Thursday, October 27, 2022

#2,850. Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)


It seemed a natural pairing: the Toulon puppets from Puppet Master against the crude, abrasive toys of Demonic Toys, and while director Ted Nicolaou’s mash-up is ultimately more goofy than it is frightening, there’s no denying Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys is also a lot of fun!

Robert (Corey Feldman) and his daughter Alex (Danielle Keaton) are the last surviving members of the Toulon clan, and as such are the only two people in the world who can bring their ancestor’s puppets, namely Blade, Jester, Pinhead, and Six-Shooter, back to life.

But someone else is also interested in the Toulon legacy: millionaire Erica Sharpe (Vanessa Angel), the chief executive of Sharpe toys. With the help of her family’s longtime assistant Julian (Nikolai Sotirov), Erica plans to kidnap Toulon’s puppets and add them to her collection of living toys.

With Christmas just around the corner, Erica has made a deal with the demon Bael (Christopher Bergschneider). Having flooded the market with her company’s dolls, Erica intends to sacrifice a virgin when the sun rises on Christmas morning, after which her millions of dolls, being enjoyed by countless children around the world, will spring to life, killing everything, and everyone, in their path.

With the help of police officer Jessica Russell (Silvia Suvadova), Robert and Alex try to stop Erica Sharpe from carrying out her evil plan. But will they and the Toulon puppets defeat Sharpe’s demonic toys in time to save Christmas?

Feldman and Angel are both over-the-top as the dueling toy masters, but truth be told, their less-than-subtle performances add to fun of it all. And while there’s a large section of Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys that is story-driven (which is an issue when the story is as trite and predictable as this one), both puppets and toys are given ample screen time in the final act.

In his effort to defeat Erica Sharpe, Robert equips his ancestor’s puppets with a few modern weapons, the coolest of which are six-shooter’s lasers, which come in handy more than once in the final showdown. As for the toys, the standout (as it was in the 1992 original film) is Baby Oopsy Daisy, voiced by Rendan Ramsey. Talking more like a gangster this time around, Baby Oopsy Daisy not only has a foul mouth, but also uses its unique flatulence to fly through the air! Of the other toys, Jack Attack (a devilish jack-in-the-box) proves a formidable foe, using its screeching voice to deafen its opponents. But, like always, Baby Oopsy Daisy steals the show.

So while Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys is a horror / comedy that focuses more on laughs than it does scares (and if I’m being honest, it’s really not that funny), fans of either series are sure to find something here to their liking.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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