Puppet Master 3 – Toulon’s Revenge is actually a prequel to the first 2 movies both set in America. Although the dates are skewed a bit (1 takes place in 1939), this one takes place in Berlin in 1941. A Lieutenant in Hitler’s army attends Andre Toulon’s puppet show and isn’t too happy with the material, namely the fact that a Hitler puppet is the butt of all the jokes. Lt. Stein confronts Toulon (Guy Rolfe) and tries to get information about how he is able to make his puppets move without strings. He takes some pictures of the puppets without Toulon knowing and reports it back to his superior, Major Krauss (Richard Lynch). Krauss and Dr. Hess (Ian Abercrombie) have been working on a way to reanimate dead German soldiers for help against the Russian army. Unfortunately things haven’t been going too well and they believe Toulon’s work may hold the key.
When Krauss and his men reach Toulon’s home things don’t go quite to plan. Elsa Toulon is killed in a struggle, Andre is captured, and the secret formula is taken along with a few puppets. Dr. Hess needs Toulon’s help to make the formula work, but with a little help from his puppets Toulon is able to escape the German soldiers. He makes it back to his home, gathers up a few things and seeks refuge. He is now hell bent on revenge against Krauss, Stein, and their commander, General Mueller. With the help of his young friend Peter, and his old friends Pinhead, Tunneler, and Jester, Toulon is able to create a few new puppets. The puppet we know as Leech Woman is actually the soul of Elsa Toulon. We are also introduced to a new puppet, Six-Shooter, who plays a major part in Toulon’s revenge plot!
While not as exciting as the first 2 movies, PM3 plays an important part in the series. It is basically a history lesson of how Toulon went from playful puppet master to vengeful killer. We also learn why these creatures are able to sustain life. Each of Toulon’s puppets were people that he knew before they died. And each one still maintains the will to live. Along with learning Leech Woman and the other puppets former selves, we learn at the end that Blade is the soul of Dr. Hess. He is a scientist with a good heart, but he is never able to complete his work before he is cut down by the Nazi’s who employed him. This movie doesn’t have the stand-alone power that the first 2 do, but as I stated before it’s important to the lineage of all the movies. It was nice to see the producers go back and explain where these puppets came from and how Toulon grew to hate the Nazi regime. I’m hoping for a little more back story going forward. I give Puppet Master 3 – Toulon’s Revenge 2.5 human puppets out of 5.