Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Puppet Master 3 (1991)
Although it is the third film in the series, Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge represents a number of firsts for the franchise.
It's the first to feature Guy Rolfe as Andre Toulon, a role he'd reprise in 4, 5 and 7, as well as appearing in archive footage in later entries. It also marks the first appearance of cowboy puppet 'Six Shooter', who will go on to be one of the iconic puppets of the franchise. In addition to this, it is the first film not to be set in contemporary times. We go back to Berlin in 1941 for this movie, where Toulon is running a rather seditious puppet show. This is not only unwise, given the Nazi regime's lack of humour about such things, it's also quite impressive given that in the original film he died in 1939.
The fourth and most significant innovation however is that this is the first film in the series where the puppets are good guys throughout. In the first two they spent much of the time under the orders of wicked men. In this, they are the tool by which Toulon wreaks vengeance on the Nazis, after the murder of his wife.
The Nazis are after Toulon - and kill his wife - not just because of his seditious show but also because of the elixir that animates his puppets. The Third Reich could use this fluid to reanimate their slain soldiers on the Eastern Front. That's not very good history; 1941 was a year of almost non-stop success for the Nazis in the east. 1943 would make a lot more sense.
A little historical inaccuracy doesn't really alter the basic charm of a movie where a bunch of puppets murder Nazis. Of course, you might be someone who doesn't see the appeal of such a film, in which case this is definitely not the movie for you.