Friday, June 22, 2012

#676. Demonic Toys (1992)

Directed By: Peter Manoogian

Starring: Tracy Scoggins, Bentley Mitchum, Daniel Cerny

Tag line: "They Want To Play With.....YOU!"

Trivia:  Writer David S. Goyer was originally set to direct the film before Peter Manoogian was brought in.

A direct-to-video cheapie from Producer Charles Band, Demonic Toys has the perfect title, because it’s the toys that make it such an entertaining watch.

Detective Judith Gray (Tracy Scoggins) and her partner, Matt (Jeff Weston), who also happens to be her boyfriend, are working undercover to bring down a pair of gun dealers. But when the arrest goes bad, Matt is shot dead, and an angry Judith chases the two dealers into a nearby toy warehouse. What none of them realizes is the building they've just entered is home to a demon, which has been trapped there for 66 years. Taking on the form of a small boy (Daniel Cerny), this demon uses his powers to bring several old toys to life, sending them to kill everyone in the place with the exception of Judith. And why is Judith to be spared? Because she’s pregnant, and the demon intends to take possession of her unborn child’s body, thus allowing him to finally be “born” into the real world.

While the special effects in Demonic Toys aren't all that special, they work well enough, and the dream team of satanic toys the film assembles proves a nasty bunch of killers. Clown dolls are creepy on their own, but give them a devilish grin and razor-sharp teeth, then place them inside a Jack-in-the-Box, and your audience will be having nightmares for weeks. It’s this toy that draws first blood, popping out of its box and lunging at one of the criminals (Barry Lynch), ripping the guys face to shreds with its impressive fangs (one of the few effects that look pretty damn good). An evil teddy bear then joins the fracas, growling and chomping off a couple of the baddie’s fingers. Eventually, this bear will learn a few additional tricks, including how to swing a baseball bat. There’s a robot as well, which gets its shots in (literally) from time to time, yet the toy that makes a lasting impression is Oopsie-Daisy, the baby doll. She’s the only one who speaks, usually spewing a string of obscenities that’d make Chuckie from Child’s Play blush. “I can walk, I can talk, I can even shit my pants”, she says to Charnetski (Peter Schrum), the warehouse security guard. “Can you shit your pants?” she asks as she reaches for his gun, kicking off another blood-soaked sequence.

The basic premise of Demonic Toys (not to mention the story itself) makes little sense, and the opening shoot-out drags on way too long, failing to generate a single nail-biting moment. As for the demon, giving him the appearance of a young boy (with long fingernails) was an interesting choice, even if he doesn’t look particularly menacing. Not to worry, though: his possessed toys already got “scary” covered.

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