Looking back, Curse of the Puppet Master isn't really all that bad - it just has a much different feel from the rest of the films, and at times feels a bit out of place from the series as a whole. Magrew became the new puppet master by accident basically when he purchased Blade and Co. from an auction. And it becomes pretty clear as the movie goes on that he is not really a worthy master, as his intentions are much more sinister than just showing the puppets off as sideshow freaks for profit. Jane also seems to love and care for the puppets, especially Pinhead, but at times she treats and talks to them like pets rather than the people they actually are. It was a little annoying sometimes.
And indeed, Curse of the Puppet Master has one of the best kills scenes of the franchise thus far. Hooligan crew leader Joey (who gets extra hatred points by threatening to rape Jane) is working out his buff bod on the bench press when Magrew sends Blade and Tunneler in after him. Aww, yeah. After listening to Joey talk smack to absolutely nobody, Blade shuts him up by slashing at this face, and then Tunneler of course does his tunneling thing - STRAIGHT INTO JOEY'S CROTCH. Fantastic. Later on, Blade and Jester team up to slash the shit out of the sheriff's face, which is also pretty fantastic, and Tunneler takes care of that other cop guy who isn't important enough for a name.
The story in Curse of the Puppet Master (WTF, that title doesn't even really make that much sense) is an okay one, but it's too individualized, and works mostly as a stand-alone film than one that is really a part of the series. The next Puppet Master takes us back to near the beginning... can't wait!