Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

Static Mass Rating: 2/5

Release Date: January 3rd 2011
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 83 minutes

Director: David DeCoteau

Cast: Levi Fiehler, Jenna Gallaher, Taylor M. Graham, Tom Sandoval, Jerry Hoffman

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is the ninth film in Charles Band’s long-running B-movie horror series which started in 1989. It has become the most successful straight-to-video franchise of all time.

The original film saw the puppets coming to life with an Egyptian spell and controlled by a human puppet master to do their bidding. In each film they were used for good or evil, depending on the puppet master but they always came armed with an assortment of tricks:

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

Blade has a hook for his left hand, a knife for his right and sometimes has spikes for eyes. Jester has a sceptre and can fit through very small spaces. Pinhead has strong powerful fists and can deliver a hefty punch. Leech Woman has the ability to throw up leeches which then suck the blood out of her victims. Tunneler has a cone shaped power drill head which he uses for drilling into his victims. Other notable puppets include Six Shooter, Torch, Ninja plus an Oriental and Indian Puppet. There are many more, but these are the ones featured in Axis of Evil.

From the featurette, No Strings Attached: A Behind The Scenes Look At Puppet Master:

“The beautiful crafted puppets of Andre Toulon are not your average Punch ‘N’ Judy. They are puppets but they need no strings or mechanical devices. In fact they need no human assistance at all. Here at the workshop of their creator they are gentle companions but should they fall into the wrong hands, their awesome powers can become destructive and deadly.”

In the new film, set in 1939 during World War Two, we meet Danny Coogan (Levi Fiehler), a furniture maker who works at an inn. He dreams of enlisting in the army to fight against the Germans and Japanese like his older brother, Don (Taylor M. Graham) but is unable to because of his disability. When Andre Toulon is found dead in his apartment, the puppets find a new puppet master, Danny but with the Nazis and a mysterious Japanese woman after the toys for their own evil plans he finally gets a chance to fight in the war with Blade, Pinhead, Jester, Tunneler, Leech Woman and Ninja on his side.

Puppet Master: Axis of EvilPuppet Master: Axis of EvilPuppet Master: Axis of EvilPuppet Master: Axis of Evil

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Although nowhere near its 1989 original, it’s still fun watching the puppets going on a rampage. There are some delightful kills using stop-motion animation but one can’t help but feel they’ve all been done before and Toy Story probably has scarier moments.

The film is let down by its writing, directing and sound. Dialogue comes across as wooden and cliché which isn’t helped by its seemingly inexperienced cast. Characters enter a room as if they’ve been standing behind the stage door and told “go!” rather doing it naturally. Finally the sound mix is at times very bad. All together they give the movie not just a low budget feel but an amateur feel. By far, the puppets performed much better than their human counterparts.


  • No Strings Attached: A Behind The Scenes Look At Puppet Master (7.19)
  • Pupper Master: Axis of Evil Trailer (2.05)

The extras on the disc include a trailer. It’s 2 minutes and 5 seconds and features no dialogue, only music and clips from throughout the movie, so it’s more of a summary. There’s also a featurette, No Strings Attached: A Behind The Scenes Look At Puppet Master which is over 7 minutes long. Rather than a behind-the-scenes look at this film, it’s actually of the original 1989 movie which really makes you wish you had watched that one instead!

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

Although this is the 9th Puppet Master, there are technically 10. In 2004 there was a crossover film Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys which featured characters from Charles Band’s 2 separate franchises, Puppet Master and Demonic Toys, but neither Full Moon Features nor Charles Band had any involvement in the production so it therefore does not count as canonical to the official series.

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