For starters: a brief history. This was the very first film that I actively remember renting from Videoworld, putting in the VHS, and viciously crying because I was so scared that my parents had to return the tape and I ended up with a copy of Tremors or Critters instead for the hundredth time. It was a scene of a security guard getting gang raped and eaten by these toys. So to end the joyful seasons of Christmas, I thought a revisit would be perfect.
A weapons dealer/serial killer is being chased and gunned down by cops after a sting operation goes wrong. They run and take shelter in some strange toy warehouse. The demons are portrayed through the body of a 10 year old boy who has been sleeping for a long time, waiting for someone like these criminals to wake him up. As the criminals flee the crime scene, the surviving cop – who is a pregnant woman – is held hostage by the toys and they plan to use her fetus as the vessel for the demon to be born and escape the astral plane to enter the real world.
This movie serves infinitely better in the nostalgic part of the brain. There is a scene in the beginning when a fried chicken worker is packing and order and smoking a cigarette – to which his boss pops out and goes “hey, is that a cigarette I see in your mouth?” And naturally, his response is “no, it’s your dick.” This opening joke sets the precipice for what is to come. It’s crude and stupid with one liners that are anything but witty. Granted, I have seen far worse, but this definitely has not aged well. The only thing truly throwback worthy of it is the score which is provided by Full Moon Pictures Producer Charlie Band.
For what it’s worth, the scene that initially scared me as a child, is honestly still potent. It’s tense and the music is a beautiful balance of carnival fun and 80s rock-opera synth. The main baby-doll is literally a more potty-mouthed version of Chucky but with worse animatronics. The script and the story are barebones. The other 3 toys that reign with the baby are a stuffed bear and a jack in the box – both of which eat people; and a tiny robot that wheels around shooting lazers. So there’s quite a bit of bloodshed, and acting is like a high school theatre that just kind of keeps descending into madness until it eventually just stops.
I thought this movie was going to be complete dog shit when I got about 1/3 through it, but then at a point it became entertaining enough where the many flaws it had could be overlooked. The demon gives a decently good exposition conversation to explain the entire story – which revolves around a fever dream vision of a woman in white sitting in a chair while two children play a card game of War on the floor and they are surrounded by a bunch of grandfather clocks.
I went in expecting the worst, and I’m definitely not saying it’s anything spectacular, but it’s not as bad as you think it is.
Demonic Toys is now streaming for free on Tubi.
Happy Holidays everyone. ‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra