Some prequels have budgets big enough to buy a small country yet fail to satisfy even the most causal viewer. The third installment of the PuppetMaster series was made in the wake of the 1980's video boom, in a time when direct-to-video productions were still being shot on in film. With the recent release of the 1989 original on blu-ray and even though a cult classic the presentation was only a semi-adequate transfer.
However, stop the press, after owning a 1991 VHS and a dubious German DVD version UK distributor 88 Film's have outdone themselves with this latest blu-ray release. Coming with a collectible booklet I'm happy to say PuppetMaster III exceeds expectations in terms of picture quality (given the budget of the film and the 22 year passage of time), and blu-ray extras.
PuppetMaster 3's glaring narrative, production faults aside (for which there are countless pages on the net) and budget restrictions, this prequel gives an intriguing insight how those little killer puppets came to be. Set in Berlin 1941, evil Nazi's want Toulon's secret formula which animates his puppets to re-animate the Führer's soldiers and make an unstoppable army for the Aryan race.
The puppets get a run for their money in the acting department this time around. Gestapo officer, Major Krauss played excellently by Richard Lynch steals the show along with James Bond recurring actor Walter Gotell as General Mueller. Both Guy Rolfe as Andre Toulon (previously played by William Hickey) and Sarah Douglas (Superman 1 and 2) as Elsa Toulon bring some emotion to the film.
Naturally there's Richard Band's music and thanks to director David DeCoteau and the effects team it's a blast to see the creation of both Blade and Leech Woman. In addition, Jester gets a fair amount of screen-time. In a film with reanimated dead soldiers and Nazi's versus psychotic puppets, you should already know what you're in for.
Without selling the surprisingly good cast ensemble short it's a low budget affair but what a recommended guilty pleasure of entertainment it is. Thank the PuppetMaster for 88 Films!
Where as the first film had the burning question of - What happened to Theresa? The burning question with three is - if Toulon shot himself in 1939 what is he doing alive and well in 1941? Answers on a postcard…