3-CD premiere of all three Puppet Master Axis Trilogy scores by Richard Band

Intrada announces the complete release of Richard Band’s Puppet Master: Axis of Evil trilogy. Set during World War II, the films’ productions span from 2010 to 2017 and feature three installments: Axis of Evil, Axis Rising and Axis Termination. Band’s challenge with the Puppet Master scores was always giving emotion and motivation to the puppets, in addition to musically differentiating them, as their carved, fixed bodies reveal little beyond their specific talents. Leech Woman with her guttural percussion for outputting leeches, Tunnel getting a string rhythm for drilling, and the slyly hushed string gestures for Blade to musically follow the motions of his stiletto hand are just part of this musical universe Band created to bring life to the inanimate. Band was a true partner to Andre Toulon in giving sentience to the diminutive puppets.

Nazi villainy was the root of the Puppet Master films from the get go, so setting a trilogy of films earlier in the Puppet Master timeline made sense. Axis of Evil  features Danny, a furniture restorer who discovers Toulon’s body along with a puppet-filled trunk in Toulon’s Bodega Bay home. Returning to his family’s apartment in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, Danny discovers that the local theater is a den of spies. Band had the opportunity in Axis to use Asian instrumentation to capture the Chinatown setting and its lair for a Japanese femme fatale. The score is awash in such instruments as shakuhachi flute and woodblock percussion, hearkening back to his earlier Asian-influenced score for Ghost Warrior.

Axis Rising boasts considerable new thematic material, and Band’s more elaborate score is announced with vocals and militaristic percussion added to the main and closing credits. The major new musical part of Axis Rising is a “resurrection” theme. The film allowed Band to go for heroic heart and rousing action in a film that was more self-aware of its Nazi-busting premise than its predecessors. 

Finally, Axis Termination features a score that is disconcerting for sure, but also has both humor and humanity. From shivering strings in a waltz-like mode to brooding melodies with weird gestures, Band sums up the Puppet Master/WW II trilogy in elegant fashion.

The album closes with the theme to 2018’s Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. This unofficial installment features  a modern-day tale in which Toulon is refashioned as a Nazi-loving racist whose creations massacre their victims as part of the film’s seditious attack on political correctness.

Assembled by Chris Malone, this 3-CD set is the definitive word on Richard Band’s dynamic scores to the Puppet Master: Axis of Evil trilogy.

 Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 497 | Time: 183:11 | Tracks: 59

Film Date: 2010, 2012, 2017 | Album Date: 2023

01. Introduction And Past (3:28)
02. Before The Past (3:41)
03. Axis Of Evil – Main Title (3:02)
04. The Town (2:53)
05. Follow The Nazis (5:38)
06. Mean Boss / Puppets (4:57)
07. Remembering The Murder (1:28)
08. Discovering Hideout (7:43)
09. Blade (0:36)
10. Pinhead (1:03)
11. Puppets Awaken Danny (0:43)
12. Revealing Themselves (2:21)
13. The Alliance (1:58)
14. Asian Connection (6:08)
15. The Alliance Falls Apart (5:06)
16. Going After The Puppets (4:44)
17. The Final Battle (7:30)
18. Axis Of Evil – End Title (2:48)
Total CD 1 Time: 63:36

01. Prologue/Eye To Chinatown (4:43)
02. Axis Rising – Main Title (2:53)
03. Sad News Of Tunneler (0:51)
04. Blade At Window (1:43)
05. Break In (2:42)
06. Puppet’s Head (0:47)
07. Uschi (1:32)
08. The Colonel’s Office (5:32)
09. The Message (0:56)
10. The Music Box (0:31)
11. Reading For The Re-Con (4:27)
12. Discovering Bombshell (2:51)
13. Back In Chinatown/The Shoot-Out (2:27)
14. Leech Woman Trying To Get Danny (2:35)
15. Parker’s Car/Blitzkrieg (1:16)
16. Danny’s Plea (2:48)
17. Kamikaze In The Alley (2:25)
18. Finding Tunneler/Shoot Guard (5:54)
19. Finale (1:54)
20. Axis Rising – End Title (3:27)
Total CD 2 Time: 52:53
01. Introduction Sequence (1:37)
02. Axis Termination – Main Title (1:56)
03. Disbelief (0:55)
04. Take A Look (1:05)
05. Nazis Discuss The Power (6:45)
06. Ivanov’s Power (2:02)
07. The Torturing (3:06)
08. Antoinette/Around The Table (3:06)
09. In On Blade (3:58)
10. The Plan And Warehouse (6:28)
11. The Scroll And Pin Head Attack (2:12)
12. Transition (1:39)
13. Puppet And Entering The Room (1:50)
14. Elyssa Awakens (3:20)
15. Frau Is Attacked (7:19)
16. Sneaking Around (2:27)
17. Killing Sequence (1:06)
18. Battle Continues (3:01)
19. Sarge Overcomes And Finale (6:27)
20. Axis Termination – End Title (2:33)
Total Score Time: 63:27

The Extra
21. The Littlest Reich – Main Theme Revisited (3:10)
Total CD 3 Time: 66:42