The final Puppet Master film to come out, not counting the reboot that was released afterwards, and the end-cap to the Axis storyline is a movie that would be better than the last, but still nothing very spectacular. It all has a ‘been here, done that’ type of atmosphere about it and while first time viewers to the franchise might enjoy it a bit more, those who have watched each and every film will find it all a bit repetitive. That is not to say there is no good to be found within, because there is, but there are some negatives and Charles Band should have laid the series to rest six films previous or let someone else take the lead to create something a little different, something fresh.
The story is simple enough as Germany is delving into magical research, trying to find something perhaps in the arcane which will win them the war. As a result, the Allies intend to do the same and as such, come across Toulon’s puppets which they intend to use. Throw in some psychics, a woman who excels in sexual magic, Nazis, some evil puppets and a girl who has needles on the end of her fingers and the movie definitely becomes a hodgepodge of elements that make for a somewhat intriguing watch.
Like many of the films Full Moon and Band would release in the last number of years, the focus would be taken away from the creatures of which the pictures were named and instead centred on the human element. Sometimes it would work and other times not quite so much, but in this case there was at least a bit of a balance struck as some of those featured within, namely the bad guys, were at least a little interesting. Tonya Kay and Kevin Allen Scott are decent as the aforementioned villains while George Appleby is surprisingly alright as the psychic on the side of good. Paul Logan would play the prototypical jock and be one of the worst things the film had to offer while the rest of the cast would do an able job with what they had. Suffice it to say, even though it is all very familiar, the script is just strong enough and the actors good enough to keep the audience watching throughout, something that was hard to do in more than a few of the previous films.
The visual effects on the other hand, were poor to say the least with most of them being on par with what one would see in a film from The Asylum or worse. A perfect example would be that opening scene with the fake-looking gunfire which was almost bad enough to turn the movie off without going any further. For those that made it through, it would never get better, but at least be offset by the practical effects used for the puppets. All the favourites would be represented within like Blade, Tunneler, Leech Woman, Six Shooter, Jester and Pinhead while the forces against them would once again be represented by Bombshell, Blitzkrieg and Weremacht. No new, active puppets would be featured which would be a bit of a shame, but all in all, sometimes going the tried and true route works as well.
At the end of the day, one can only hope that this is the last Puppet Master film that Band will have a hand in even though his genius was the one that brought them to life. That being said, the man has expressed a desire to do more, though with the release schedule of the last few films, it remains to be seen if that will become a reality or simply wishful thinking.
2.5 out of 5