Retro Puppet Master is the worst the franchise has to offer up until this point with very little of anything that can be termed good. It is a hard watch and not because of the subject matter but instead, due to its delivery. Clarifying that, it was not so much the direction as it was the poor script and the actors who were even worse. Aside from mainstay Guy Rolfe, of which this would be his last role aside from a flashback in a later film, the casting choices for the movie were poor and saying it was a hard watch is putting it lightly because it was more excruciating than anything else.
What Retro Puppet Master does manage to do is show us some more of Toulon’s past, specifically Toulon as a young puppeteer who is putting on shows with a group when he eventually is offered the chance to learn how to animate his puppets. So learn he does and while he does so, he has to evade the minions of Sutekh, who thankfully does not appear in the film.
A bunch of the puppets still appear and we get to see retro versions of those we all know and love including a couple of new ones called Dr. Death and Cyclops. Seeing these older versions is a lot of fun as it lets us see how Toulon has progressed over the years though it does leave their fates up in the air when the film ends, of which the viewer can only guess as to what happened. It is a bit of a shame that the movie was so bad as like the rest of them, it had the potential to do something new. Instead, it picks up the threads of previous films and keeps the Sutekh angle in, which was the absolute low point of the entire series or at least until this movie. Retro Puppet Master is only for die-hards, and even then, maybe not.
1 out of 5