Saturday, August 6, 2011

For 66 Years, Evil Has Been Watching, Waiting, And Wanting For Someone To Play With It's Toys.

Demonic Toys(1992)
Director: Peter Manoogian
Cast: Tracy Scoggins, Bentley Mitchum, Daniel Cerny

You'd assume that evil would have better toys to play with, but I guess not. This direct to video disasterpiece from Full Moon Entertainment, who also gave us Puppet Master and Subspecies, is one of the stupider titles of the video era with an incomprehensible script, no scares(shame on you if you'd thought there would be any by that title) and some of the dumbest moments in bad movie history. Demonic Toys is one of those craptacular pieces that I used to rent as a kid when I haunted my local mom and pop video store searching for all manners of depraved cinema in my wasted youth. It sported the sort of title that was exploitable enough to warrant a few yucks and a cover that looked strange enough. I hadn't seen it in years, but recently alot of these have ended up in the Wal-Mart bargain bin for dirt cheap prices, so I thought, why not?

Demonic Toys is even more stupid than it sounds. It begins with an awkward flashback about some woman and her tow kids who are playing the card game, "war" in a room of rocking chairs that move by themselves! After that bit of pointlessness, we are in the present and are introduced to two cops who are involved in a botched heist. They are a couple and the woman(Tracy Scoggins) anounces to her partner that she is pregnant, which translates into him getting blown away moments later. She captures his killer and hides in a toy warehouse that has an armed guard! He's a foul mouthed fat guy who drinks liquor and orders fried chicken, which is delivered by some loser who happens to be the real-life grandson of Robert Mitchum! More surprises are in store as a 66 year old demon who prefers to look like a child(?) unleashes his army of toys upon the humans! Actually, it's not much of an army, just a robot who shoots sparks, a grotesque jack in the box, a mean teddy bear and an obnoxious, profanity-spewing baby doll called, "Oopsy Daisy", which my best friend insisted on calling his kid brother for the remainder of the week. Not much happens, though just about everyone gets killed in gory fashion, including some kid who just pops out of nowhere to inform the group that they are fighting demonic toys, before getting killed. There's some classic scenes in store for the bad movie fan including a ridiculous segment where two of the heroes blow apart a bunch of toys with some guns, yelling and shouting and i'm assuming, trying to keep a straight face. A flashback reveals the demon's origin in hilarious fashion. He was born in the 20s and when the doctor delivering discovers he's a demon, says to the mother, "Better luck next time!" Than in a great moment, the family decide to get rid of the demon by giving him away to some trick or treaters on Halloween, who proceed to toss him away! I don't think I could make this up if I tried.

It all ends, with the teddy bear becoming a giant yeti-like creature and a reveal that the demon wants to take over the police officer's baby! Happily, for the officer, her unborn son shows up as a toy soldier and shoots the demon, who I forgot to mention grows giant and tries to rape her. He sends his love and his spirit returns to the womb and the film concludes, leaving the audience in a state of disbelief.

It was a surefire thing that nobody was going to be a winner with a title like this, but for some cheap laughs, it's hard to beat something as absolutely inept as Demonic Toys. Like most of this type, it fails miserably when it tries at actual humor(that baby doll is excruciating for any viewer to endure), but when it dosen't try it's just plain hilarious. The bits of randomness, including the over the top deaths, the bizarre character behaviour and delightful dosesof titilation(for no reason at all, a nude, big breasted blonde playmate shows up draped in an American flag, providing a memorable moment for the male viewers who were still awake.) The direction is poor and the writing worse(David S. Goyer was quite a few years and bottles of booze, til he would help pen The Dark Knight(2008). The acting is often hilarious, with no real standouts, though the little demon obviously tries hard to channel the spirit of Damien from The Omen(1977), which he is clearly derived from. Scoggins just screams and freaks out most of the time and Mitchum proves he dosen't have quite the same acting chops as his last name suggests. The effects are pretty awful, though the jack in the box is sort of creepy in a way, though it's still too ridiculous to ever take seriously.
For it's exploitive elements, it works on a very dumb level, but don't expect anything else that would equate a good film or even something remotely mediocre. Unbelievably, this led to a few sequels, including a melding of two other franchises, Puppet Master and Dollman. Full Moon fans will devour this stuff whole, everyone else will be advised to stay far, far away. Sometimes, I feel like a masochist as I sit through this drivel, yucking it up and enjoying myself, even though the aftertaste is so bitter and yucky. Oh well, what did I expect? Better luck next time, I guess.

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