The third movie in the Puppet Master franchise is the film that should have happened in place of the second one as it gives us the origin story of Toulon and how his puppets came to be. It is a sympathetic tale that takes place during the early days of the Second World War in Germany and it finds our protagonist a humble puppet master, putting on shows for the children of the neighbourhood. Things turn sour when a German officer sees Toulon poking fun at the Führer, not to mention that when spying upon Toulon, said officer notices that his puppets are actually alive. What follows is a visit by more German officers and a scientist who is looking for a reanimation formula, the death of Toulon’s wife and the revenge implied by the title of this film.
After seeing the puppets in action during the present, it is nice to go back and see them as they are created, not to mention a new puppet in Six Shooter as well. The film finally sheds some light on why certain puppets were created, such as Leech Woman who was originally a gift to Toulon’s wife and made in her image, sans leeches and animation that is, as well as Blade. Leech Woman does her thing and you still have to wonder why anybody would think leeches are a potent weapon. She would have to barf up a ton of leeches for them to actually kill anybody, never mind the five or six that she usually does. The creation of Blade is a little scary and shows you just how far that Toulon has fallen for him to create such a puppet. Six Shooter is given the most screen time during the film though, as this is his first appearance and he is quite interesting for the fact that he is a cowboy with six arms and quite accurate with the pistols he wields. Tunneler, Pinhead and Jester are all present as well and they manage to kill quite a few people on behalf of their master by the time the film is through.
For a prequel, the movie works perfectly and tells us all we need to know, except that is for where Toulon got the magical formula. Yet, aside from the origin of the puppets and of their maker Toulon, there is nothing very exceptional about the film that sets it apart from the previous two. The music is similar, if not identical to the other movies and aside than debuting Six Shooter and one that looks like a genie named Djinn for a very brief moment; you have seen them all before. It is still the most enjoyable of the three movies, perhaps due to the WWII aspect and that is one of the better things that remains with this third film for you can see how they might get repetitive after a while as it tends to do when franchises go on for too long. Thankfully, Toulon and his puppets have not yet reached that point.
Once again the movie is not very frightening or scary in the least, though it is perhaps a bit creepier than the previous two. That being said and putting all the negatives aside, there is entertainment to be had in this film because like the first two movies – killer puppets. You simply cannot go wrong with killer puppets.
3 out of 5