David DeCoteau’s ‘Puppet Master 7: Retro Puppet Master’

Here we go again, back into the fray once more my friends, once more into the bitter night. Puppet Master 7 is a prequel to all the films preceding it, we will finally learn where it was that Toulon learnt to the secret which allowed him his string less marionette’s (A plot point first seen all the way back in Puppet Master 2). Let’s get into the wood and paint of this.  Not how you spell college

Fun Fact: This is not Swedish for college.

So we join Andre Toulon (Guy Rolfe) on the run from the Nazis and hiding out in one of his old bases located in Switzerland. Within his puppet case he finds the head of one of his original creations named Cyclops and recounts the Puppet Master Origin story to his animated marionettes.

The story starts with a man named Afzel (Jack Donner) a 3000 year old Egyptian sorcerer running from some assailants through Cairo. He defeats his pursuers and begins his journey to Paris. We cut to Paris in 1902 and the young Toulon (The Room’s Greg Sestero) whose friends are helping him operate his puppets in a large theatre. Meanwhile Elsa (Brigitta Dau) is the daughter of an ambassador and has run away in order to escape her father’s tyrannical hold.

Elsa arrives at the theatre to watch the show but is distracted once she spots and falls instantly in love with Toulon. Afzel appears on the steps of the theatre injured by 3 Egyptian mummies resurrected by Suketh; Toulon is told the story of the spell of animation (Which Afzel stole in the beginning) and taught the secret thus taking his first steps to becoming the Puppet Master. Elsa’s father does not approve of her new love, deciding that it is best for her to be taken away from Paris and married to another (Which he appears to have chosen).

The 3 mummies return and kill Toulon’s friends when they attempt to defend the theatre. Using the souls of his fallen comrades Toulon animates his friend’s puppets and the fight is on, to save Elsa, stop Suketh’s groovy ghoolies and escape Paris, all the while making his first steps towards becoming a true Puppet Master.

Evil guys

These are reanimated mummies.

I don’t know if you can tell from that plot synopsis but this film has a lot going on and (Surprisingly) handles it all very well. The story makes some modicum of sense which is great, I just wish this was the start to the series and not the end of the initial run. Information is given in a clear way and Guy Rolfe’s scenes offer a nice intro, I have stated previously that he was a highlight of these movies and that still rings true in this entry. All the puppets are given the souls of Toulon’s friends and this makes us slightly more invested in them but it isn’t made clear if they are the same as the current iteration of puppets.

Young Toulon

This guy went on to start the Realdoll company.

All in all this film does well at adding to the mythology and isn’t difficult to enjoy. The accents maybe terrible in places and the cliché characters could be ripped from any film but this is a cheesy horror film which means we allow some small indiscretions. I enjoyed this movie and would recommend watching it before any of the other films. It serves as another nice high point, gives context to the different puppets and shows us the basis for Toulon’s romance with Elsa.

Retro Squats

The spell requires you take a squat on the dead bodies face.

I hold this film in high regards and would give it a Timothy Olyphant, it won’t be the film you expect to watch but it’s always a bt of a treat.

David DeCoteau’s ‘Puppet Master 3: Toulons Revenge’

Well I haven’t gone blind so lets continue our adventure into the mystical world of the Puppet Master! Number 3 arrives with the original director and a new actor playing Toulon plus a few better known actors join the cast for this time warp to a time before Bodega Bay Hotel. We are up to the third film, only 7 to go after this and I can rest, maybe go on to some sort of romcom. For now we are dealing with monstrous marionettes and it’s time to cut the jib.

Puppet Master 3 - Toulon's Revenge.avi_snapshot_00.06.01_[2014.11.15_01.01.50]

Take that puppet Hitler, you son of a bitch!

The film opens up in nazi controlled Berlin and a small Puppet show taking place, we see children laugh as six shooter takes a couple of shots at Hitler. The show ends with Andre Toulon (Guy Rolfe) handing our sweets to the children while a very Aryan man waiting to speak to the Puppet Master. It is soon found that Toulon has the ability to bring life to the lifeless and the Nazis begin hatching a plan to steal the secret. Cue the shooting of Elsa Toulon (Sarah Douglas) and the Puppet Master using his wooden friends to exact revenge on the bastards who took his wife, his town and the lives of so many. Will he succeed in driving back the Third Reich? What do the Nazis wish to animate with the formula?

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Nazis; always doing some evil shit with science and the occult.

So as per usual we are going to start with the good then get on to the bad. First and foremost, Guy Rolfe is amazing and deserves recognition for his role in this film, I spent half the film in awe of his dialogue. The director made a wise choice moving the action to Nazi Germany this time around, we instantly have more villainous forces at work and Toulon is made sympathetic easily after he loses his wife to monsters all too real.

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These muppets make it hard to understand the tone of the scene, one is fucking happy and the other looks like it’s a pissed on cornflakes morning.

Here goes the bad. The film itself is the first of many instances of plot holes appearing in this series, Toulon being alive after his apparent suicide in the 1939 does call into question the psychics reasons for being at the Bodega Bay Hotel (Although he eventually turned up there it wasn’t within the same time frame). Leech Women from Puppet Master 2 is also shown to be inhabited by the soul of his wife but when she died in the 2nd film he didn’t even question Blade or Torch on her whereabouts. There are more things that felt off and didn’t match the previous films plot but I don’t think most people will watch these films back to back so it maybe less noticeable normally.

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No bad words will be said about this man.

All in all I found this film incredibly enjoyable especially when compared to the previous 2. I would give it a Julia Roberts, you may not be expecting great things to begin with but it should surprise you.