REVIEW: RETRO PUPPET MASTER

CAST

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

22881The film begins in 1944, Switzerland, taking place after the events of Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge. Toulon and his little friends are still on the run, and decide to hide in the Kolewige, an inn 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.Drill_guyA 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 André 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 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.evil-guysAfzel 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.MV5BYmM4MWIzNGEtMDc0NC00Zjc5LWJmNDItZmQ1MDE3MjQxODcwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_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.MV5BZWJjNjhjYzEtNzI5Zi00N2MwLTkwMWYtMjk4ZjI1ZTJhMzZjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_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.MV5BZWMxNTk1MWQtMDM3Ny00YWY3LTkyMjAtYjMwMTA4MDhlYWE5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_Feeling that he had won the battle, André 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, André 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. André 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. André, 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.retro-puppet-master-blade-dr-deathGreg 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.

REVIEW: PUPPET MASTER 5

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)

Lord_SutekhFollowing 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.MV5BMDFiOGZkZjgtZTU0MS00ZDc0LWJiZGEtMzM1NjA2MDZjYmE3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_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.MV5BNDJmNjM5YzEtYWFiNC00NjM1LWExZWYtMDdhZDJmMGU0NjQ3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_SX1404_CR0,0,1404,999_AL_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.puppet-master-5-pic-4Rick, 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 he falls to his death down the elevator shaft.puppet-master-5-soul-transferSutekh 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.puppet-master-v-5-demon-puppetAlthough 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.

REVIEW: PUPPET MASTER 4

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)

5In 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 André 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.pupmasteriv5One 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 vials 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.)Puppet Master 4Fascinated 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.puppet_master_4-2But inside the inn, the third Totem, sent in earlier by package, is also on the prowl. The puppets, intent 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 vial, however, turns out to be missing; immediately suspecting Cameron, Rick goes back to search his body, where he does find the vial.Puppet-Master-4-5Meanwhile, 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.vlcsnap-2010-11-15-14h12m22s90I 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.

REVIEW: PUPPET MASTER III: TOULON’S REVENGE

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)

03-1The film is set during 1941 (in contrast to Puppet Master 1 establishing that Toulon committed suicide in 1939, and should be 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, André 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 and insulting of the Führer.5dcda-puppetmaster3-4bigThe next day, André 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 shoots her dead in cold blood. However, while transporting Toulon off, the two soldiers guarding him are killed by Pinhead and Tunneler, enabling Toulon to escape.29e38-puppet-master-iii-toulons-revenge-kraus-richard-lynchAfter 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 André 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.MV5BYmQ5YTc4NzctYmJmYi00NzhiLTgxMWQtNDY5MzhiODBjOWMyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_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.MV5BZjkzZTZiZjEtNzI3ZS00ZDU1LWI0ZGYtN2M2MWEzNDIyZjY5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk0OTM1NzU@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,961_AL_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 fatally falls right onto the halberd. The film ends with Toulon, posing as Kraus, and Peter leaving the country for Geneva on the express train.puppetmaster3-3bigToulon’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.