Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge
Written by C. Courtney Joyner
Directed by Daid DeCoteau
Andre Toulon...Guy Rolfe
Major Krauss...Richard Lynch
Dr. Hess...Ian Abercrombie
This prequel to the first two films takes place during WWII Berlin. Andre Toulon is an aging puppeteer, who uses his shows to entertain children while at the same time engaging in a little harmless social satire--i.e., depicting Hiter being shot to death by a six-armed gunslinger. The Nazi regime doesn't find it so harmless, of course. When they catch wind of the content of his show, they even go so far as to send an agent to sit in the audience and react in whatever manner he sees warranted.
The political content of Toulon's puppet show is quickly forgotten, though, when the Nazi bastard realizes that man's puppets move without strings! A little clumsy spying, and Toulon's secret formula is discovered. He reports back to his superiors, and in short order, Toulon's blessed life goes to shit.
Nazi's storm Toulon's quarters, executing his wife Elsa and kidnapping him in order to get ahold of his secrets, believing that it could be used to reanimate dead soldiers. Well, if it's dead soldiers they want, it's dead soldiers they get, as the Tunneler and Pinhead kill Toulon's guards, and they all escape to safety.
Rocketed to the top of the Most Wanted List, Toulon is hunted by the evil Major Krauss and his minions. But that's okay with Toulon, because he's hunting them right back.
The Nazis may have an army. But he has a small army all his own. A very small army indeed. This is Toulon's revenge, bitches!
My thoughts on what the marketing campaign should have been
Puppet Master 3 is classic Full Moon Entertainment. Shot on the cheap but executed well, with good special effects, an imaginitive storyline, and a style all their own. The general silliness of the previous entry (which, don't get me wrong, I did enjoy) has been dropped in favor of a more solid storyline. I always enjoy getting the backstory of a good, complex character, so I like the fact that we went back in time a bit closer to Toulon's roots--even if the timeline doesn't quite add up; but I'm willing to overlook that, as I love this series so much.
The puppets get a little more backstory here as well, as we get to see the origins of Leech Woman and Blade, and fan-favorite Six Shooter is introduced. I also like the fact that the puppets were the protags this time intead of the antags. I mean, it's not often that the monsters are the good guys. Why, exactly, they turned evil later for parts one and two hasn't yet been explained.
Also, Toulon's chacterization is drastically different than it was in part 2, which is a major reason some don't like the second installment--they say that it is inconsistent with the other entries in the franchise. Well, I say, fooey on that (pardon my language.) It is the other entries (this one included) that are inconsistent with the characterization in part 2. Not that retconning is completely unheard of. And, I'll be honest here, this is one instance where the retcon was probably for the best.
In my opinion, the best of the bunch so far. As I'm rewatching this series for the first time in years, I can't help but be amazed at how these movies pay no attention to the Law of Diminishing Returns. To wit:
Three is better than Two is Better than One.
At least in my humble opinion.