There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun.
Today we discuss continue our journey into the Puppet Master franchise with Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge.
Today’s Key Movie:
Exploring the origins of Andre Toulon’s magical puppets, Puppet Master III takes us back to World War Two to show how the Nazis discovered Toulon’s secret and why he eventually fled Germany. Starring Guy Rolfe as Andre Toulon, this is Toulon’s Revenge.
Why this movie?
By the time Puppet Master III hit VHS, we had become essentially a Full Moon Family. We had been completely taken by their releases of films like Subspecies, Trancers and Dollman and, after thoroughly enjoying the first two Puppet Master films, it was inevitable that we would dive in to Puppet Master III as soon as we saw the VHS case.
Although this entry introduced a bit of a continuity error, which we will discuss below, I remember thoroughly enjoying this film through and through. As with all of these reviews, we have to ask, did it stand the test of time?
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
Honestly, this one probably aged the best of the original ‘Puppet Master Quintilogy’ so far. Continuing to make extraordinarily good use out of a minimal budget, Puppet Master III really steps up it’s game with a stronger, and more well known, cast as well as a noticeable improvement on the practical effects. The story is also very intriguing as it provides us not only with the origin of Toulon’s escape to the US, but also the origins of several of the puppets such as Leach Girl and Blade. The interesting aspect of this origin is that this film establishes that the Puppets are infused with the essence of people Toulon knew. The thing to keep in mind is that it clearly notes that they are the essences of these people and not their actual souls as this would negate the story of Puppet Master II and Toulon’s attempt to bring his wife back to life. However, this film also brings about a very interesting continuity error that is not explained (sort of) until a later film. You see, in the Original Puppet Master, Toulon kills himself in 1939 as Nazi’s come in to claim him and his formula, however the events of Puppet Master III establish that he was in Berlin in 1941 and fled soon after. The real reason is that they could not have had this film take place during Nazi Germany if they based it earlier than 1939, so how could this be? Well, we will have to wait a little longer to find out.
As I mentioned above, the film itself is a tremendous story with some of the best special effects so far. It is clear that they production team have perfected their craft in making the Puppets feel alive and they simply knock this one out of the park. I love the origins of Leach Girl (using the essence of Toulon’s wife) and Blade, but the real standout is the introduction of Six-Shooter who was instantly a favorite of pretty much everyone who watched the movie. There is nothing like a six armed cowboy puppet ready to take down Nazis.
The cast in this entry is by far the most recognizable. With actors such as Guy Wolfe as Toulon, Sarah Douglas, Richard Lynch, Ian Abercrombie and Walter Gotell of James Bond fame, you really can’t go wrong. One surprise for me that I never realized was the actor portraying the character of Toulon’s would-be assistant Peter Hertz. Played by none other than the late Star Trek Deep Space Nine alumni Arron Eisenberg, it was awesome seeing him in yet another horror film like his appearance in House III The Horror Show with Lance Henrickson.
Overall, Puppet Master III Toulon’s Revenge is a fabulous entry in the Puppet Master saga. Honestly, I can’t imagine it getting much better than this but we still have two more in the original run before we jump into unknown territory Starting with the sixth entry Curse of the Puppet Master. If you want a definitive Puppet Master film, this is absolutely the one for you.
OK, where do I get this movie?
You can snatch this up on Bluray here or just subscribe to the Full Moon Channel via Amazon Prime Video. Either way do yourself a favor, don’t just hang around, get to watching one of the best classic horror franchises there is, Puppet Master.
Please be sure to join us next week for Puppet Master IV, when Bad Puppets…turn good. Until then…
Late To The Game 8/26/2021
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