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YMMV / Puppet Master

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Andre 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 Leech 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. The action comics version even went with the Came Back Wrong theory by having Toulon saying his brain was rotted and he was not thinking straight.
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    • 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?
  • Complete Monster:
    • Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004):
      • Erica Sharpe is a Spoiled Brat who runs her late father's toy company after he sacrificed his soul to bring her Living Toys, which she has zero gratitude for. Secretly a devotee of the demon Bael, Erica tortures innocents to death in her "play room", having a young woman murdered painfully to commune with Bael, and for pleasure. Erica intends on crafting the greatest sacrifice of innocents in history by having millions of toys given to poor families, before making a pact with Bael by sacrificing the last of the Toulon bloodline, allowing Bael to bring the toys to life and slaughter millions of children, all so Erica can sadistically satisfy herself.
      • Bael is the wicked force behind Erica Pierce and a demon lord who strives to make his name known as the most nefarious among his kind. Bael feeds on steady Human Sacrifice, Erica keeping him satisfied with the lower-ranking members of her corporation, and agrees to use his powers to empower his demonic toys to butcher millions of children to see the greatest blood sacrifice the world has ever seen. Along the way, Bael tries to devour the soul of the youngest Toulon, Alex, all in retribution of the first Toulon, Jean Paul Toulon, having escaped his clutches after having promised Bael his soul.
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    • The Littlest Reich (2018): Andre Toulon stands in stark contrast to his sympathetic original incarnation, as a bigoted sadist who used black magic to animate his puppets for sinister purposes. A criminal in his early years, he moved to Germany during World War II to aid the Nazis. Once the tide turned in the Allies' favor, he fled to the United States via a ship, throwing his wife overboard and ordering his puppets to kill everyone else on board. Over the years, he would take Jewish women to his home to perform grisly experiments on them, while using his puppets to slaughter any "undesirables" he came across. In the present day, his puppets—on his command from beyond the grave—gruesomely murder a number of guests in a hotel including Jews, people of color, homosexuals, and a Romani man, before indiscriminately butchering the fleeing guests. When the hero tries to put a stop to the hotel massacre by ramming into his mausoleum, Toulon rises up and shoots the hero's lover in the face.
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    • Action Labs Comics:
      • Anapa is the son of the demon god Sutekh whose ambitions reach past those of his father. He manipulates the puppets into murdering the descendants of the psychics locking him out of the human world, promising to return them to human form, only to go back on his deal and return to the world through the body of one of these descendants. After a failed attempt at world domination and attempting to murder the young Anthony Gallagher, he unites the previous arc villains and goes on a killing spree, later acquiring the puppets and ordering Neil Gallagher to once again establish himself as their master. At the end, Anapa possesses Anthony and uses his magic to spread his influence across the world through bloodshed in his name, destroying several of the puppets as they try to stop him.
      • Neil Gallagher is shown to be far worse than he was in the first film. He begins his quest for immortality by ordering the puppets under his control to massacre a sorority house so he can use their bodies as test subjects. Unsatisfied with the carnage they left in their wake, he heads to the Bodega Bay Inn to acquire more test subjects, killing the hotel owner's parents and at some point raping a woman in the elevator. During his stay at the hotel, he later sends visions to his psychic colleagues of them being killed, then lures them there and fakes his death before having them murdered. Much later, he seeks out his son Anthony, shooting himself and murdering the coroner when he wakes up, then reunites with Anapa and his servants, briefly killing one of them with an axe. When he finally meets up with Anthony, he reveals that he intended him to be the vessel for Anapa before handing him over to be possessed, stabbing Andre Toulon and threatening to kill Anthony's Love Interest.
  • Creepy Cute: The designs of all the puppets are often eerie, malformed, or deadly looking. And yet their small size, mannerisms and noises they make them fall into this. It helps that there's a few shots from their perspective.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: 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 there was a flashback that aimed to show how Toulon learned how to animate puppets. In that a magician enters his puppet show and tells him how his methods of animating his puppets are "the old way". However as Retro completely altered the origin and even showed a formula-less original format of magic this scene has found a fridge second life. As it can now be reinterpreted the magician gave Toulon the formula he would use for the rest of the series as a way to update the "old way" he learned back in Retro.
  • 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: See here.
  • 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.
  • Stock Footage Failure: One part of Curse of the Puppetmaster reuses footage from Puppetmaster 2 where Blade makes a throat cutting gesture, and its noticeable when the backgrounds don't match up.


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