Puppet Master 4 is a 1993 horror film written by Charles Band among others, and directed by Jeff Burr. It is the fourth film in the Puppet Master franchise, a sequel to 1991's Puppet Master II, and stars Gordon Currie as a youth scientist who, along with his friends, is attacked by demons; the animated puppets of Andre Toulon serve to protect the group, similar to the role they played in the prequel Toulon's Revenge, rather than terrorize, as they had in the first and second films. Originally, Puppet Master 4 was intended to have the subtitle The Demon.
In the underworld, the demon lord Sutekh has created a pack of diminutive servants called Totems. Sutekh has three demons to represent the life of each puppet master. Sutekh then declares war on anyone who is close to the magic of animating life.
In a research lab, Dr. Piper is studying computerized intelligence. When she is done, she gets a package with a Totem inside. She puts it down and goes to the door but it will not open. She gets her keys but drops them. When she kneels to pick them up the Totem leaps out and claws off her finger. She tries to get out but the door still won't open. The Totem jumps on her back and bites her neck. She throws it across the room but it gets back up and leaps on to her face. Sutekh tells the Totem to take her energy. The Totem puts its hands on her eyes and her soul is sucked into the Totem. At the Bodega Bay inn, a researcher named Rick Myers is studying robotics. Rick is the former care taker of the hotel so he is using it for a place to study. Soon the door bell rings and his friends Suzie, Lauren, and Cameron come for dinner. At the table Lauren (who is a Psychic) finds Blade and wonders where he came from. Her special abilities lead her to the big trunk and she tells them not to open it. Rick does anyway by pouring acid on the lock. Inside, they find the puppets and the formula. Due to curiosity, they put the fluid in the puppets and one by one they awaken. The puppets awakened are: Pinhead, Six Shooter, Tunneler, and Jester. Blade, as it turns out is already alive. In a different research lab, Dr. Baker is studying the same things that Dr. Piper was. He gets the same package with the Totem inside. He puts the Totem in a DNA processor. When he hears a screech come from it he opens it and the Totem leaps out at him slashing his face and then takes his energy. At the Bodega Bay inn, Rick wants to see how smart the puppets are by playing a laser tag game with Pinhead and Tunneler. The door bell rings and a package is on the front step. Suzie picks it up and takes it up stairs. Cameron and Lauren decide to use a strange board found in the trunk. In the center of the board is a glowing pyramid. The pyramid cracks open and two Totems come out, meaning that the board was a portal to the under world. The two run to the car but it won't move. Cameron tells Lauren to go push the back of the car. He locks the door and says if she doesn't push he won't let her in. Cameron looks down to see a Totem in the car biting his leg. Lauren runs back in the hotel while Cameron is killed. Inside, Blade, Tunneler, and Pinhead are walking around. They see a Totem run across the room and go looking for it. The three go into a kitchen and see the Totem on a shelf. The Totem jumps on Blade and won't get off. Pinhead smacks the Totem with a frying pan and the two corner the Totem up against a wall. Pinhead holds his hand to the wall while Blade hooks his other hand to the wall. Tunneler gets a running start into the Totem's stomach and drills him apart. In the underworld, one of the demons is killed just as the one in the above world. Toulon's spirit tells the puppets to animate the Decapitron. Up in Rick's room, Tunneler, Pinhead, Six Shooter, and Jester enter. Pinhead and Jester pull out a metal box and open it. Inside, a puppet with a leather jacket and leather pants as well as boots is inside. Its head looks like it is made from mercury. The puppet is Decapitron. Rick knows he has to animate it and gets started right away by setting him up in a metal chair and connecting wires. Tunneler starts setting up a charger while Six Shooter connects more wires. Pinhead grabs the end of a wire and climbs out the window on to the roof. He connects the wire to an electric pole on the roof. A Totem runs in and the puppets need to think of a plan fast. Six Shooter reroutes a wire and throws it around the Totem like a lasso. When the lightning hits, the Totem is electrocuted and dies. In the underworld another demon dies. Lauren is running in the hotel and gets found by a Totem who tries to kill her. Suzie comes in and spills acid on him. Her and Lauren run away. The puppets get ready to finally animate the Decapitron. Decapitron gets up and walks around. His face has the power to mimic people and he mimics Toulon. The same Totem that got acid poured on it runs in but this time the puppets are prepared. Pinhead takes the mercury head off and replaces it with a high voltage weapon head. Decapitron looks around and gets ready. Jester has his surprised face on and is pointing at the Totem. Blade tries to divert the Totem as much as possible by fighting him but the Totem throws Blade across the room. Decapitron starts to fiercely electrocute the Totem over and over again. Eventually the Totem explodes into pieces and in the underworld the last demon dies. Toulon's spirit speaks to Rick and tells him to do what ever it takes to protect the magic. Deep down, Rick and Toulon both knew that the evil was not yet done.
Puppet Master 4, as well as the second, third, and fifth installments of the series, are only available in DVD format through a Full Moon Features box set that has since been discontinued. However, in 2007, Full Moon Features reacquired the rights to the first five films, and the boxset has since been reissued and is available directly from Full Moon, as well as through several online retailers.
- Gordon Currie – Rick Myers
- Chandra West – Susie
- Ash Adams – Cameron
- Teresa Hill – Lauren
- Guy Rolfe – Andre Toulon
- Felton Perry – Dr. Carl Baker
- Stacie Randall – Dr. Leslie Piper
- Michael Shamus Wiles – Stanley
- Dan Zukovic – Delivery Man
- Six Shooter
- In 1999, a Puppet Master spin-off featuring lookalikes of the Totems was released, titled Totem.
- The original plot of Puppet Master 4 involved a crossover of the Puppet Master and Demonic Toys franchises. While this was abandoned due to insufficient funding, the theme was later recycled for the 2004 film Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys.
- The poster of Puppet Master 4 erroneously depicts the puppet Torch, despite his lack of an appearance in the film itself. He does however appear in the film's direct sequel, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter.
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