Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge – USA, 1991

‘When good puppets go bad’

Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge is a 1991 American science fiction horror feature film directed by prolific David DeCoteau (Swamp Freak; The Killer Eye; Creepozoids; et al) from a screenplay by C. Courtney Joyner (Lurking Fear; Prison; From a Whisper to a Scream) based on an original idea by Charles Band. The Full Moon Entertainment movie stars Guy Rolfe, Richard LynchIan Abercrombie, and Walter Gotell.

Berlin, 1941: Doctor Hess (Ian Abercrombie) is working on Operation Death Corps, a Nazi project designed to bring recently deceased soldiers back to fighting, battle-ready life. Unfortunately, his colleague Major Krauss (Richard Lynch) is unimpressed.

Meanwhile, Krauss’ driver and protege, Stein (Kristopher Logan), a keen puppeteer in his spare time, has discovered that marionette master Toulon (Guy Rolfe) has seemingly brought his puppets to life with a secret serum…

Reviews:

“Expect some revelations regarding the nature of the puppets reanimation, but also expect them to come hand in hand with a few lapses in logic and series continuity (Didn’t Toulon commit suicide in 1939?). Actually, it plays more like a series reboot than a prequel, ignoring the first 2 movies and forging its own mythology and tone. As with the others, pacing a still an issue here…” Digital Retribution

” …for all its faults, Puppetmaster III is a film in which a depressed looking wooden Hitler doll is blown to smithereens by a (sort of) sentient puppet called Six Shooter. There are scenes of period puppet carnage, goose-stepping galore, and the return of the series’ wonderful score. It’s a decent, if workman-like close to the trilogy…” Joel Harley, Horror Talk

“Less care has been taken with the puppet effects than in previous entries and these are only so-so. On the plus side is Guy Rolfe, who also played a toymaker in the Bands’ Dolls (1987), who gives a dignified performance as Toulon. Richard Lynch also makes for a convincing Nazi.” Richard Scheib, Moria

Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge is the best sequel in the entire series, arguably the best entry in the entire franchise and possibly one of the best films Full Moon ever made. Whilst that’s not a total badge of honour given some of the poor sequels which followed, it’s at least a fitting testament to a film from an era in which low budget horror films like this had a bit of spunk and fight about them.” Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

“The pace is brisk, the gore is mild but effective, and we get occasional boobies. The stop-motion puppet FX is great as expected, and it’s nice to hear Richard Band’s original score play over the opening titles. But the real strengths of Puppet Master 3 are its aforementioned strong actors (and their well-written, easily identifiable characters), a decidedly darker tone than its predecessors and the shift from portraying Toulon as a megalomaniacal psycho to a hard-done-to antihero.” Stuart Willis, Sex Gore Mutants

“Its only genuine brilliance lies in the stop-motion puppet special effects courtesy of Full Moon effects regular David Allen, which look much better than they deserve to given the film’s clearly low budget. Puppet Master III is as silly as you would expect, with horrendous acting and the cheesiest Nazi impressions you’ll see in a while.” Chris Scullion, That Was a Bit Mental

“Despite the obvious lack o’ funds, the overall production values are quite good, and the quality of the acting better than average. Much care has been lavished on the puppets, and their scenes are always adequate and occasionally remarkable. Six-Shooter’s displays of marksmanship are particularly impressive…” TV Guide

“David DeCoteau does a competent job behind the camera for the most part. A few sequences are robbed of their potential though, due to some shoddy editing (especially during Lynch’s comeuppance scene). And since this is a Puppet Master movie, you know there’s gonna be some flashbacks to help pad the running time.” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

Cast and characters:

  • Guy Rolfe … André Toulon – Dolls; Mr. Sardonicus; The Stranglers of Bombay
  • Sarah Douglas … Elsa Toulon
  • Richard Lynch … Major Kraus
  • Ian Abercrombie … Dr. Hess – Jack Frost 2; Army of Darkness
  • Kristopher Logan … Lt. Eric Stein
  • Aron Eisenberg … Peter Hertz
  • Walter Gotell … General Mueller
  • Matthew Faison … Hertz
  • Michelle Bauer … Lili
  • Jasmine Touschek … Prostitute
  • Eduard Will … Soldier on Stage
  • John Regis … Morgue Attendant
  • Neal Parrow … Young Driver
  • Kenneth Cortland … Pharmacy Soldier
  • Lenny Rose … Airport Agent
  • Laurie Mateyko … Little Girl
  • Rhonda Britten … Mother
  • Michael Lowry … Hess’s Guard
  • Michael Leroy Rhodes … Hess’s Guard
  • John Cann … Young Dead Soldier
  • Ivan J. Rado … Cairo Merchant

Puppets:

  • Blade
  • Pinhead
  • Leech Woman
  • Jester
  • Tunneler
  • Six Shooter
  • Djinn the Homunculus (flashback)
  • Mephisto (flashback)



Categories: 1990s, science fiction

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