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Rated R
Copyright 1991 Full Moon Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Andre Toulon - Creator of magical living puppets, obviously an amateur gunsmith as well.
  • Else Toulon - Shot by Nazis, then resurrected as the Leech Woman puppet.
  • Dr. Hess - Scientist trying to save the Reich from disaster, he plans to make a serum which will animate dead soldiers to fight once more. Dies after being stabbed.
  • Peter - Young boy that becomes Toulon's apprentice. Needs to knock off the knockwurst or he will never get rid of that baby fat.
  • General Mueller - Usually level headed, but his tendency to get naked caused me much pain. Imagine a hairy bleached prune...
  • The Puppets - In no particular order, they are: Six-Shooter, Leech Woman, Blade, Pinhead, Tunneler, and Jester. All are devoted companions to Toulon and willing to do anything for him.
  • Major Kraus - Richard Lynch! Not above shooting women and being generally nasty to other people, pretty much a Nazi poster boy. Turned into a human puppet then dropped onto a battle axe.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I have commented a few times on the dubious worth of sequels. In fact, some of them have caused an observation that sequels should have warning labels. "May Cause Drowsiness" and "Government studies have shown that sequels can reduce the likelihood of you renting other films in this series" would be pretty common.

The premise is fairly sound; during the meat grinder of World War II, Germany is experiencing a severe manpower shortage. Persecuting a political satirist who has the power to animate wooden puppets is a natural progression of logic. Hey, it's better than creating one elf that can impregnate a woman on Christmas and make her give birth to Aryans. Mein Gott!

Having been unfairly deprived of his wife the puppet master is an emotional wreck, but he does vow revenge on the Nazis. Toulon masterminds the merciless attacks, none of which are very interesting. Well, except for Kraus, having hooks put into your flesh and then hoisted aloft like a tortured, screaming, and bleeding marionette is an attention grabber. Too bad that was a unique moment (as in the only one) of entertainment in this film.

One of the major problems is the "Germans." Some of these guys are so not German that it is not funny. I mean, if you saw them eating apple pie and playing baseball it should not come as a surprise. Plus the only time anyone says something in German is to remind us, the audience, that this is Germany. Plenty of other films are guilty, but attach said words "auf Deutsche" to some guy from the Bronx and it stands out like John Holmes at a nudist colony.

Some interesting background is included in the film, including the fact that Toulon's puppets are all dear friends who were killed. Now who could be killing people without remorse in Germany around 1941? Maybe the Nazis? Why in the world did it take him so long to do anything when the evil bastards were evidently killing his friends left and right? Killing a man's wife is certainly terrible, but even if someone "only" murdered several of my friends they had better invest in Kevlar.

Anyway, the idea that he imbues his creations with some of the essence of departed friends is interesting. Problem is, it entirely screws up his reaction to the Leech Woman being destroyed in Puppet Master II.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Hitler had a great and overwhelming fear of cowboys.
  • Germans take their shoes very seriously.
  • If you need a man's cooperation then shooting his wife is a step in the wrong direction.
  • Not only did drugstores once stock leeches, but they had them in the jumbo size.
  • German hookers are fairly attractive and, unfortunately, terrible in bed.
  • Nazis did not exactly support social activists, unless you count martyring them.
  • When leeches are falling out of the sky make sure to close your mouth.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 11 mins - I thought that when Germans fell over they yelled, "Mein leiben!"
  • 13 mins - These two are so in love, she must die soon.
  • 24 mins - They are going to set the building on fire? Why not use it for something rather than possibly burning the entire neighborhood down?
  • 34 mins - He reincarnated his wife as a puppet full of leeches? There must be some interesting social commentary Freud could say about this.
  • 45 mins - Six-Shooter just fired seven shots, maybe he is misnamed?
  • 48 mins - A little tiki torch, just like you can buy at K-Mart...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note pupmasteriii1.wav Peter: "Puppets need to sleep?"
Toulon: "Puppets need sleep just as much as you do."
Green Music Note pupmasteriii2.wav Stein: "Herr Toulon has developed a method of animating his puppets without string."
Green Music Note pupmasteriii3.wav Toulon: "Goodnight, fellow puppeteer."
Green Music Note pupmasteriii4.wav Hess: "But what gives them life?"
Toulon: "The will to live! I knew each of them before they were cut down by the Nazis, and they all wanted the same thing. The chance to go on fighting!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clippupmasteriii1.mpg - 2.1m
Six-Shooter pumps that old polecat Mueller full of lead, though it looks like a thinner man jumps, er, falls out the window. Make sure to count the number of shots fired while you are at it, sneaky little puppet has a seventh arm hidden somewhere.

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