Puppet Master 4 (1993)

There’s apparently a puppet hell. Or at least a dimension where puppet like creatures exist. And Toulon stole their elixir that grants them life. I would love to have found out what the elixir exactly is. Is it a potion? Is it the secret to immortality? Or is it the blood from the creatures that reside within this dimension? Also, do the monsters from “Mystery Monsters” come from that realm as well? It’d have been cool to link both pictures together as one universe.

“Puppet Master 4” is a follow-up to “Puppet Master 3” which, in and of itself is a tough act to come after. The third film is pretty much the peak of the series which not only acted as an excellent prequel, but showed how and why Andre Toulon is such an evil monster, and why his puppets are murderous minions when we meet them. “Puppet Master 4” shows the puppets in their more innocent personas once again, this time acting as anti-heroes for yet another inadvertent soul in the middle of the puppet wars. An evil puppet monster Sutekh and his demonic soldiers the Totems have corrupted Earth in an effort to re-claim the elixir Toulon stole, and to destroy his puppets.

But with a young scientist inhabiting the ill fated hotel Toulon died in, he’s stumbled upon Toulon’s chest where his puppets and the elixir reside. The puppets are much more docile and cooperative this time around, reacting violently at first and then taking a liking to new character Rick who not only treats them with care, but even gives them fancy new weapons that allows him to test their artificial intelligence. Who knew puppets loved a good game of laser tag? When Rick’s girlfriend invites her two friends over, they seek the formula for the potion and accidentally invoke the Totems and Sutekh to the mansion.

Now with the monsters unleashed Rick has to hope the Puppets will help fend them off. “Puppet Master 4” is much lighter and fantasy based than the first three movies, as director David DeCouteau adds a fantastical element to the premise, injecting a whimsy to the puppets. It’s a shame we never really see most of these creations again as Sutekh is a fun villain, while his minions the Totem make for wonderful toadies who can give everyone a hard time. I also am sad to see that Torch and Leech woman are missing from he group. As for Decapitron, he’s also a really neat creation that we only see for this movie. I wish we’d have gotten more variety for future films like the ones we have here.

It would have been a lot of fun to see Sutekh aim some new foe to the puppets from his dimension in the guise of a human being, or some new puppet creation that could add as an obstacle for Toulon’s creations. It could have been a basis for future films. “Puppet Master 4” really has a fun grasp on the Puppet Master concept. I wish the series kept this momentum for a very long time with hero Rick at the helm.