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Blu Review – Puppet Master Toulon’s Trunk

Puppet Master

Director – David Schmoeller (Tourist Trap, Crawlspace)
Starring – Paul Le Mat (American History X, The Twilight Zone), William Hickey (Mousehunt, The Jerky Boys), and Irene Miracle (Last Night on the Night Train, Inferno)
Release Date – 1989
Rating – 3.5/5

Tagline – “Evil comes in all sizes”

Every independent horror production company has their trademark film. That one film or series of films that brought them recognition and possibly funded future projects. Troma has The Toxic Avenger. Troma fans the world over know Toxie and love him.

This film has spawned several sequels, a children’s television show, and ushered in revenue for other projects like Terror Firmer, Tromeo and Juliet, Class of Nuke ‘Em High, and Poultrygiest. Full Moon Features is no exception. Charles Band was making a name for himself with Empire Pictures before the company went under. After Empire Pictures Band created Full Moon Features and released Puppet Master.

The film was completed in 1989 and released in 1990 launching Band into the home of almost every horror fan and movie goer alike. These killer puppets have became the face of Full Moon and spawned a series unlike the world has seen. Recently, I was sent the Toulon’s Puppet Master Trunk Set which houses all the Puppet Master films on blu with the exception of one. I want to thank Full Moon for sending the set my way.

**Spoiler Alert** The film begins with an aged Andre Toulon who is known the world over as The Puppet Master due to his ability to make the puppets look as if they are alive. What most don’t know is that the puppets are actually alive. The Nazis want his secret and when they finally track him down Toulon kills himself after hiding the puppets in a wall. We jump 50 years and the hotel Toulon was living in is now owned by a young lady who is about to bury her husband. He had psychic abilities and left a will requesting a group of others that shared his gift come pay their respects before he is buried. What they don’t know is that he was aware of Toulon’s puppets and plans on using their gifts to live forever.**Spoiler Alert**

I have a confession to make. Growing up I was an avid Full Moon fan but you have to consider the timeframe that I grew up in. I was born in 86 and grew up with the 90s productions from Full Moon. I had never seen the first Full Moon film but I had seen Curse and Retro Puppet Master. I really enjoyed both films and I’m glad I was able to watch the series on blu in the proper order.

The acting in this one is solid. The cast is far from perfect and won’t be winning any awards anytime soon but they did a solid job. The characters are easily forgettable but the cast does a good enough job to move the story along so the puppets can do what they do best.

The story for this one is fun and adds a unique spin on the killer doll/toy sub-genre of horror. There has been so many killer doll flicks over the years and the late 80s was when they shined. Sadly, they all used similar stories which involved the doll or toy being possessed in one fashion or another. Throwing in the Egyptian ritual and Nazis made it bigger in scope which made for a solid film with endless possibilities. Some of the scenes are slow moving but the story is intriguing enough that you don’t mind.

Finally, the film has several kill scenes. The deaths themselves fit the film and the puppet doing the killing but they are somewhat forgettable. What makes the kills stand out is the puppets doing them and how they kill. The puppets killing is what makes the film so enjoyable. The puppets looks great and the effects are top notch. Overall, Puppet Master is a fantastic film and deserves to be seen. Fans of low budget horror and killer dolls needs to check this one out.

Special Features:
Introduction by Charles Band
Promo for Puppet Master: Axis of Evil
Making Of Doc.
Original Trailers

Puppet Master II

Director – David Allen (The Dungeonmaster, The Magic Treasure)
Starring – Elizabeth MacLellan (Friday’s Curse, Jake and the Fatman), Collin Bernsen (Creep Van, Savage Land), and Steve Welles (The Addams Family, They Came from Outer Space)
Release Date – 1990
Rating – 3/5

Tagline – “They’re back.  No strings attached”

Here we go!  After watching the first Puppet Master flick I couldn’t wait to see the sequel.  Many of my horror friends on social media told me that the second film in the series is the best.  I always find it strange that most fans cling to the classic sequels but refuse to give most modern sequels a chance. Many proclaim movies like Bride of Re-Animator, Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead II, and Friday the 13th Part II to be their favorite films but then immediately start bashing a sequel as soon as it’s announced.  Just some food for thought.  Anyway, after watching the awesome first film I went ahead and tossed in the second film in the Toulon Puppet Master Trunk Set.

**Spoiler Alert**The follows the puppets from the first film who use the serum that keeps them alive to resurrect Andre Toulon.  Toulon has now been dead for 51 years and is brought back to life in a decomposed state.  He wraps himself in bandages and returns to the inn where he killed himself.  Inside is a group of parapsychologists.  There was a murder in the inn sometime ago and a woman had her brains removed through her nose.

There has been several instances of animals being killed in the surrounding countryside and their brains have been removed in a similar fashion.  While they are investigating they suspect Toulon, who has let his presence be known, is responsible for the murders and when their friends turn up dead they quickly learn why Toulon and his band of puppets are killing and extracting the brain.**Spoiler Alert**

I can see why a lot of fans enjoyed this follow up.  Sadly, I didn’t like it as much as the first film but I do see why so many can hold this one is such high regard.

The acting in this one is more of what we got in the first film.  The characters are very one dimensional so the cast doesn’t have much to work with.  They do a decent job trying to give them personality and bringing them to life but they still fall flat.

The story for this one has a lot of potential but feels sloppy in a sense.  I had hoped that the opening scene with the re-animated Toulon rising from the grave would set the tone for the film but it doesn’t.  This gruesome scene really got me excited for the film but the film mostly follows the same look and feel as the first one but was unable to pull together a story as well polished as the first film.  It almost contradicts the first film.

In the first film Toulon is portrayed as a genuinely kind old man who hid his puppets before the Nazi’s could get their hands on them and then killed himself before they could torture him to get his secret.  In the follow up film Toulon is maniacal who becomes obsessed with a woman who he things is the reincarnation of his long dead wife.  He then sends his puppets to kill for him in order to get her along and to create more serum for himself.  This is not the same Toulon which takes away from the fun in the first film.

Finally, this one is a lot more dark than the first film.  We get some amazing practical effects.  Sadly, the best effects are delivered during the opening sequence and never topped throughout the film.  Overall, Puppet Master II is a fun watch but I don’t see it being better than the first.  Fans of the first should check it out but continuity errors takes away from the film.

Special Features:
Commentary
Introduction by Charles Band
Original Videozone
Killer Puppet Master Montage
Full Moon Trailers
1997 Puppet Master Action Figure Commercial

Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge

Director – David DeCoteau (Curse of the Puppet Master, Dr. Alien)
Starring – Guy Rolfe (Dolls, Space 1999), Richard Lynch (Invasion U.S.A., Halloween), and Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman)
Release Date – 1991
Rating – 4/5

Tagline – “When good puppets go bad”

Why not make it three films at once?  After watching and reviewing the first two films in the Puppet Master series I decided to continue on with the third.  I really liked the first two films but the second one somewhat rubbed me the wrong way with how they handled Andre Toulon after establishing him as a gentle old man in the first film.  While I was on a roll I decided to toss in the third film.  A lot of fans told me the series became stale by this point but I was too excited to stop.  I’m glad I ignored them because I loved this installment.

**Spoiler Alert**The film takes place in 1941 and the Nazis are searching for a way to reanimate the dead so they can be used as meat shield for living soldiers.  A Nazi spy catches Toulon’s show and takes photographs under the guise that he is a fellow puppet enthusiast.  The Nazis want Toulon to get his secret but accidentally kills his wife in the process.  Toulon escapes with his puppets and vows to get revenge on the bastards that killed his wife.**Spoiler Alert**

I really liked the third one.  Hell, I liked it as much as I did the first film but there was once again continuity errors.  The acting in this one is leagues above the previous installments.  The face of the film and leading man is Guy Rolfe who absolutely crushes it.  His rendition of Toulon will forever and always be how I see the character.  He’s genuine and soft hearted until his love is taken from him.  His performance as Toulon is going to forever be one of my favorites in horror history and I feel like a turd for waiting this long to see this film.

The supporting cast is just as fantastic.  I was surprised Richard Lynch was in the film.  Lynch has made a name for himself for his portrayals in villains in horror films.  Having him cast as a Nazi is brilliant and borderline cheesy but I loved it.

The story for this one does have similar inconsistencies.  In the first Puppet Master film Toulon kills himself in 1939 while alone but this film is set around 1941 and he has a wife.  If you can look passed this like I did you will find a fun period piece on a budget.  I loved how deep into World War II this goes.  Involving Nazis and making the puppets anti-heroes works on so many levels.  The film does have a couple dry scenes but the “what happens next” factor keeps you watching.

Finally, the film does have a few kill scenes that have great practical effects along with the puppets.  The practical effects are perfect and one of the better Full Moon films.  Overall, Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge is going to be a hard one to beat in the Puppet Master series.  I loved the cast, the story, and the effects.  Check it out.

Special Features:
Introduction by Charles Band
Commentary
Original Videozone
Killer Puppet Master Montage
Full Moon Trailers
1997 Puppet Master Action Figure Commercial

Puppet Master 4

Director – Jeff Burr (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings)
Starring – Gordon Currie (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Forever Knight), Chandra West (White Noise, Highlander), and Ash Adams (Lionheart, A Nightmare on Elm St.)
Release Date – 1993
Rating – 3.5/5

Tagline – “When bad puppets turn good”

Now back to the Puppet Master series!  After a small break from the Puppet Master series I watched a Troma flick from Tromatic Thursdays and a fantastic indie horror anthology that really impressed.  After checking these two films out I decided to pick up where I left off.  The last Puppet Master film I reviewed was part 3 which was my favorite of the series so far.  I doubted any of the installments would beat it but I went into part 4 with an open mind.  Puppet Master 4 and 5 was filmed back to back and released around 6 months apart.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Rick who is a researcher and is tasked with finding artificial intelligence in robots.  He is watching over the hotel from the previous films and finds a puppet when his girlfriend and two friends visit.  One of the visits has psychic abilities and they find the trunk belonging to Toulon.

She warns them not to open it but they do anyway and release the other puppets trapped inside.  What they don’t know is that the demon who is control of the power that gives the puppets life wants his secret back.  He sends a group of his totems to kill everyone and get the puppets.  Now the puppets and the totem must battle or everyone in the hotel will die.**Spoiler Alert**

I didn’t know what to expect from this installment but I hoped it was as awesome as the third film.  Sadly, it wasn’t but it was still highly entertaining.  The acting in this one is solid.  The cast doesn’t really stand out like the third film but they work great together creating that fun Full Moon vibe.

The story for this one is more like the first Puppet Master film in terms of it being centered around the puppets instead of the Nazis.  The film makes little mention of the Nazis unlock the previous installments.  Instead it focuses on the puppets and how they came to be.  The introduction of the demonic presence that created the secrets to bring them to life was great but it was underutilized.  There is so much more that could have been done with that storyline than what we got.

Finally, the film has several on screen deaths.  The kills are great and the effects look awesome but what really caught my attention was the cheesy visual effects.  In films with this kind of budget I expect horrible visual effects but this film made it fun.

Special Features
Original Videozone
Commentary

Puppet Master 5

Director – Jeff Burr (Stepfather II, Eddie Presley)
Starring – Gordon Currie (21 Jump Street, Blood & Donuts), Chandra West (Castle, Monk), and Ian Ogilvy (Wuthering Heights, Death Becomes Her)
Release Date – 1994
Rating – 3.5/5

Tagline – “The final chapter”

Over the course of my life I had seen so many films that were sequels filmed back to back.  This cuts cost and keeps both films fairly connected in terms of story and looks.  Films like Kill Bill and Return to Nuke ‘Em High are two great examples of this.  In 1993/1994 Full Moon was still hot and heavy into their Full Moon franchise 11 years after it started.  They set out to make a pair of film, Puppet Master 4 and 5, which would be filmed back to back resulting in a smooth transition from film to film.  Puppet Master 4 was a solid film but nowhere near my favorite in the series so far.  I was looking forward to viewing part 5.

**Spoiler Alert**The film begins where the fourth film left off.  Rick has been arrested for the murders the totems did in the inn that he was housesitting for.  The police confiscate Blade and soon his superior at the science lab arrives where he learns about the endless power source stored inside the puppets.  He hires a group of crooks to break into the inn to steal the remaining puppets but they don’t expect an ancient evil to be waiting on them with plans on destroying the puppets and their secrets along with them.**Spoiler Alert**

Puppet Master 4 was a solid entry into the now famous Puppet Master franchise.  The fifth installment is just as good which isn’t surprising considering both films were filmed at the same time.

The acting in this one is more of what you get in the fourth film.  The cast delivers fun performances but the characters are not that well written.  Like most of Full Moon, the characters are flat and clichéd.  Their true purpose is to die on screen at the hands of the monsters that the film caters too.

The story for this one continues where the first left off.  We now have a new villain in the film in the form of a science crazes scientist who wants the puppets.  We get more of the ancient demon and his totems as they kill people as they try to capture the puppets.  I enjoyed the story for what it is but I see no reason it should have been split into two films.  It is a waste of the viewer’s time to make this story two films.

Finally, the film has several kills that follow the themes of the puppets.  Each puppet has its own skill set and the kills follow that.  Sadly, they are forgettable.  Like the other Puppet Master films, the puppets and their interactions are the high point of the film.  They look great and so is the effects.  Overall, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter is a worthy installment in the series.  It is far from my favorite but it has heart.  Check it out.

Special Features:
Original Videozone
Commentary
The Making of Puppet Master 4 and 5 Doc.
Puppet Master 4 and 5 Archives

Curse of the Puppet Master

Director – David DeCoteau (Dead Embrace, Dr. Alien)
Starring – Emily Harrison (Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, 7th Heaven), George Peck (Dawn of the Mummy, Death Trap), and Josh Green (Pearl Harbor, Spiders)
Release Date – 1998
Rating – 3/5

Tagline – “…the human experiment”

I’m about halfway through the Puppet Master Toulon’s trunk set and we have reached the point where I will watch and review the first Puppet Master film I had seen.  When I was in high school the Sci-Fi Channel, now Sy-Fy, showed two Puppet Master flicks in October.  I had my VCR ready and I recorded them both.

The first film I saw was the 1998 film Curse of the Puppet Master which was the sixth film in the series.  I wasn’t as excited to review this film as the others mostly because I’ve seen it before and knowing the film I knew it wouldn’t stack up to the other in the series.  It’s far from bad but not on the same level as the other films.

**Spoiler Alert**The film follows an old man and his daughter who own a roadside oddities museum.  Their most prized attraction in their living puppets, the puppets created by Toulon.  What the daughter doesn’t know is that her father has secretly experimenting on humans to try and unlock the puppets secrets.  He gets a new assistant and tries to uncover their secrets…which he does but it backfires.  Now the man is an indestructible puppet and rallies the other puppets to turn on their new master.**Spoiler Alert**

Curse of the Puppet Master was meant to revitalize the series and begin as a sort of reboot taking the focus from Toulon and the ancient Egyptian secret.  It wasn’t a bad watch but that charm that people loved in the other Puppet Master films is missing.

The acting in this one is decent but some did outshine others.  My favorite performance belongs to George Peck.  His character went from being the lovable grandpa type to the evil scientist working out of his basement.  He was great and made the film a lot of fun.  The same can be said about the sexy Emily Harrison.  I loved her character and what she brought to the role.  Sadly, I can’t say the same about Josh Green who portrays the assistant Tank.  His character is written to be simple minded but with a huge heart.  Instead, he is portrayed as a mentally disabled character you would find in a daytime soap opera.  He brought the film down drastically.

The story for this one could have been something fun and rather unique to the series but felt rushed in the second half.  I liked how the series tries to distance itself from Toulon and the ancient Egyptian evil that we saw in the other films.  It gives the viewer something new but is unable to follow through.  The second half of the film is rushed and left more questions than answers.

Finally, this one isn’t as bloody as the others and the puppets are limited to their actions.  Overall, Curse of the Puppet Master feels rushed and not on the same level as previous installments.  The film is still fun to an extent but doesn’t have any rewatch value.

Special Features:
Commentary
Original Videozone
Full Moon Trailers

Retro Puppet Master

Director – David DeCoteau (House of Usher, The Raven)
Starring – Greg Sestero (The Room, The Disaster Artist), Brigitta Dau (Horror 101, Boy Meets World), and Stephen Blackheart (Guardians of the Galaxy, Troma’s Edge TV)
Release Date – 1999
Rating – 2,5/5

Tagline – “The legacy begins”

After taking a little break from the Puppet Master Toulon’s Trunk set I am now excited once again to see where this Full Moon series takes me next.  Well, I was surprised to see that the next film in the set is actually one of two that I had already seen.  Many years ago I watched Curse of the Puppet Master and Retro Puppet Master on Sci-Fi Channel before it changed to SyFy.  Neither film was bad.  In fact, I rather enjoyed them but after watching the first films in the series I can safely say these are the bottom of the barrel.  They were entertaining when I first saw them but they don’t hold up well and take too many liberties with the story presented before them.

**Spoiler Alert**The film is set during Andre Toulon’s younger years where he is a talented puppeteer drawing in heavy crowds including the daughter of a wealthy ambassador.  The two hit it off but the timing is all wrong.  Toulon is soon visited by a sorcerer that has stolen an ancient power from Sutekh who sends a group of mummies to kill him and get the secret back.  Before they do so he is able to pass that secret on to Toulon.  When his friends are murdered by the mummies he uses their souls to bring his puppets to life and beginning his life long struggle with keeping them and his secret safe.**Spoiler Alert**

I like how dark the first five films in the series is.  Their look and tone really make the atmosphere for the film but that seemed to disappear with Curse and Retro.  Both films tried to step away from the formula already established in the series to give the fans something different which resulted in rather lackluster films.

The acting in this one is the weakest in the series for a number of reasons. The Room’s Greg Sestero stars as a young Toulon and his performance had me cracking up.  This is a serious role but his “accent” and mannerisms just didn’t work.  His character, even though he has a rich cinematic history, was completely flat and uninteresting due to Sestero’s performance.  The same can be said about Brigitta Dau’s performance.  Her character has no personality and falls quickly to wealthy stereotypes in films.

The story for this one had so much potential but fell apart before it even began.  An Andre Toulon prequel is something horror fans have been screaming about for years at this point but what they got was a mummy filled yarn that just tossed parts that has already been eluded to into a very boring tale.

Finally, this one isn’t heavy on the practical effects but focuses heavily on the visual effects.  Some of the scenes were pretty cool but others just looked cheap as fuck.  Overall, Retro Puppet Master is the low point in the series.  The story falls apart and the acting is a struggle to watch.

Special Features:
Commentary
2 Hours of Behind the Scenes Footage
Original Videozone
Full Moon Trailers

Puppet Master: The Legacy 

Director – Charles Band (Evil Bong 777, Doctor Mordrid)
Starring – Jacob Witkin (How I Met Your Mother, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) and Kate Orsini (Monk, Gargoyle)
Release Date – 2003
Rating – 1/5

Tagline – “Now the legacy can be told”

I’m still balls deep in the Puppet Master Toulon’s Trunk box set and still going.  After watching the rather forgettable Curse of the Puppet Master and Retro Puppet Master I was looking forward to the next entry, The Legacy.  I had heard something, regardless if it was positive or negative, said about all the films in the series with the exception of this one.  The title should have been an indicator as to what I was about to see but it was too late by the time I realized why it was called The Legacy.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a rogue secret agent who tracks down Peter (from Puppet Master 2) who is now an old man.  He has came in possession of Toulon’s puppets and she wants to know where his secret is kept.  She interrogates him and demands him reveal the secret.  Peter is able to get the upper hand and before she dies she reveals she doesn’t want the secret to make her own puppets but needs it to stop the creations made from the puppet masters after Toulon who are now hellbent on killing the current puppet master.**Spoiler Alert**

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this review.  The Legacy is honestly a fucking rip off when you consider the series as a whole.  The movie offers very little to the series and recycles parts from the other films.  Everything from this point on is referring to the 30 min segment that is new footage and not the recycled scenes from other films.

The acting in this one isn’t bad but we don’t see the two stars that often and when we do it is in short increments before the next scene from another Puppet Master plays.  I actually liked the cast and I’m a little butthurt we didn’t get a full film with them.

The story for this one  has some pretty big shoes to fill but put no effort into it.  The film was pieced together to fill plot holes throughout the series but the end result is actually giving viewers movies they had already scenes just regurgitated into another movie.

Finally, the new segment doesn’t really have any blood, kills, or effects.  Instead, it relies on kills from other films.  Overall, Puppet Master: The Legacy is a turn on cinema.  Skip it.

Special Features:
No String Attached Featurette

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

Director – David DeCoteau (Swamp Freak, 90210 Shark Attack)
Starring – Levi Fiehler (Moonshine Inc., Ray Donovan), Jenna Gallaher (Nightfall, Gateway), and Taylor M. Graham (Breaking Wind, Blood Effects)
Release Date – 2010
Rating – 3/5

Tagline – “The legends of horror have returned”

I recently watched Troma’s Surf Nazis Must Die as a break from the Puppet Master series.  I really enjoyed my time with this box set but some of the movies were leagues better than others.  Sadly, some did not stand the test of time that well.  After watching Surf Nazis Must Die I decided to venture back to the Puppet Master Toulon’s Trunk set to watch some more puppet on Nazi action.

The next film in the set begins a new era in the Puppet Master saga that ties the story closely with the opening act of the first film.  This installment, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is the tenth film in the series and focuses more on the Nazis and World War II.  It wasn’t a bad film but wasn’t as great as some of the others.

**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young man with a bad leg who works as a hired hand at his uncle’s hotel.  He befriends Andre Toulon and is told about his special puppets and the  Nazis’ interest in them.  The Nazis are about to catch him so he kills himself after hiding his puppets in the wall.  The young man takes the puppets back to his mother’s home and inadvertently discover the Nazis and Japanese working together to destroy a weapons manufacturing plant.  Now he must team up with his girlfriend and the puppets to stop the Axis power from sabotaging the war effort.**Spoiler Alert**

I wasn’t expecting much from this installment.  The last two didn’t stand the test of time and were honestly a rather boring experience.  Axis of Evil was not a bad film.  In fact, it was actually pretty entertaining but it didn’t look like the classic Puppet Master films.  Instead, it looked and felt like another Evil Bong or Gingerdead Man film.

The acting in this one is easily one of the weaker film in the series.  The cast is very one dimensional and does very little to make their characters feel believable.  The direction missed it’s mark and the cast did not seem dedicated to their roles.

The story for this one is actually pretty clever.  The film picks up just mere moments after the first film and stars a whole new story arc.  Sadly, the story does start to fall apart towards the end.  Its obvious that the film was meant to have a sequel but cutting the story in half made this installment fall short.

Finally, the film does have a few on screen kills but they are pretty weak when you compare them to the other films in the series.  The practical effects are minimal and the visual effects are an eye sore.  With that being said, I love the look of the old and new puppets.  They look great and get the viewer excited for the film.  Overall, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is a decent entry in the series but just doesn’t cut it among the better films.  It is worth a shot but not much replay value.

Special Features:
The Making of Evil Featurette
13 Vidcasts from China
No String Attached Featurette
Includes All 9 Puppet Master Trailers

Puppet Master: Axis Rising

Director – Charles Band (Evil Bong 666, Trophy Heads)
Starring – Kip Canyon (1313: Bermuda Triangle, Puppet Master: Axis Termination), Jean Louise O’Sullivan (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job), and Oto Brezina (Nude Nuns with Big Guns, Goregoyles: The Holy Terror)
Release Date – 2012
Rating – 2/5

Tagline – “The battle is over.  The war has just begun”

My adventures through Puppet Masterland is coming to an end.  I have now watched ten different Puppet Master films spanning two decades.  How impressive is that?  When Charles Band dismantled Empire Pictures he founded Full Moon with the hopes of creating more original content for himself and the first Puppet Master was born.  Now I’m sitting here watching the 10th film in the series.  This installment, Axis Rising, is part of a new trilogy of Puppet Master films that is still cannon to the original series.

**Spoiler Alert**The film picks up moments after the first film.  A young man has lost his family except his girlfriend and just stopped an Axis attack on a weapons plant.  The U.S. army catches wind of their brave actions and grab them.  They offer them an award for their service and have a military officer follow them around to keep them safe.  What they don’t know is that the Nazis kidnapped on of their puppets and discovered what makes it tick.  Now they are creating their own puppets to combat the Toulon puppets.  Now its the Axis vs. the Allies in puppet form.**Spoiler Alert**

Axis of Evil had some fun moments but was still riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies.  Sadly, Axis Rising was a struggle to finish.  The acting was bad, the story was lacking, and the effects were some of the weakest in the series.  The acting in this one is the low point of the series.  I didn’t think the cast could sink lower than the last film but this one did.  The recurring characters has been recast and for good reason but it looks like Band and company went with a lower qualified cast.

The story for this one is more or less more of Axis of Evil and takes that story where the first film should have went with a puppet vs puppet battle.  Sadly, the way the film was shot the impact of these scenes is lost and what could be an epic battle turns out to be a dud.

Finally, the practical effects are one again minimal with the exception of the puppets.  The puppets look fantastic.  Overall, Axis Rising is one of the biggest let downs in cinematic history.  What was they thinking?

Special Features:
Videozone
Killer Puppet Monster Montage
Uncensored Grindhouse Preview
Re-Mastered Full Moon Trailers

Puppet Master: Axis Termination

Director – Charles Band (Prehysteria!, Deformed Monsters)
Starring – George Appleby (Game of Thrones, Sherlock), Tonya Kay (Evil Bong 777, Web Cam Girls), and Kevin Scott Allen (Mad Men, Sledge Hammer)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 2/5

Tagline – “The bloody conclusion to the “Axis” trilogy”

Here it is!  I’ve been reviewing the Puppet Master series for what feels like forever and now I have reached the end of my voyage.  Here is the 11th and final film in the series and the third film is the new Nazi trilogy.  The series has some ups and downs but the last film was abysmal.  Considering this film took almost 5 years to be made I was hoping it would have went back to the basic but it did not.  It did return to an idea established in the first film but that did not work the same way.  Sadly, the series ended on a negative note.

**Spoiler Alert**This film follows the disabled man and his girlfriend who are killed by the Nazis’ new puppet, Bombshell.  The puppets become the property of the U.S. army and a dwarf with special powers is assigned with retrieving the stolen ones from the Nazis.  He is given a military escort and partners with others with the same abilities as him to track them down.  The Nazis have the same idea and bring in two powerful people with mental powers and a showdown of the minds begins.**Spoiler Alert**

With this film a legacy is laid to rest.  Well, laid to rest until Band returns to it later when other ventures don’t pan out like they should.  Sadly, Axis Termination is one of the worst films in the series and should be the proper stopping point to further tarnish a saga that is loved the world over.

The acting in this one is a little better than the previous installment which isn’t saying much.  I did like the characters a little more than the last few films so that helped tremendously.  Sadly, They still lacked depth and the cast did not go above and beyond to make them unforgettable.

The story for this one continues with the story established two films back and rounds out the Nazi trilogy.  It combines aspects found in the first film with the psychics and so forth which was a fun touch.  With that being said, it fails to fully get the wheels turning and produce a fun film.  Instead, the story takes the backseat to concepts and ideas that are never fully developed.

Finally, The film has several on screen deaths with some decent practical effects and some shoddy computer generated effects.  The two clash giving the film a very cheap look.  Overall, Axis Termination would have been a solid installment but was too ambitious.  The story had a lot going on and failed to mold it altogether for a fun experience.

Special Features:
Director Spotlight
Monstercraft: Inside 1313fx
Actors Spotlight
Things Actors Say
On set with Indiegogo Contributors
Full Moon Trailers

 

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.