Saturday, 23 July 2011

Demonic Toys - Terror Toys Season

1992 was the year that this straight-to-video film was released under the banner of Full Moon Entertainment.  Charles Band the producer, who I suspect has issues looking at the list of films he's been involved with, was also the producer of Puppet Master and Dollman, which I sadly couldn't get a copy of.  It did well enough to warrant a sequel and two crossovers, Demonic Toys 2: Personal Demons, Dollman vs Demonic Toys and Puppet Master vs Demonic toys.  There was also a collector card set and four issue comic book tie-in.

Warning, this is a spoiler based review

Not only have I not seen this movie, but I hadn't even heard of it till I started trying to find films other than the Chucky and Puppet Master ones to fit in with this season.  I know nothing about it other than the title and the spiel I typed above the poster so this shall be an interesting one methinks.

So we open on....  hang on...  *checks to see if haven't played Puppet Master by mistake...  nope* ok, we open on some wibbly, blurry toy faces, the same way which Puppet Master opens.  Lazy, lazy, lazy.  Particularly since they keep repeating the same toys over and over. 

Yes, we've seen that IT rip-off three times already, move on please, movie
So we finally get a running POV shot through some empty streets and then transition to two boys sat in a room staring at each other whilst sitting cross-legged on the floor.  A woman is sat between them, on a chair, the room is filled with Grandfather clocks with large, free swinging pendulums and rocking chairs.  The boys are playing a card game, each lays a card and states that "I win" then we get a shot of a locked door and a room full of boxes, then the woman, then the cards again and one of the boys has funny eyes and claws, then the street again and...  OH FUCKIT.  I'm going to stop describing things until something actually happens.

The woman from the room is sat in a car with a guy and says "that's how it ends" so we can presume that the David Lynchery was actually a dream.  The bloke must be her boyfriend because she says she wants to get married and he says that they should get married when they have kids, she asks if he actually wants kids and he says one day.  News flash, lady, he's just not that into you.  Dump him.  They are waiting to meet someone, the boyfriend says the other guys like to make them wait.

Then the girlfriend tells her boyfriend that she's pregnant and he's suddenly all happy, the people they're meeting arrive and he says he should do it alone, but they both get out of the car.  Two guys get out of the other car and act like 80's douche bags.  Then the douchey guys get some guns out of the boot of their car and show off that they don't have serial numbers.  The guys tell them that it'll cost 40k for the whole lot.  The boyfriend pulls out a gun and tells them they're under arrest.

Least smooth way of arresting someone, ever.
Gun dealer number 1 throws his gun at the boyfriend, which isn't loaded and it's a bit of a pathetic throw, so the boyfriend shoots him dead!  Dick.  Gun dealer number 2 kills the boyfriend and the woman pulls her gun, but GD2 runs away.  She chases him and, fuck me, GD1 is not only alive after being shot in the chest, but he's somehow managed to get in front of her and caught up to his buddy.  They break into a toy factory, but GD1 is slowing down GD2 so he pushes him down some stairs.  The woman enters the factory and spends a minute faffing around in the doorway before she notices the blood trail on the floor which she tastes for some reason and instead of following it, goes up the stairs.

How can I get in this business?

We then see a security guard pouring himself a drink whilst he reads the paper and on one of the security monitors, watches the telly.  In the background on one of the monitors, Puppet Master is on, you can tell because Tunneler is a bit distinctive.  He picks up the phone and dials a number and the phone at a fast food place rings, with one of the employees saying that 'he' always calls at this time.  The other employee answers the phone and NOFREAKINGWAY!

No Pepsi?
*Consults IMDB* IT IS!  It is Richard Speight Jr!  With a pony tail!  For those of you who have no idea who this is, you need to start watching Supernatural, then join the campaign to bring him back for an episode as he hasn't been in it for a while and his character was awesome.

With that nerdgasam over with, the security guy asks for the other guy and asks for his regular order, which of course the guy knows.  The boss comes in and chews him out for smoking whilst preparing the food, NotSpeightJr pushes Richard Speight Jr. over the counter and threatens that he might not come back.  Like I care, he's not awesome.

Back at the toy factory, Gun Dealer 1 who was shot in the chest is still alive for some reason and crawling around on the floor, TheWoman is still walking around waving a gun, while Gun Dealer 2 does a better job of hiding.  GD1 see's a big patch of light on the floor, I wonder if it's heaven calling him up or perhaps something demonic, since this movie is called Demonic Toys.  He crawls to the patch of light and looks around at an assortment of toys which are piled up, some of them are from the credits, others are from the pound shop.  He bleeds onto the floor and the toys wake up and make growly noises.

TheWoman still not has found anything other than toys, then suddenly, Gun Dealer 2 decides to start shooting at her, but misses and they get into a scuffle and she handcuffs him and places him under arrest.  She also kicks him in the face.  He claims entrapment.

Gun Dealer 1 is still inexplicably alive and sees a Jack-in-the-box winding itself, which he decides to investigate, instead of you know, escaping.  He is of course scared when the demonic looking clowns pops up and shakes his rattle at him.

Not a euphemism.
He decides to stand and watch this self operating Jack-in-the-box, which is also laughing at him and moving its mouth, instead of running away in terror, allowing the evil Jack to bite him in the face.  He allows it do that for a bit before meakly struggling then falling on the floor.  Then a Teddy Bear with sharp teeth comes at him, so he holds his fingers out for the bear, allowing it to bite them off.  My he's a very helpful victim.

Then the boy from TheWoman's dream turns up, the one with weird eyes and claws and he talks with a Microsoft Sam voice, only it's a bit difficult to understand during certain words.  He thanks Gun Dealer 1 for waking him up and because he's grateful, his robot minion shoots Gun Dealer 1 a few times.  He doesn't die straight away of course, he has to scream first which gets the attention of the security guard who is up to the bit in Puppet Master when Blade is waving his Blade at something.

TheWoman and GunDealer 2 also hear this and the door closes on them...  that seems familiar...  have I seen this before from this point or does that happen in another movie?  TheWoman, whose clothes are half torn off and whom I have finally noticed is Captain Elizabeth Lochley from Babylon 5, tries the door handle, but the door is locked.

The security guard thinks the screaming came from Puppet Master and sits back down.  TheWoman and Gun Dealer 2, realise they are locked in the room and the phone is not working, though she probably needs to dial 7 to get an outside line.  Gun Dealer 2 freaks out about being locked in and TheWoman threatens to shoot him if he doesn't shut his whiney mouth.  Meanwhile, NotSpeightJr arrives at the Toy Factory and the security guard buzzes him in.  TheWoman breaks the sugar glass windows to try and get NotSpeightJr's attention, but he doesn't hear her and drives into the factory.

Not Richard Speight Jr.
The security guard gives NotSpeightJr a beer and shows him a nudie picture, which NotSpieghtJr licks, then the security guard sprays bug spray all over the floor.  NotSpeightJr complains about his job and the security guard says that he should get himself a cushy job like him where he can watch telly, drink beer and eat chicken.  If this movie was set now, there would also be an internet connection so they could watch either porn or funny cat videos on youtube.

TheWoman fires off a few shots and NotSpeightJr hears it and turns off Puppet Master, the security guard decides to investigate and tells NotSpeightJr to stay behind with a shotgun, NotSpeightJr declines and opts to go with the security guard.  The guard walks around the boxes of toys and finally hears TheWoman banging on the door, he asks to see some ID and she shows him her badge through the window so he opens the door for her, asking what she's doing there.  She asks if he heards the screams and gun shots, in a funny moment, the guard says "yeah" and shrugs, but you kind of have to see it.  She explains the situation and says the other one may be dead and she needs a phone to call for back up, but she can't leave Gun Dealer 2.

Why?  Why can't she take him to the office with her?  He has working legs.  He hasn't been shot.  What if they get locked in again?  The security guard has a gun and a shotgun, could he not guard him whilst she went to the phone?  It just raises too many questions.

She tells the security guard to call the Jackson Precinct and tell them that there's an officer down, code 30 and her name is Gray.  At bloody last.  30 minutes into the film and the lead character gets a name.  The guard leaves NotSpeightJr with the keys and tells him not to open the door till he returns.  Why?  Why couldn't he give the keys to Gray?  Gray tells Gun Dealer 2 that if he moves, she'll kill him.  He just laughs at her.

He's beary angry.
As the security guard heads back to his office, he hears laughing and we see the bear holding a baseball bat.  The bear hits the guard in the legs, watching through the window, NotSpeightJr declares that the guard has tripped and laughs.  Saying that the guard is probably drunk or something.

Then the guard sees...  well, this:

"I'm baby oopsie-daisy, will you be my special friend?"
No, you lame Chucky rip off, get outta my movie!  The guard is understandably confused when the doll swears at him, then shoots him in the right knee cap.  Ouch.  NotSpeigtJr tells Gray that someone has shot the guard so she moves him away from the door and opens it, but the doll shoots at the door and she closes it again.  Why was it not locked?

Then the bear comes along and frightens the guard and the Jack-in-the box turns up and wraps something around his neck whilst the bear bites his face.  Gun Dealer 2 decides this is the perfect time to escape, so with his hands still handcuffed behind him, he shoves Gray into some boxes, but she pushes him to the floor and holds her gun against his head.  Though she doesn't shoot him as she promised.  Meanwhile, the bear eats the guards face and the doll stabs him in the crotch, even though his arms still work and he could totally fight back.

NotSpeightJr splutters something about toys and as one tries to open the door, Gray handcuffs Gun Dealer 2 to a shelf and she tells NotSpieghtJr to lock the door.  Then they hear loud mysterious laughing coming from somewhere...

Then, this chick.
This girl comes out of a vent in the wall and says, "it's the toys!"  Who is this girl?  Why does she live in a vent?  How does she know 'it's the toys!'?  She climbs out of the vent and says her name is Anne and has been sleeping there for a few nights because she has Daddy issues.  She's the "I've got a bad attitude and a smart mouth, but will totally hook up with the dude by the end of the movie" archetype.  She says that she thinks she stands a chance if she sticks with Gray and insults NotSpeightJr's clothes.

NotSpeightJr chews the scenery and freaks out about the toys coming alive and eating the security guard and thankfully, Gray slaps him to calm him down.  Meanwhile, Oopsie-daisy has dragged the security guard to the light spot on the floor then draws a pentagram in crayon, under the security guard.

Gray says that there must be another explanation for the toys coming to life, Anne says they are locking them in.  How does she know this exactly? NotSpeightJr says that they are locked in until morning as the only way out is the loading dock, Anne says that she watched the toys block the door after Gray came in.  We saw that door open, I call bullshit.

Do not doubt the word of Anne
Anne says the toys are possessed by evil spirits, I really wonder where she's getting her intel and wonder if perhaps she is herself a big toy.  Gray says she doesn't believe in evil spirits, Anne says, "well you'd better."  Gray knocks over a stack of building blocks that so wasn't there before, they land on the floor and then change position off screen so that they spell out the word 'believe'.  Then they rearrange themselves on screen to spell out the word 'Death' and 'You', after the group asks what they want.

Then the evil spirit thing possesses Gun Dealer 2, saying that he needs their bodies, their flesh and blood and then changes into the boy from Gray's dream and we get a flash back to said dream, in case we'd forgot about it, but of course we haven't as I've mentioned it when that kid popped up again.  See, movie, I was paying attention!

Then the kid changes back into Gun Dealer 2 and for some reason it knows Gray's first name is Judith.  She freaks out because it was the boy she was dreaming about.  They decide to formulate a plan.  Anne and NotSpeightJr are to crawl through the vents to get to the office to open the loading dock to go get help.  Gray cannot go with them because she has to bring Gun Dealer 2 in and can't possibly just bring him with her, as he probably doesn't want to get killed by the toys either.

In the vents, Anne says she can feel the demonic power and they probably need the blood for their ritual.  Just where is she getting this from?  Gun Dealer 2 produces a teeny tiny knife and picks the lock of his handcuffs in 2 seconds flat.  Whilst Gray is taunted by a voice which she decides following is the best idea.  She looks inside a dollhouse and is transported inside for a chat with the big bad.

Hello, Judith, glad you could come.
Gray obviously can't escape from the magical dollhouse, the boy explains he lives in the astral plane with the dollhouse.  Then they decide to rip off an episode of Next Gen where he's all, I can take any form I want to, this or this or perhaps this.  Actually I'm not sure if Next Gen did that first, but it's the one in my frame of reference.  Is it wrong that I kinda hate the protagonists, but I like this demon boy's style? 

Whoever was making this movie must have been smoking something at some point, because Anne and NotSpieghtJr look through a vent and see a bunch of little girls riding bikes and wearing gas masks.  Anne says they are actually hallucinations and can't hurt them, but they run the minute they look at them anyway.

Demon boy tells Gray that he wants a body and it's taken him 66 years of rest to gather the strength to animate the toys, 66 years since he tried to be born.  We get a flash back to October 31st 1925 and a woman gives birth to an album cover.

I shall call him Pedro.
The doctor who pulls him out says he isn't going to make it, I nearly wet myself as the little old lady in the scene wearing a wig, helping the woman give birth is played by 'wig lady' from season 6 of BTVS, the episode Doublemeat Palace, anyone who has seen that episode, knows who I'm talking about.  The doctor says that he's dead and wishes him better luck next time, the woman says he did the best he could.  A doorbell rings and some halloweeners knock at the door, the little old lady offers them something better than sweets, a big special surprise and tells the kids that what they are getting is like a seed and they must plant him and take very good care of him.

They give the kids the body of the demon baby, saying that one day he will grow big and strong and find a baby to be born into, the kids are totally cool with this and thank her and leave.  Kids in the 20's were weird.  They break into a construction site and throw the demon baby inside and we come back to present day.  Basically demon boy wants Gray to give birth to him.  She isn't as into the idea as he is, he says he can speed it up and she can have him by sunrise, she says no, he says the blood will really run.

In the vents, Anne and NotSpeightJr are chased by the robot and Oopsie-Daisy, NotSpeightJr gets stabbed, Anne gets shot, but they manage to make it to the office.  Unfortunately it's been trashed by the toys, NotSpeightJr grabs the bug spray and does a make-shift flame thrower to scare away Oopsie-Daisy, then he grabs the shotgun from the cupboard. 

Yay!  Maybe she'll shut up now.
Jack-in-the-box smashes through a window and bites Anne, I wonder how she didn't see that coming.  NotSpeightJr, pulls him off and struggles with him, whilst Oopsie-Daisy jumps down and Anne lets the doll stab her eye out.  NotSpeightJr pulls something off Jack-in-the-box and it laughs maniacally until he shoots it.  He notices Anne on the floor and shoots at Oopsie-Daisy, but misses.  Anne is dead apparently.  Well that was a useful character, wasn't it, movie?

Demon boy pops up and tells him to give it up as each death makes him stronger.  NotSpeightJr grabs more shells for the shot gun.  Gray wakes up in the store room to find that Gun Dealer 2 has escaped.  She leaves the room with her gun, which Gun Dealer 2 kindly decided to leave her, NotSpeightJr is chased by the gasmask girls, he closes his eyes and wishes them gone and they disappear, but then a little blonde girl appears and turns into a big blonde girl who's much more appealing to him and starts taking her clothes off and she becomes the girl from the nudie magazine from earlier that he licked, then it turns into Anne, then it disappears.

A green ball bounces toward him and Gun Dealer 2 turns up and steals his shotgun, then tells him it's the voices in his head telling him to shoot NotSpieghtJr.  Then Gray comes along and shoots him in the head like she should have done about 50 minutes ago, Demon Boy keeps making the corpse talk though, so they shoot a couple of times and eventually knock his head off.  They discuss the fact they can't escape and Gray explains the whole Demon Boy wanting to come out of her vagina thing. 

Meanwhile, this, apparently. 
We look at that for a good minute or so, though the camera does do us the courtesy of moving about, then a tin soldier pops out of a box.   Gray and NotSpieghtJr are chased by the robot, the bear and oopsie-daisy which they shoot, then other toys start coming to life and they shoot everything, never running out of ammo.  Then the bear grows huge, because Demon Boy is now Rita Repulsa, it throws NotSpeightJr and chases down Gray who locks herself in a store room and barricades the door. 

The bear breaks through a hole which the props department cut very neatly for him and Gray gets another dream flash and holds her gun to her own head.  Tin soldier comes along and opens the other door for her, which she doesn't bother to close behind her and she find herself at an exit, but her boyfriend turns up.

and he's not looking pretty.
He pulls out his eyes and Gray faints.  NotSpeightJr wakes up though and grabs his shotgun, finally changing the bullets.  Now blind boyfriend grabs Gray and drags her to the pentagram and ties her up.  NotSpeightJr must be psychic as he stumbles in that vague direction.

Demon Boy turns up and starts doing his smooth talker bit which I find terribly amusing and Gray screams for help, she's also now lost the shirt she had on earlier and is left in her vest.

Not exactly sure how this happened.
NotSpeightJr turns up and the bear attacks him and chases him away, Demon Boy decides to slip into his true form.

This guy
Demon Boy was better.  This is a bad Halloween costume.  He tells her that first he's going to sex her up, then he'll be inside her, then he'll eat the soul of her baby, then he'll be born before morning.  I don't know, he's saved nothing for the weekend.  NotSpeightJr makes it to his car, but it won't start and he's being chased down by the bear.  Demon Guy mentions that Gray won't survive the birth, he forgot to mention it earlier.  Then the tin soldier turns up and shoots the Demon Guy in the face and he gets all angry about it, NotSpeightJr finally manages to start his car and runs over the bear.  The Tin Soldier cuts Gray free, NotSpeightJr shoots his car and the Tin Soldier pulls a Pinnochio and turns into a real boy.

Demon Guy cries about his booboo and turns back into a boy, allowing the two boys to get into a scuffle and we go back to Gray's dream about laying cards down, Demon Boy loses and is stabbed by a sword so turns back into Demon Guy so they won't get in trouble from the censors.  Then NotSpeightJr sets his car on fire. 

Gray and the tin Soldier boy have a conversation about who he is, her son, and why he came to help, he's played by the kid who played young Bill in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, no I didn't need to look that up, I've seen that movie about 500 times, I know what that kid looks like.  Captain Elizabeth Lochley of Babylon 5 took me half an hour to recognise, young Bill about 3 seconds. 

Gray bids farewell to her son who will "see her soon" and she hugs the Tin Soldier toy, NotSpeightJr turns up and asks who she was talking to, so she tells him.  The Tin Soldier waves goodbye and fades away.  End of Movie.  What?!!  No return to the chicken restaurant?!  Gah!

Summary:  Ok, I looked it up, NotSpeightJr is played by the grandson of Robert Mitchum.  I only know who he is because of the movie To Wong Foo, though I've probably seen him in something at some time or some point. 

Special note, I got annoyed about half way through this review when my friend called me to tell me she'd been watching Jaws and now she's watching Lake Placid, two movies I'd much rather be watching than this.

I can't really say that I enjoyed watching Demonic Toys, it cribs from too many other movies and doesn't really try to establish it's own identity.  The kill toys themselves are a bit crap and aside from Oopsie-Daisy, completely devoid of personality.

Of our characters, the security guard is probably the best and it's a shame he's one of the first to go.  Gray keeps making stupid decisions through out, Anne exists only to info dump and is killed the instant she has nothing useful to tell the other characters.  NotSpeightJr, whom we find out eventually is called Mark, is pretty useless through most of the movie.

Demon Boy is very amusing, though it's obvious they only turn him into Demon Guy so he can get stabbed and shot at and his Demon face is rubbish.  The Gun Dealers are silly cliché characters and it would have been much more interesting if number 2 was forced to try and help the others to escape instead of just sitting in the corner for half the movie.

It's filmed ok and the effects are mostly ok, but look pretty terrible in places, some of the nonsensical plot points just seem to be an excuse to be weird, rather than actually having a point to them.  This film is definitely in bad B-movie territory for the most part and I can see how it never developed a fan following like some of the other films of it's kind have.

4 out of 10


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