Thursday, 11 July 2019

Demonic Toys (1992)

Another Full Moon Entertainment flick from yesteryear that I somehow missed, Demonic Toys was always going to get a spin in my household one day. It had everything that I could want from a Full Moon movie. Which is, basically, some plot that focuses on diminutive denizens of death. Not that EVERY Full Moon movie has that main plot element but, let's face it, most of their better outings do.

Tracy Scoggins is a cop named Judith Gray who loses her partner in a truly terrible undercover operation that goes wrong so quickly it's hard to believe that the two cop characters are really supposed to be cops. Anyway, that leads to the criminals being chased into a warehouse, which is the very place in which the titular demonic toys live. A few more characters get involved (a douchey security guard, a young fast food worker making a delivery, and a girl named Anne who . . . has been hiding in the air-condition system), the toys attack, and the second half throws in plenty of hokum that can be enjoyed by viewers in the right frame of mind.

Based on an original idea by Charles Band (hmmmm . . . I think he has been allowed that credit ever since he first said "I know, let us have small dolls or puppets, or shrunken people, attack folk"), Demonic Toys is actually written by David S. Goyer, it's one of his earlier screenplays. Not that Goyer can do too much to elevate the material, but he doesn't do too bad in his attempts to keep things moving from one bit of silliness to the next. The toys include a dangerous robot figure, a baby doll (named Oopsie Daisy), an evil "Jack In The Box", and one or two others, and Goyer gives them all a moment in the spotlight, although the lead toy seems to be Oopsie Daisy, which is unfortunate when her main trait seems to be swearing in a way that is obviously supposed to be amusing juxtaposed with her baby form.

You also get a lot of the action situated in the one location, another common feature of Full Moon Entertainment movies, but it manages to feel a bit better than most thanks to the very small amount of variety on offer (the main warehouse, the air-conditioning shafts, the fast food restaurant set which is used for one or two scenes in the opening act). Director Peter Manoogian does what is required of him, never hitting the heights of his first two features (the magnificent Eliminators and Enemy Territory) but certainly keeping the whole thing in the upper tier of the Full Moon catalogue. You get  some fun creature designs, a few decent deaths, and a grand evil plan so demented that it's laughable (which I don't say as a criticism).

The acting isn't that bad either, with Scoggins doing as well as she can in her lead role. Bentley Mitchum is the other lead, the deliverer of the fast food, and also does fine. Ellen Dunning does alright with her small role, Peter Schrum is suitably irritating as the security guard, and Dano Cerny gets to be an entertainingly evil child.

In the grand scheme of things, Demonic Toys is not a good movie. In the filmography of Full Moon Entertainment, it's a fun time for fans of their particular style of schlock.


You can buy a fairly light disc here.
Americans can get a little triple-bill here.

No comments:

Post a Comment