YMMV / Puppet Master

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Toulon in the second movie is very different than the others, the obvious reason being he was initially written as a villain and softened in later films. He lacks the empathy he had for his puppets in 3, where he risked his life to turn the souls of his dead friends into them; notably he thought Carolyn was the reincarnation of his wife Elsa, despite it being he who put Elsa's soul into the leach woman puppet in movie 3. However, this does make quite a bit of sense if one subscribes to the theory that he Came Back Wrong and his zombified form in movie 2 was a cruel empathy lacking version of his former self. When his soul appears without his decrepit body in movies 4-5, he's a good guy again, freed from the shambling horror of his old flesh.
    • Similarly, when Camille is resurrected as the next puppet master at the film's end, she undergoes a Face–Heel Turn and schemes to go and give troubled kids "some therapy." She could have also Come Back Wrong.
    • Decapitron, Toulon's last puppet, can morph his head to have Toulon's speak to everyone from beyond the grave. Is that Decapitron's power, or is the soul that animates him Toulon's soul?
  • Ear Worm: The opening theme from the first movie.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Torch is awfully popular for how few his appearances are.
  • Face of the Band: Blade is the most popular of the puppets and the series' unofficial mascot, though Jester is more likely to be the leader of the puppets.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Puppet Master: The Legacy and Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys.
  • Fridge Brilliance: In the second film a flashback seems to set up that Toulon learned how to animate puppets there. But Retro changes this, but the brilliance comes from how that flashback was written. As in Retro Toulon animates the puppets by magic. The old man in II says calls his methods are of the old way. Meaning actually this was where he got the formula and not just the start to making his living puppets.
  • Narm Charm: A part of why it has so many sequels... the cheesy effects and cheesier acting are just too endearing to hate.
  • Nausea Fuel: Anything involving Leech Woman. The first movie cements how disgusting her power is.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Carissa's death is probably the most gruesome of the deaths in the first film, mainly because of the Gory Discretion Shot used when Tunneler does... whatever he did to her face. When her corpse is shown at the dinner table, her jaw is covered in blood and there's a giant leech covering her mouth. And she lived for a few moments after Tunneler finished.
    • Toulon in the second film. A formerly benevolent old man transformed into a sadistic monster is just terrifying, and there's something so incredibly wrong about the mannequin he placed his soul into. The same goes for the mannequin Camille's soul was placed into at the end.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Retro Puppet Master features none other than Greg Sestero, best known as Mark, as young Andre Toulon.
  • Sequelitis: The later sequels in the series are not very well regarded. In particular Curse of the Puppet Master, Puppet Master Legacy, and Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys are seen as among the worst.
  • Special Effects Failure: The quality, and look, of the puppets in the movies after 5 take a nosedive as the series progresses.
    • In one scene of Retro Puppet Master, you can hear the servo motors coming from the puppets.