Anchor Bay // 2004 // 95 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 17th, 2006
Robert Toulon: [to guards] I hope you guys realize you're about to be
accessories to mass murder.
[guards show their cult tattoos]
Robert Toulon: Oh. Well then I guess you probably don't care too much then. OK.
Signs your movie is probably going to be an apocalyptic mess:
* Corey Feldman (License to Drive) is the lead, and plays a character much too old for him.
* Traci Lords (Blade) turns down the female lead because there's not enough money, and you go with Vanessa Angel (Super Babies: Baby Geniuses 2).
* Charles Band(Doll Graveyard) and David Goyer (Blade Trinity) ask their names not appear in any way connected with the film.
* You film the entire thing in Bulgaria.
* The words "Sci Fi Channel Presents" appear before the title.
* Even the toys look embarrassed to be there.
It's the night before Christmas and all through the house, Robert Toulon (Corey Feldman) is slaving away trying to recreate a formula to bring his great granduncle's wooden puppets to life. Meanwhile across town, evil toy CEO Erica Sharpe (Vanessa Angel) plans to go all Halloween III: Season of the Witch on everybody's ass by selling demonic toys that will come to life on Christmas morning and attack all the children. The only catch is her plan will only work if she can get the Toulon blood of Robert and his teenage daughter (Danielle Keaton, Village of the Damned (1995)). So the battle begins, as Toulon's puppets take on Erica's demonic toys. It's Six-Shooter, Jester, Blade, and Pinhead versus Baby Oopsy Daisy, a fanged teddy, and a snaky fanged jack-in-the-box. Oh the horror!
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys originally debuted on the Sci Fi Channel, Now it arrives from Anchor Bay in a bare-bones DVD release that only offers the movie in a widescreen TV format with no extras. As a made-for-TV movie, it has very little gore, no real cuss words, and no nudity. It's a watered-down, goofy little film that sets back both the Puppet Master and Demonic Toys franchises into ridiculously bad territory, even for a pair of series that were never classics of the genre to begin with. Do you honestly need me to tell you this movie is bad? I didn't think so. You're a fairly discerning DVD viewer, or else you would have never made it here to DVD Verdict, nor would you have continued reading this far. What you really want to know -- is the movie so bad it's good?
If a foul-mouthed plastic baby propelled into the air by flatulence to knock Corey Feldman in the jaw excites you, then this is the movie for you. Wait...bad example, because that kind of excites me in a perverse way. If a badly-done demon in a Santa Claus outfit begging for the blood of virgins excites you, then this is the movie for you. Hold up...that kind of works too. If the idea of badly-done toys attacking Z-list actors excites you, then this is the movie for you. Okay, that kind of works for me too. I guess in some strange way there are some pretty good campy moments to be had here, but it still doesn't change the fact the movie is nearly unbearable in almost every way, except for just the ludicrous idea that you're watching it. I suggest watching the flick drunk, chemically altered, or at least with a blunt object to whack yourself in the head with every once in a while to make it less painful. Truth is the special effects are not all that special, the script is downright awful, and the movie makes no attempt at being even vaguely good. But like any of that is going to stop you if you're a fan of this kind of thing.
The transfer is pretty good -- I didn't notice too many problems other than the occasional artifact here and there. It's hard to judge a movie like this, because the effects are so damn lowbrow I'm not sure if it's a DVD authoring issue or just a badly concealed string getting blurred out ineptly. The stereo sound mix works fine. No need for any bass thumping DTS track, which would only exploit how lame the sound design is. Anchor Bay has literally just thrown this thing out there with an adequate job on the technical end, and offered nothing in the way of extras to support a release that is bound to attract nobody but Z-grade cinema aficionados.
I did notice some problems fans of the series will point out, including:
* Baby Oopsy Daisy gets a new voice, and it's not as good as the original. Also, when did he develop the power to fly by farting?
* Teddy, for some reason, doesn't grow in this one.
* The jack-in-the box look has changed for the worse.
* The Toulon puppets get an upgrade in this movie, and it doesn't make much sense why they need it. They end up looking crappy.
* In general, all the toys move a lot less convincingly than they did in previous entries. Their performances come off as more wooden than usual.
Building a plastic baby for a wretched horror movie? Eight dollars.
Digital film and some string to film a sequence? Two dollars.
Watching it fart, fly across the room, and kick Corey Feldman's ass? Priceless.
This is a crappy movie even by Full Moon Pictures substandards. Everything about it reeks of cheap and quick, and there's little reason to recommend it. Still, I'm sure there are some fans out there who will buy or rent this title because they've sat through the rest of the series. Have at it kiddies! I thought these movies ran out of steam right after the puppets took on the Nazis. But for some reason they keep making them, so someone out there is buying.
Guilty and banished to the toy box. My old Cabbage Patch Kid in the closet is scarier than this. But kudos to any filmmaker willing to punch out Corey Feldman with a baby doll. Might I suggest the next sequel? Demonic Toys vs. The Breakfast Club? Or Puppet Master vs. Memoirs of a Geisha?
Review content copyright © 2006 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated