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Puppet Master II (1990) [VERIFIED]

Patrick has been hitting the bottle hard again, which is the next explanation for why someone would just lie there as a homicidal puppet climbs up onto his bed and starts drilling through his skull. Lance and Wanda burst in and drag Tunneler off, and Lance whomps him with a lamp base, but it is too late for Patrick.

Puppet Master II (1990)

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In 1989, the first installment of Puppet Master spawned an entire franchise that includes sequels, prequels, and spin-offs that detail the origins of the living puppets created by André Toulon. After several additions were made, the timeline of the series became even more complex than the one established by the original movie. There are even points in the franchise where the sequels interject, resulting in Toulon's origins as the puppets' creator being questionable. As the Puppet Master franchise continues to expand, it is necessary to identify where each existing installment falls on its timeline.

With the recent announcement that Dr. Death from Retro Puppet Master will be the second puppet to receive a standalone movie, fans and critics have drawn attention to the errors of Blade: The Iron Cross. In particular, it takes place several years before the original and complicates the overall timeline. It threw the biggest wrench in the franchise's order of events, as it caused the 1989 movie's Toulon storyline to become derivative and pointless, whereas the installments that proceeded it aimed to strengthen his backstory. Charles Band's Puppet Master introduced the puppeteer at the very beginning in 1939, when he brought the original puppet to life and hid it in the walls of his home. It jumps to 1989 when Neil Gallagher (Jimmie F. Skaggs) and a group of psychics discover the Jester and sets him free.

Retro Puppet Master (1999) takes place in Paris, France during 1902. It features the puppets known as Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Leech Woman, Dr. Death, Cyclops, and more. After Blade discovers the head of a random puppet in Toulon's belongings, he tells them about his retro puppets that he created in 1902. Back then, Toulon was an innocent puppeteer in love with a woman named Elsa, but on the night an ancient sorcerer named Afzel was nearly beaten to death, his life took a drastic turn. In Afzel's final moments, he transferred his powers to Toulon, who went on to create the retro puppets. Retro Puppet Master serves the purpose of locating the exact moment Toulon gained the power to bring his puppets to life and even ends with the tease of a follow-up movie. While there was never a Retro Puppet Master sequel, the standalone movies about Toulon's retro puppets may act as such.

Puppet Master II does not take place entirely in the year 1912, but it does feature a flashback scene to Cairo, Egypt during this year. When Toulon recalls the moment he and Elsa bought a formula to bring inanimate objects to life, it is alluded that this was the exact year his retro puppets were able to come to life, though this is never expanded on nor explained in Retro Puppet Master. In fact, the sequel to the original movie posits that Toulon's alchemic powers came from curiosity and practice, whereas Retro Puppet Master ascribes him with a backstory where his gifts from Afzel gave him such powers. This creates a massive plot hole in Toulon's storyline in particular, which may be attributed to the franchise's reboot.

Once the doctor discovers that Elsa and Toulon have a formula that keeps their puppets alive, he tries to steal it from them. The entirety of the movie centers around why Toulon despises Nazis, which may be obvious, but it runs far deeper than the fact that they committed mass genocide. They killed the only woman he ever loved in an attempt to steal the formula they created together. Toulon sets out to take revenge against them, which he does successfully. The third installment managed to make the puppets heroes rather than villains, but it didn't necessarily last long.

A lot happens for the puppets during the year 1941. When Retro Puppet Master begins in 1941, it picks up right where the third movie left off. This time, Toulon and his puppets are in Switzerland, having successfully evaded the Nazis and enacting his revenge. This is moments before Blade discovers the head of a retro puppet named Cyclops.

At the Bodega Bay Inn in California, a young man named Danny Coogan (Levi Fiehler) has decided to help Toulon, who has taken refuge in America following the events of Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge. When he discovers that the puppeteer has taken his own life, he frees the puppets from the walls they were hidden in and uses them to fend against the Nazis that travelled to the states to kill Toulon. While it is never outwardly stated, the creator's death that this movie features is the one shown in the original 1989 Puppet Master. This is where the timeline gets a bit confusing.

Puppet Master X: Axis Rising is a direct sequel to Puppet Master: Axis Of Evil. As such, it picks up with the puppets lurking in the shadows as they wait to take down the remaining Nazis who have played a hand in killing their creator. With Nazi puppets versus Toulon's puppets, it has a very bizarre patriotic message, especially with one of its final lines, "never screw with America." It became less about the puppets and more about the United States taking down Nazis.

The Puppet Master axis movies could've stood a better chance as standalones and wouldn't have had a major impact on the series' timeline had they not intersected with Toulon's death. The final installment in the axis trilogy, Puppet Master: Axis Termination takes place a year after Puppet Master X: Axis Rising. Once again, Toulon's puppets are face to face with an all new set of Nazi puppets. It is a repetitive story that did not really serve a true purpose in regard the timeline except to say that the puppets kept fighting Nazis a year later.

Blade was one of the major puppets in the axis trilogy and, as such, he became the first to have his own standalone movie. Coincidentally, Blade: The Iron Cross made the timeline even more unoriginal as it continued to establish that all these puppets do is fight Nazis. While fans of the franchise have found merit in the standalone movie's abilities to expand on the human characters' stories, it failed to offer anything new to the overall story.

Charles Band's 1989 Puppet Master starts in 1939 when Toulon takes his life as a last ditch effort to keep his formula and powers of bringing his puppets to life from the Nazis. This is the original story of Toulon: no Egypt, Paris, or Switzerland involved. The movie then shifts to 1989 when Neil discovers the puppets hidden in the walls of the home he now inhabits. Once he sets them free, they terrorize the entire group and eventually kill them all for rather inexplicable reasons. This may be due to the fact that they are presumably evil puppets; they didn't have an established savior arc at this point and, therefore, didn't necessarily follow any sort of guidelines.

Puppet Master 4 features a group of scientists who are examining the ability to bring inanimate objects to life. After discovering Toulon's diary, the formula, and his puppets, Ricky Myers brings them back to life. As a result, he becomes their new keeper. The puppets are hell-bent on keeping Ricky safe; Toulon's spirit even surrenders their ownership to him. This was an excellent move in the franchise, as it had to progress past Toulon's storyline in order to find success in the future, but they inevitably returned to the original puppeteer just a few movies later.

Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter stays true to the timeline and picks up where the fourth movie left off. As a result of the previous events, Rick has been arrested, but has been let out on bail by his colleague who wants to research the life-giving formula. The sole purpose of Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter was to conclude the franchise, but it did not. It gave one of the best endings it could have, as Rick repairs the puppets who have protected him and will continue to protect him, with Toulon reassuring him that he is doing the right thing. As this timeline suggests, the final chapter was not, in fact, the final chapter.

Sometime between 1994 and 1998, the puppets were acquired by a museum and are now under the ownership of Dr. Magrew. As he does not have the formula that brought Toulon's puppets to life, he needs to find a new means of giving life to the inanimate objects. In Curse Of The Puppet Master, Dr. Magrew transplants the souls of the living into the puppets. When the original characters come to life unexpectedly, they kill their new owner as they never wanted to harm anyone that was innocent, which somewhat contradicts their original storyline.

Puppet Master: Legacy is composed primarily of flashbacks to earlier movies in the franchise. Unlike the other installments, this one searches for a permanent ending to the puppets' reign of terror. In a very bizarre and somewhat meta ending, the Puppet Masters and the puppets face off for what seemed to be the final battle. As a gun releases a note that reads "The producers would like to thank all the cast and crew that helped make the Puppet Master series a tremendous success over the years," it was believed that this was the end of the franchise, but it wasn't.

After years of sequels and prequels, it was time for the Puppet Master franchise to get the reboot treatment. In 2018, Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund released their co-directed movie Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. The movie begins in 1989 with Toulon bringing his puppets to life, then using them to kill a lesbian woman, as he disapproves of her sexuality. Before they kill her, she kills the puppeteer. The movie then jumps to 2019 with Edgar Easton and Ashley Sommers, who discovered the puppets, going from unsuspecting teenagers to ones that must fight for their lives. Featuring a storyline that includes some of the original puppets (and even the reanimated corpse of Toulon), Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich proved that the entire franchise needed to be redone in order to achieve anymore success. 041b061a72

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