PUPPET MASTER (1989)
The epic series about puppet maker (master) Andre Toulon, who brings his creations to life—as little killer monsters, begins in a hotel, with the unforgettable eerie carnival-like theme song that belongs right up there with classic horror movie music.
Meet the puppets. Pinhead has a big body but a little, um, head. No, literally, his head is small. Tunneler is endowed with more phallic power—he’s got a huge drill for a head. Blade runs around in a trench coat like he’s ready to flash you. But what he really flashes is his deadly blade. And then there’s unforgettable Leech Woman, who totally moans and groans with erotic pleasure when she kills, even though she’s a spitter…of leeches! Nasty.
Leech woman pretty much put this series on the map when she leeched on to a guy strapped to a bed. Kinky be-otch. But all the puppets have memorable moments, and this movie rox the puppet height POV combined with a classic stalker heavy breathing. On top of that, there’s blood, psychics, fortune tellers, and all the classic horror clichés.
PUPPET MASTER II (1991)
More puppet power! Puppet Master II introduces new puppets to the fray, which leads to a whole lot of fire situations. A group of attractive paranormal investigators comes to the hotel to investigate. The guys are really cute in this one and often shirtless.
And as you can see, there’s a naked firefighter….
There are also girl boobs and bloomers. There’s even an “invisible man” type character in bandages and sunglasses. And finally, this one gets into always creepy life-size puppet territory.
PUPPET MASTER III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991)
Let the backstory begin! We go back to Berlin in 1941 so we can learn why Toulon set his puppets loose on the world. And wouldn’t you know it was because of a woman? There are Nazis and a scientific plot to reanimate corpses (there are hints of “zombies”). I generally dislike period pieces, Nazi plots, and revenge films, and this is all of those. Homoerotic horror master David DeCoteau directs, and yet all we see are some chick boobs. Not to mention, the puppet action is pretty lame. DeCoteau delivers the gay goods later in the series.
PUPPET MASTER 4 (1993)
Yay! Back to the present. Part 4 is awesome just because it’s so different. Puppet Master goes sci-fi slasher. There are laser guns, robots, demons (trying to protect “the secret of life”), little Gremlin/Alien hybrids, stupid kids that summon the baddies, and a shirtless hottie.
The puppets are the good guys taking on the Gremlin-Aliens, so no horny men getting sucked off by leeches.
Open the trench coat and show him what you’re packing, Blade!
PUPPET MASTER 5: The Final Chapter (1994)
The Final Chapter? Yeah right. Jason said the same thing in 1984. The shirtless hottie from part 4 is back. The demons are back. The Gremlin/Aliens are back. The plot is almost identical; protect the secret of life! There’s great gore and plenty of welcome victims—suits and slimeballs. This is the most sci-fi the series has been yet.
CURSE OF THE PUPPET MASTER (1998)
Returning to form, this is classic Puppet Master, with the original dolls, original theme music, an old farmhouse, thunder and lightning, an eerie basement workshop, and brutal kills. It’s also directed by gay horror guy David DeCoteau.
Dozens of beautiful bodies practically naked and tied up.
It’s like borderline porno horror….
With so many tits….
You’d never guess a gay guy directed it.
This might be my favorite in the series….
RETRO PUPPET MASTER (1999)
David DeCoteau takes us even farther back than 1941 Germany. There are flashbacks to ancient times, including mummies and pyramids. A sorcerer escapes with the secret of life and is chased to…Paris, 1902. Ugh. Another period piece. We find out how young Toulon learns to bring the puppets to life. And there’s even a hetero romance. You’ve really let me down this time Mr. DeCoteau. This entry in the series is LAME.
PUPPET MASTER: The Legacy (2003)
If you don’t want to watch the first 7 movies, this recap movie is the way to go. More than half of it is flashbacks from the previous flicks. Some woman who wants to steal Toulon’s formula for bringing the puppets to life is told the history of the puppets.
PUPPET MASTER vs. DEMONIC TOYS (2004)
Check out my blog about the Demonic Toys films because they steal the show in this sequel!
PUPPET MASTER: Axis of Evil (2010)
David DeCoteau returns as director and was clearly warned never to make a homoerotic Puppet Master movie again. This is essentially a World War II movie about the Nazis and Japanese. The puppets have a small cameo.
PUPPET MASTER X: Axis Rising (2012)
The 10th film in the series picks up pretty much where the last one left off with the same characters—but different actors! It’s yet another Nazi film, but moves to the extreme opposite of the heavy tone of the 9th film. This is total camp, with a sexy Nazi bitch, a Nazi bimbo doll with shooting tits, ridiculously patriotic dialogue, and tons of puppets. They should have ended the series here to leave us with the cheesy campy horror series we first fell in love with.
PUPPET MASTER: AXIS TERMINATION (2017)
The final chapter of the “AXIS Saga” came just in time to put this series to death. This 75-minute movie is basically 60 minutes of a group of psychics enlisted by the military and a group of Nazi psychics discussing their powers and their puppets before they all get in a battle in the last 15 minutes.
Horror hunk Paul Hogan is leading the good guys, but sadly he never takes off his shirt. Other than that, the puppets deliver the usual bloody kills at the end, the doll with the shooting tits is back, and a Nazi woman makes a Nazi man lick her shoe. That’s about as exciting as this gets. It was definitely time for a reboot, so check out my thoughts on The Littlest Reich here.