Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge
Reviewed by Mike Brannon
Rating: 6 Beans
n axiom is a fundamental fact that is generally accepted as fact. The movie series axiom seems to be "All Prequels Shall Suck."
This is an axiom proven again and again with such movies as "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" and "Psycho 4: The Beginning."
Let's face it. The Puppet Master series isn't exactly a night at the opera. It's turn-off-your-brain-and-munch-the-popcorn entertainment. After all, it's from Full Moon Entertainment, the stable who brought us "Demonic Toys," "Dollman" even "Dollman Vs. The Demonic Toys." The thrust of this series is that the puppets of long-dead French Puppeteer Andre Toulon are alive, and rampage across the screen each movie, killing everyone gruesomely. Each puppet has a lethal gimmick: Blade has a (what else) blade for his left hand and a razor-sharp hook for his right (and he knows what you did last summer...<>). Tunneler has an over-sized drill bit on his head and tunnels through his victims, Leech Woman vomits leeches (that always struck me as repulsive but not necessarily deadly), and so on.
Part One, in brief, was the puppets killing a number of psychics who were visiting the hotel where Toulon killed himself. Part Two had them killing everyone handy so they could concoct a potion to bring him back to life.
Sorry about all the history, but you've got to be up on it to see how bad 3 is. You see, 3 takes place during the time of the Third Reich, in Germany. A Gestapo Officer (the ever-tepid Richard Lynch) confronts Toulon (Ian Abercrombie) for the secret Puppet Potion(?) so he can re-animate corpses, and give The Fueher an army of the undead. Toulon refuses, so the Gestapo heavy kills Toulon's wife, Elsa.
So Toulon uses his Puppets to kill all the Nazis possible. They do in more that Indiana Jones in all three of his movies. That's 95% of this entire movie. Here's a typical sequence: Nazi Officer is gutted by Tunneller. Nazi Doctor is sliced up by Blade. Nazi Stormtrooper is drained by Leech Woman. And so it goes.
Then Toulon reveals that each of the puppets were actually victims of Nazi atrocities. So that is why they are stalwart warriors of virtue!
Doesn't this ignore everything in the previous two movies? The puppets weren't guardians of the oppressed, they were homicidal little maniacs! Why do the puppets kill innocent bystanders in the future, if all they were doing is avenging themselves against the Nazis? Don't prequels have the requirement that they must have -something- to do with the movies they preface?
The movie would only be 3 Beans if it wasn't a prequel, which is supposed to explain the background of the characters, not launch a completely different story. That makes it 5 Beans. However, since the entire movie is a based on a fifteen-minute premise, it gets one more Bean.
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