Well it seems that part 5 wasn't to be the final chapter after all, as some 4 years on and someone else has acquired a set of Andre Toulon's living puppets, and are busy using them in their show.
Not sure if these are meant to be the same ones from the hotel in the previous films, or an identical set. However, as the Torch puppet isn't there and somehow the Leech Woman is back with them, who was destroyed in a fire in part 2, I am working on the assumption this is an identical set, but anyways...
Puppeteer Dr Magrew (George Peck) is carrying on the Puppet Master legacy and is trying to discover Andre Toulon's secret of how he brought them to life. Having been impressed by the carving skills of the local simpleton, a young man named Robert (Josh Green), he hires him as an assistant and asks him to carve out a new puppet for him.
Magrew believes that if you put your very soul into your work, you should be able to recreate what Andre Toulon achieved (that should set alarm bells ringing). Anyway, Robert gets to work, completely unphased by the fact that the last assistant disappeared under mysterious circumstances, or the fact that Magrew keeps telling his daughter Jane (who spends most of the film dressed in a Britney Spears style school uniform) that his arrangement with Robert may not be permanent (you can sort of see where this is going).
Anyway, seems Dr Magrew has found his own way of bringing puppets to life, which has nothing to do with magic formulas, and looks more like something from a Frankenstein film and he has something very special planned for Robert, which even the other puppets, who are not beyond wreaking murder and mayhem, may consider going too far.
Produced on a budget that was obviously far lower than the previous movies, producer Charles Band still manages to make this look like it had a lot more money than it actually did and despite this being the 6th film in the series, still manages to entertain. There was an interesting couple of kill scenes, particularly where Magrew sticks the puppets onto a local thug who tried breaking into his house, and young Jane (Emily Harrison) is certainly very easy on the eye.
However, I couldn't help but notice distinct similarities between this and the old 1973 film "Sssssss", about a snake farm owner who turns his assistants into reptiles. Indeed, it seemed like they just substituted snakes for puppets and just remade it. As there were far too many similarities in the plot, in my opinion, for this to be a coincidence.
That being said though, if you like these sorts of movies, the film is still definitely worth a watch and there's no need to worry if you haven't seen the other films, as this doesn't bring too much baggage from previous movies with it, and can be viewed as a standalone film.