Puppet Master 2

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Even though this the third installment in this series, Puppet Master 3 is really the origin of the puppets, and tells the story of how they came to be. As we know, Toulon (Guy Rolfe) has unlocked the secret to life and instilled that power within his puppets, which can walk and move with no assistance. Dr. Hess (Iam Abercrombie), a Nazi official has heard the rumors of these magical puppets and orders his men to invade Toulon’s theatre and capture his puppets. In the raid Toulon and his puppets are taken prisoner and Elsa (Sarah Douglas), Toulon’s wife is killed. While the Nazis have the upper hand for a time, Toulon’s puppets rebel in transport, attack the guards, and manage to escape along with their master. Now Toulon has revenge on his mind and he uses his special formula to create new puppets to join his already created team. Six-Shooter is crafted for his gun slinging ability, Blade is modeled after one of the Nazis, and Leech Woman is created with the essence of the fallen Elsa. Add these new puppets to already imposing team and you’ve got some serious problems if you’re on the wrong side. Will Toulon have his revenge, or will the Nazis goose-step all over him and his puppets?

This is perhaps my favorite installment of the Puppet Master series, since there’s more of a storyline here and we learn more about the genesis of Toulon’s creations. It’s very cool to see some of the familiar puppets being created and also watching the new puppet, Six-Shooter take form. While I liked the addition of Torch in the previous film, Six-Shooter is just as cool looking and has a hilarious personality at times, which means he packs twice the punch. It seems like the puppets move better than ever in this episode, which is due to the experience of Dave Allen’s team, who worked on the previous two Puppet Master movies as well. The detail on Six-Shooter is excellent and he is loaded with smaller moving parts that really add to his visual impact. While the other puppets look about the same, the movement seems a little more fluid and natural. As always, we get to see the little puppets kick ass and take names here and it wouldn’t be a Puppet Master flick if they didn’t, now would it? I recommend this release to fans of the series as well as lovers of puppets everywhere, and this would also make a terrific introduction film for newcomers to the series.

This film was directed by David DeCoteau, who has a resume packed with cult movies that stand out from the crowd. DeCoteau shows some potential in this movie and he even returned to the series to helm two more films. This guy’s movies might not be for everyone, but I find them highly entertaining and original, something lacking in many mainstream movies these days. If you’re a fan of offbeat cinema, you should take the time to explore this guy’s work for sure. Other films on DeCoteau’s resume include Totem, Voodoo Academy, Talisman, Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000, and Beach Babes From Beyond. DeCoteau doesn’t always use his real name for his films, so look for movies by Victoria Sloan and Ellen Cabot as well. The acting in this film is above the normal Puppet Master standards, with the performance of Guy Rolfe especially standing out. Rolfe also returns in Puppet Master 4, Puppet Master 5, and Retro Puppet Master, so the creators must have liked his work as well. The rest of the cast includes Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness, Wild Wild West), Sarah Douglas (Voodoo, Hell Mountain), Kris Logan (Demolition Man, The Rocketeer), Richard Lynch (Eight Men Out), and Walter Gotell (The Living Daylights).

Video: How does it look?

Puppet Master 3 is presented in the original full frame aspect ratio. This is a large improvement over the second film, perhaps due to better film stock, but I’m not sure. There is much less grain on this film and compression seems to be near flawless, only very minor errors emerge. The colors are based on a more natural scale, but brightness does shine through when called for, and flesh tones show no hints of distortion. The contrast looks terrific here, no detail loss is evident and shadows are complex and deep. This is the finest looking version of the film to date, and since it’s a favorite of mine, I’m very pleased.

Audio: How does it sound?

This isn’t an audio driven film, so while the mix here lacks power, the film doesn’t call for it. The main audio focus is on dialogue, so music and effects are background material most of the time. The music comes to the front at times to help stage the tone or mood of a scene, and it works well. The effects really kick in during the puppet attacks, but the raid scene also juices the volume a little. The dialogue comes through crisp and clear, with no volume troubles at all.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release contains a wonderful twenty-five minute VideoZone behind the scenes featurette, that is loaded with interviews, previews, and even footage of the puppets being created, which is awesome. You’ll also find a Full Moon merchandise guide, weblink, extensive talent files, and the trailer for this film.

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