Director – David DeCoteau, Screenplay – C. Courtney Joyner, Based on an Idea by Charles Band, Producers – David DeCoteau & John Schouweiler, Photography – Adolfo Bartoli, Original Puppetmaster Score – Richard Band, Puppet Effects – David Allen Productions, Makeup Effects – David Barton, Production Design – Billy Jett. Production Company – Full Moon Productions.
Guy Rolfe (Andre Toulon), Richard Lynch (Major Kraus), Ian Abercrombie (Dr Hess), Kristopher Logan (Lieutenant Erich Stein), Aron Eisenberg (Peter Hertz), Sarah Douglas (Elsa Toulon), Walter Gotell (General Mueller), Matthew Faison (Hans Hertz)
In Berlin in 1941, puppetmaster Andre Toulon attracts Nazi attention with his puppet show that mocks Adolf Hitler. The German scientist Dr Hess is working on a formula to create zombie Stormtroopers. When an officious Nazi adjutant photographs Toulon’s living dolls, Hess determines to get the formula used to animate them. When Gestapo Major Kraus goes to apprehend Toulon, Toulon’s beloved wife Elsa is shot. Toulon then swears revenge against those responsible.
This was the third in the series of films made by Full Moon Entertainment that began with Puppetmaster (1989). (See below for other titles). While the preceding two entries had been cast in the present-day, this was the first of the films to take the story back in time and deal with the Puppetmaster Andre Toulon himself. The Bands’ have handed direction over to David DeCoteau, a director who had made some of the cheapest and worst films under their pre-Full Moon label Empire, including the infamous Creepozoids (1987) and Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama (1987). (See below for David DeCoteau’s other genre films).
Puppetmaster III: Toulon’s Revenge has a basic B-movie competence, no more than that. Less care has been taken with the puppet effects than in previous entries and these are only so-so. On the plus side is Guy Rolfe, who also played a toymaker in the Bands’ Dolls (1987), who gives a dignified performance as Toulon. Richard Lynch also makes for a convincing Nazi. The film was made on location in the Bands’ usual shooting grounds of Rumania, which makes for a passable Nazi Germany.
The other Puppetmaster films are: Puppetmaster (1989), Puppet Master II (1990), Puppet Master IV (1993), Puppet Master V: The Final Chapter (1995), Curse of the Puppet Master (1998), Retro Puppetmaster (1999), Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003), Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys (2004), Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010), Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012), Puppet Master: Axis Termination (2017) and Puppet Master: Doktor Death (2022), as well as the spinoff Blade: The Iron Cross (2020).
David DeCoteau’s other films of genre interest are:– Dreamaniac (1986), Nightmare Sisters (1987), Creepozoids (1987), Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1987), Dr Alien/I Was a Teenage Sex Maniac (1988), Murder Weapon (1990), Beach Babes from Beyond (1993), Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 (1994), Blonde Heaven (1995), Prehysteria! 3 (1995), Beach Babes 2: Cave Girl Island (1996), Bikini Goddesses (1996), Lurid Tales: The Castle Queen (1996), Petticoat Planet (1996), Prey of the Jaguar (1996), The Journey: Absolution (1997), Shrieker (1997), Skeletons (1997), Beach Babes from Beyond 2 (1998), Curse of the Puppet Master (1998), Frankenstein Reborn (1998), The Killer Eye (1998), Talisman (1998), Alien Arsenal (1999), Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy (1999), Witchhouse (1999), The Brotherhood (2000), Frankenstein and the Wolfman Reborn (2000), Prison of the Dead (2000), Voodoo Academy (2000), Final Stab/Final Scream/Scream 4 (2001), The Frightening (2001), The Brotherhood 2: Young Warlocks (2001), The Brotherhood 3: Young Demons (2002), Wolves of Wall Street (2002), Leeches (2003), Speed Demon (2003), Ring of Darkness (2004), The Sisterhood (2004), Brotherhood IV: The Complex (2005), Killer Bash (2005), Witches of the Caribbean (2005), Beastly Boyz (2006), Grizzly Rage (2007), The Raven (2007), House of Usher (2008), Alien Presence (2009), The Brotherhood V: Alumni (2009), The Brotherhood VI: Initiation (2009), Nightfall (2009), The Pit & the Pendulum (2009), Son of a Witch (2009), Stem Cell (2009), 1313: Giant Killer Bees (2010), Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010), A Dream Within a Dream (2011), 1313: Haunted Frat (2011), 1313: Actor Slash Model (2011), 1313: Boy Crazies (2011), 1313: Wicked Stepbrother (2011), 1313: Bermuda Triangle (2012), 1313: Bigfoot Island (2012), 1313: Cougar Cult (2012), 1313: Frankenqueen (2012), 1313: Hercules Unbound (2012), 1313: Night of the Widow (2012), 1313: UFO Invasion (2012), A Halloween Puppy (2012), Immortal Kiss: Queen of the Night (2012), Santa’s Summer House (2012), Snow White: A Deadly Summer (2012), 2: Voodoo Academy (2012), Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (2013), My Stepbrother is a Vampire (2013), A Talking Cat (2013), A Talking Pony (2013), 3 Scream Queens (2014), 3 Wicked Witches (2014), 666: Devilish Charm (2014), 666: Kreepy Kerry (2014), 90210 Shark Attack (2014), Bigfoot vs D.B. Cooper (2014), Knock ‘Em Dead (2014), Asian Ghost Story (2016), Bloody Blacksmith (2016), Evil Exhumed (2016), Sorority Slaughterhouse (2016), 666: Teen Warlock (2016), The Wrong Child (2016), The Wrong Roommate (2016), Swamp Freak (2017), The Wrong Crush (2017), The Wrong Man (2017), The Wrong Student (2017), The Wrong Cruise (2018), The Wrong Friend (2018) and The Wrong Teacher (2018). DeCoteau has made films under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ellen Cabot, Richard Chasen, Julian Breen and Victoria Sloan.