.

CAST

Greg Sestero (the Room)
Brigitta Dau (Horror 101)
Stephen Blackehart (Super)
Jack Donner (Stigmata)
Guy Rolfe (Dolls)

The movie begins in 1944, Switzerland, taking place after the events of Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge. (In contrast to Puppet Master 1 establishing that Toulon committed suicide in 1939, and should’ve been 1938.) Toulon and his little friends are still on the run, and decide to hide in the Kolewige, an inn that’s 4 miles from the Swiss border. Blade finds the wooden head of an old puppet named Cyclops in their trunk, and when Toulon sees it, he then tells his puppets the adventures with the woman he loves, and his retro puppets, starting in Cairo, Egypt, in 1902.

A 3,000 year old Egyptian sorcerer, named Afzel, has stolen the secret of life, and is fleeing the servants of an evil Egyptian god, named Sutekh. Two servants, imbued with magical power from Sutekh, attack him, but are killed easily by Afzel and his own magical power. After dispatching the two servants he begins his journey to Paris.

Meanwhile, Sutekh has given life to three of his oldest servants—Egyptian mummies. After they rise from their chamber they too begin to pursue Afzel. Cut to Paris, where a young Andre Toulon is putting on a puppet show of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Watching from the crowd is Elsa, who has left her cold-hearted abusive ambassador father and harmless mother (who wasn’t in this) to view the wonders of the country and has decided to see the play. In the sewers nearby the three mummies have hired two thugs to kill Afzel. The thugs are necessary since Afzel has the power to sense the coming of the mummies.Afzel is beaten brutally until Elsa, leaving the theater, sees them and cries for help. The thugs then scatter, leaving Toulon and Elsa to pick Afzel up and bring him inside. Later, when he stirs from his sleep, he talks with Toulon and reveals that he knows the secret of life, and it’s the only thing that can protect humankind when the elder gods rise up in 100-1,000 years, and needs to pass it on to Toulon. Toulon is skeptical until Afzel begins to make the puppets move. Now Toulon realizes he is genuine and begins to learn his powers. Then Afzel starts to make the puppets draw a barrier that’s supposed to protect him if the servants come back.

While stepping outside for a brief moment, Toulon begins to talk to a beggar who has sat on the steps since the beginning of the movie. However, he is dead, and when Andre becomes aware of this he begins to mourn. Afzel tells him to bring him inside to teach him the true secret of life. After bringing him inside they use a ring to transfer the soul of the beggar to the puppet, “Pinhead”. The puppet starts to move but, after a few questions the puppet runs away into the theater. Later on, Elsa returns to talk to Toulon, until her father’s rude servants come by, and they take Elsa and Toulon back to her house, and after Toulon talks to the father, he gets knocked out, and is then thrown into the woods.The next day, back at the theater, Valentin storms in as the barrier written on paper falls off the wall. The three mummies see their chance to attack and begin their rampage through the theater. Valentin finishes repairing the door as two of the mummies break in and kill him. Vigo runs backstage to Duval and Latour and falls dead. Duval stabs the lead mummy in his hand as the mummy kills him with his other hand. Latuor gets out a gun and shoots the lead mummy three times as the other mummy comes in through the back door and all three of them use their magic to kill him. Afzel appears and says Sutekh shall not claim his life, and kills himself with his own magic. Satisfied with victory, the mummies begin to leave. Once Toulon returns from the woods, he sees what has happened and acts quickly by putting their souls inside his puppets.

The men return, having sensed someone with the knowledge of the secret of life, and try to kill Toulon. His puppets, however, kill one of the mummies with Six Shooter by shooting the chandelier chains, causing it to crush the servant. The two henchmen retreat in order to plot the capture of Elsa to lure Toulon into a trap.

Feeling that he had won the battle, Andre and his puppets go to a train station to leave Paris to Kara, Togo before things start to get bad, not realizing they had already begun. The servants killed her parents, the guards and capture Elsa, and then send a dream to Toulon that shows Elsa tied up, and a train. Knowing the meaning, he quickly changes trains to Merca, Somalia and gets his puppets ready for the showdown. When the train leaves, Andre looks around, having released his puppets and letting them follow him throughout the train, until finally coming to the last car and finding Elsa tied up like in his dream. The two men appear and ask for the secret of life. Andre displays the scroll where the secret is written and asks, “How do you know I haven’t copied it?” to which the leader states he did not have enough time to do so, but still is doubtful he hadn’t. Andre, noticing he is distracted, attacks the leader while his puppets attack the other. A large struggle breaks out, and the other henchman is killed with the final leader of the three being thrown from the car. Freeing Elsa, the group rides away in the train, beginning their adventure. After telling the story, the puppets wonder what happened to the other puppets. Andre tells them that’s another story, which he will tell them in the future.

reg Sestero brought a lot of charisma to the role of Andre Toulon. And though the cinematography was not excellent, and there was minimal violence and gore, this film was a lot of fun. I am a big Puppet Master fan and have grown to expect blood and gore from the films of this series, but I can say that I was never bored through the entire course of watching Retro Puppet Master.

CAST

Jacob Witkin (Evil Bong 2)
Kate Orsini (Nashville)

The film begins with a rogue agent, Maclain (Kate Orsini), in one of the rooms in the Bodega Bay Inn, reading Toulon’s diary, hoping to find some secret to the formula. The diary bursts into flames. As Maclain enters the basement, she finds a man named Eric Weiss (Jacob Witkin) talking to the last Toulon puppets: Blade, Pinhead, Jester, Tunneler, and Six Shooter. Eric explains that he knew Toulon before he died, and that he swore he wouldn’t pass it to anyone else. Maclain threatens Eric with a gun. Eric then takes out a tape recorder, and plays a recording that Toulon left him.

Cut back to present day, Eric reveals that his real name is Peter Hertz, the boy who was saved by Toulon in Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge. After the conversation, Maclain, stressed out, shoots Eric in the knee, knowing he knows more about Toulon and his puppets’ bloody legacy, such as Toulon’s suicide. Eric believes that Toulon only killed those who deserved to die. Maclain, however, brings up the subject of the murders that happened with the parapsychologists in Puppet Master II. After the argument over whether Toulon was good or bad, Maclain still threatens to shoot Eric with the gun. Eric tells her that the puppets fought a war that was a hell of a lot tougher than anything they ever known, and then he plays another tape recording of Toulon, which tells about Sutek’s attempt to steal the elixir formula to kill the Puppet Master.

After the recording finished, Maclain tells Eric that she knows everything about Rick, because before she came to the hotel, she went to Rick’s house where she found Toulon’s diary. When Rick didn’t cooperate to give up the diary, she shot him and his friends four times and took the diary with her. Seeing that there’s one last recording, Maclain threatens him to play it. The recording talks about how there’s always someone discovering Toulon’s secret, even after his supposed death, always someone who didn’t fully understand what a gift, or a Curse…the formula for the puppets really was. After the recording, Pinhead throws a mallet at Maclain’s head and Eric shoots her in the heart with her own gun, for trying to take over the puppets. Maclain, minutes away from death, explains that’s not what she wants, and she tells Eric that when the puppets brought Toulon back to life, he resumed his final experiment, the one he started before he committed suicide: Soul Transference.Maclain then explains that she’s not here for the secret of bringing the puppets to life to sell it to the open market, she’s there to know what makes them die for good. Maclain finally explains: Toulon and ALL of the Puppet Masters that followed in his footsteps created immortals, souls trapped in wooden bodies, living every day in agony, wanting revenge on their Puppet Master, whose title now belongs to Eric. After explaining, Maclain drops dead on the floor. Eric hears something behind, turns around, and sees the immortals they, the Puppet Masters, have created (off-screen). He points the gun at them, and pulls the trigger. Then a note appears:The producers would like to thank all the cast and crew that helped make the Puppet Master series a tremendous success over the years, ending the series with everything good of the Puppet Masters, the puppets themselves, to fight off everything bad of the Puppet Masters, their unholy creations. And the puppets, no matter what, will stop at nothing to protect…the Puppet Master.Puppet Master: The Legacy isn’t for everyone that’s for sure as most of it is just footage taken from the other Puppet Master films. However I quite liked it as I really like the first two in the series, the killer puppets themselves have real character & personality & are some of the best & most memorable seen in this type of film & if you like the Puppet Master series & know what your getting yourself into then I’d say it’s worth watching but probably not worth buying as you’d only want to watch it once.

CAST

Jenna Gallaher (Nightfall)
Taylor M.Graham (Breaking Wind)
Tom Sandoval (Behind Your Eyes)
Jerry Hoffman (The Kolaborator)
Erica Shaffer (The Truth)
L:evi Fiehler (Fetching)

The film begins at the Bodega Bay Inn, 1939. Danny Coogan (Levi Fiehler) is making wooden chairs for a wedding reception for his Uncle Len (Jerry Hoffman), who owns the Inn. Danny tells his uncle that if it was not for his limp, he would be able to go to war, along with his brother Don (Taylor M. Graham), and tells his Uncle that he’s going to help Andre Toulon. Toulon is guest at the inn, whose wife was killed by the Nazis because they wanted a formula, a formula that allows his puppets to come alive. After escaping from Berlin to Geneva, Toulon came to America to hide from the Nazis. As Danny’s heading over to Toulon’s room, he hears a gunshot and goes to see what happened. Two men dressed in black leaving Toulon’s room push Danny aside, and as they leave, he manages to get a glimpse at one of their faces. He enters the room and finds Toulon dead with a gun in his hand. Danny, to whom Toulon showed his puppets, grabs them out of a wall panel and finds that all the puppets are still there, along with unanimated Six Shooter and another puppet, named Ninja.

The next day, Danny goes to visit his mother, Elma (Erica Shaffer) and his brother Don (Taylor M. Graham). Don is being shipped off to war the following week. Meanwhile, the two Nazi assassins, Klaus (Aaron Riber) and Max (Tom Sandoval), are heading to an Opera House in Chinatown, under orders from The Führer, where they meet a Japanese saboteur named Ozu (Ada Zhou Fang). She tells them that she’s under orders from The Emperor, which are for her and the Nazis to work together to take out an American bomb manufacturing plant, destroying America’s war efforts. To obtain this goal, it requires Max to go undercover and pretend to be of American descent and work at the plant, and to get close to the girl who runs the plant’s office, Beth (Jenna Gallagher), who is coincidentally Danny’s girlfriend. The next day, after bringing the puppets to life, Danny walks into the plant to show them to Beth, and sees Max there. Recognizing him as one of the assassins, he tries to warn Beth away from him, but she doesn’t believe him.

After Max leaves the plant, Danny follows him back to the Opera House, and uncovers their plan. Danny is seen by Max, and quickly leaves. Max calls the Bodega Bay Inn to find out where he lives and sends Klaus to Danny’s mother’s place where Elma and Beth are planning a bon voyage party for Don. Klaus shoots Elma, and kidnaps Beth, and also shoots Don when he unexpectedly comes home. Danny comes home to find Don bleeding to death, and after telling him what happened, thanks to Toulon’s diary, puts his brother’s soul into Ninja’s body. Danny and the puppets head out to the opera house to get Beth. Tunneler and Leech Woman kill Ozu’s men and Ninja and Pinhead kill Klaus. Danny saves Beth, but Ozu badly hurts Ninja, so Danny and Blade threaten Ozu with the active bomb to back off, which is taken by Max, and supposedly disables it. Ninja, with what little left of life he has, stabs Ozu’s sword into back killing him. Ozu takes off with Tunneler and supposedly Jester and Leech Woman inside the bag, leaving behind Blade, Pinhead, and the mortally wounded Ninja. Danny swears that Ozu has a war coming to her.I enjoyed the movie. Its a good story and kept me entertained through out. I liked how they combined the old footage with the new and it was great to see William Hickey again as Andre Toulon. The recreation of the bodaga bay inn was good, I couldn’t tell the difference from the original. I liked the humor, the family scenes and the emotion of the lead character. All he wanted was to serve his country, and like all good stories he got his chance. It was great to see the puppets in action again doing what they do best. The new puppet was also entertaining.

CAST

Kip Canyon (Bermuida Triangle)
Jean Louise O’Sullivan (Gingerdead man 3)
Otto Brezina (Dissociative0
Brad Potts (Intersection)
Kurt Sinclair (Minority Report)
Stephanie Sanditz (Kate & Leopold)

Ozu, the villain from the previous film, walks down a dark alley only to be stopped by Kommandant Moebius, the Nazi general. Ozu offers him the puppet Tunneler, in exchange for her freedom. Moebius gladly takes the prize, which immediately kills SS Soldier #1. Moebius “sets her free” by shooting her in the head. While this takes place, the puppet Blade watches from the shadows. The next morning, Danny and Beth are recovering at Danny’s house. Danny tells the rest of the puppets that he couldn’t revive Ninja, but they will get back Tunneler. Blade appears and informs them of Ozu’s death and Tunneler’s capture by the Nazis. Danny and Beth respond to a knock at the door only to be grabbed by mysterious men in suits. Meanwhile, in a secret lab in Chinatown, Docter Freuhoffer, a German doctor with a fixation on dolls, is working for Moebius to develop a machine that can reanimate the dead. The seductive Uschi, a Nazi, tries to motivate the doctor only to be interrupted by Moebius. He demands a demonstration of the machine. He brings in a Japanese man and slits his throat. The machine makes him walk for a moment only for him to decay and fall down. Freuhoffer promises to fix the machine. Moebius reminds him that if he doesn’t, his daughter will be killed. He then presents him with Tunneler to study.Danny and Beth are revealed to have been taken to a military base. Major Collins commends them for thwarting the bombing of the weapons factory. He also informs Danny that General Porter will be in town and that he will present him with a medal. To protect them, he has Sergeant Stone assigned as their bodyguard. Back at the lab, Moebius and Uschi are discussing the machine and what it will mean for him. A soldier enters and informs him of General Porter’s arrival. Back at Beth’s house, Stone is settling in and getting on Beth’s nerves with his sexist attitude. Back at the lab, Freuhoffer is examining Tunneler when Uschi enters and tries to again seduce him. Moebius enters and in a rage shoots Uschi through the head. Danny, Beth, and Stone eat and discuss how they can help their cause when Danny thinks Stone should be introduced to the puppets. Freuhoffer tries using the fluid he extracted from Tunneler in his machine to revive Uschi but it fails. Danny introduces a dumbfounded Stone to the puppets and tells him that the Nazi’s have one of them that needs to be recovered. Freuhoffer shows Moebius his newest creation, Bombshell, a puppet made in Uschi’s image with machineguns in her chest. Moebius, while amused, still wants his machine completed.Danny and the others take Blade and Pinhead to Chinatown to locate the Nazi base. They are ambushed by Bombshell and must retreat. Bombshell returns to the lab and Freuhoffer presents three other puppets Weremacht, a werewolf, Blitzkrieg, a tank, and Kamikaze, a walking bomb. Danny and the others are preparing for the award ceremony when Leech Woman tries to tell them something. During the awards, Freuhoffer’s puppets attack, and kill Major Collins. Danny’s puppets take them on but are beaten back. Porter, grateful to Danny, allows him to enter the army. Danny and the others ponder how to stop the Nazi puppets when Leech Woman pulls out Six-shooter’s head. They locate the lab and take out the Nazi guards. Once inside, they locate and recover Tunneler, but are stopped by Moebius and Freuhoffer’s puppets.The puppets fight and this time the Nazi puppets are beaten. Beth holds Freuhoffer at gunpoint, but lets him explain himself. Moebius and Stone fight and just as Stone gets the upperhand, Moebius stabs and kills him. Moebius comes at Danny, but is shot down by Six-shooter. Moebius, still alive, pulls out a gun and plans to shoot Danny, who states “Never screw with America”. Blade then comes from behind and stabs Moebius. Beth and Freuhoffer come out and tells Kamikaze to detonate, destroying the lab and Moebius. Danny and Beth let Freuhoffer go but as he leaves the others didn’t notice he has a bottle of the puppets’ fluid.Picking up where Axis of Evil left off producer Charles Band’s cult creations return. Mr Puppet Master – Band himself directs this instalment and it shows, Axis Rising feels grander than the last, more film-like with better looking locations and production values, plus there’s some noteworthy digital and make up effects. The infamous puppets look more like their original designs especially everyone’s favourites Blade, Jester and Pinhead. The outrageous new puppets this time around are more welcome and its a kick to see some ‘classic’ puppets return.

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