I have some very fond memories of this franchise. Not this film in particular mind, but the Puppet Master series as a whole. This is the film that fostered my love for Full Moon Entertainment. Many of the puppets being as nostalgic and memorable horror creatures for me as Frankenstein or Jason. I remember renting it at the local video store and for years my only take away was the puppets. Which honestly are the best part.
The film opens with Andre Toulon (William Hickey) is in hiding from the Nazis in Bodega Bay. He’s warned of his discovery by one of his living puppets Blade, as Toulon has stolen the secret of creating life. He hides Blade and his other puppets inside a chest inside the wall before committing suicide before the Nazi agents could arrive. Flash forward to 1989, a group of psychics consisting of Alex Whitaker (Paul Le Mat), Dana Hadley (Irene Miracle), Carissa Stamford (Kathryn O’Reilly) and Frank Forester (Matt Roe) are invited to go see their associate Neil Gallagher (Jimmie F. Skaggs) and his wife Megan (Robin Franks) at the Bodega Bay Inn where they live. The group thinks that Neil may have found Toulon’s secret hidden there. But when they get there, they learn from Megan that Neil has committed suicide. Even showing them his body, which is prepared for his funeral. Though things are not all well at this mysterious wake. As the psychics have visions of violence and their impending deaths. Visions that quickly become to real when they start being hunted by Toulon’s puppets…
The actual plot of this film isn’t the best. Even the characters aren’t memorable, bleeding into on another. Until they feel less than compelling. The acting is mediocre at best to lazy at worst and maybe the biggest down fall of this film is the villain. Once it’s revealed who’s reanimated the puppets and set them to kill, it’s a bit underwhelming. As are his reason.
The best part is by far the puppets, Blade, Pinhead, Tunneler and Leach Woman to name a couple. Each one is distinct both visually and by mannerism. Out of all of them my favorite is probably Blade, but Pinhead is a very strong contender.
The dread location of a old Inn works great. It always for a depth of atmosphere and plenty of crannies for the puppets to hide in. The old building gives the film an absolute ton character.
Final thoughts, not my favorite in the series. But, it’s still good and for me personally this entry is among the best. Puppete Master s its puppets, which are memorable and at times unsettling. 9/10