February 8, 2011

Movie Review: Demonic Toys

Following the success of Child's Play in 1988, not to mention its sequels, there were a number of imitators, those who wanted to get their own killer dolls out there. Movies like Dolly Dearest were among the imitators, it is also a good example of how not to jump on the bandwagon. Then there is Full Moon pictures who have made a career out of puppet and toy based terrors. They have turned out so any over the years that it is easy to lose track. The most famous would have to be Puppet Master and its sequels, not to be forgotten is their other preeminent tale of cinematic killer toys, Demonic Toys.



Say what you will about Full Moon Pictures, they and Troma know how to make a movie out of spare change found in your seat cushions. Sure, they turn out a lot of boring junk, but they have their moments of pure low-budget exploitation genius. When it comes to Full Moon Pictures you either get it or you don't. It does tale a certain kind of fan to get into some of this stuff, it certainly is not for everybody. But if you are up for it, they can be a lot of fun. Charles Band knows how to get the high energy from his team and when it clicks, the movies reflect that.


Demonic Toys opens with star Tracy Scoggins in a room with a bunch of clocks and two young boys playing the card game War. This is a dream she is describing to her boyfriend, and fellow cop (not to mention partner), as they wait for some bad guy gun dealers. The bad guys show and the boy-cop acts in such a way that would definitely get himself kicked off the force. Even in a movie as low on the food chain as this, the guy is an idiot. Fortunately, it all becomes part of the movie's charm.

Without calling for an ambulance or back up, Judith (Scoggins) follows the bad guys into a warehouse for old toys where one of the injured bad guys bleeds into some cracks in the floor and awakens an ancient evil that has been sleeping there. So, as Judith, the last living bad guy, the fat night watchman, a faux-tough guy fast food delivery kid, and a random runaway living in the air conditioning vents, we prepare ourselves for what is sure to be a night of terror for our survivor crew.

The awakened evil gives demonic life to a Baby Oopsie Daisy doll, a teddy bear, a laser shooting robot, and a clown jack in the box. These four, and a few creepy apparitions (girls on tricycles wearing gas masks = creepy), proceed to terrorize our heroes as they attempt to survive. As they are picked off one by one, it is revealed that the demon behind the madness has plans for Judith and her unborn.


Now, there is absolutely nothing new or original in Demonic Toys. Fortunately, the dolls are great and the pace and energy are high. My favorites were Baby Oopsie Daisy is a a foul mouthed baby doll with a penchant for knives and the jack in the box likes to pop up at unsuspecting moments to bite people like a rattlesnake (he even has a rattle!).

This movie is just a lot of fun in a ridiculous way. It is cheesy, corny, campy, and cheap. The characters are ridiculous, the situation ludicrous, and the climax is preposterous. There really is no use in defending this movie to those who don't get it. That's fine. Just leave me be with my killer toys.

Oh yes, the screenplay was an early outing for David S. Goyer. If the name isn't familiar, he has gone on to write Dark City, the Blade trilogy, Batman Begins, and is involved in the writing of the new Ghost Rider and Superman films. Humble beginnings.

Recommended.


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