Demonic Toys Image

Demonic Toys

By Alan Ng | December 26, 2021

Is it a coincidence that Toy Story came out only three years after Full Moon Features epic film franchise Demonic Toys? Is the idea that Pixar plagiarized Full Moon’s story of evil toys coming to life is not that far-fetched to believe? Yes, it is. Nevertheless, from the mind of Charles Band and directed by Peter Manoogian comes a band of killer toys yearning to be free and terrorize the world.

While on an uncover arms sting, Judith (Tracy Scoggins) and Matt (Jeff Weston) wait outside a toy factory for gun dealers Lincoln (Michael Russo) and Hesse (Barry Lynch) to arrive. During this downtime, Judith tells Matt about a dream she had where her maternal self sits in a playroom with her two sons playing the card game War. One son is good, and the other is evil. She then confession to Matt that she is pregnant with his child.

As expected, the sting operation goes south. First, Matt shoots Hesse. In turn, Lincoln kills Matt. Then, with all parties injured and panicked, they run into the nearby Toyland Warehouse. In the warehouse sits security guard Charneski (Pete Schrum), who ordered a pizza from his friend, Mark (Bentley Mitchum). In an odd twist, there’s also a runaway, Anne (Ellen Dunning), living in the vents.

In true horror fashion, The Dark Knight scribe David S. Goyer has now set the stage for Demonic Toys. Six hapless victims are locked in a warehouse and can’t escape until morning. Then, one by one, they are picked off by a small toy chest of ugly, demonic toys, including a carnivorous jack in the box, a grizzly teddy bear, a laser-armed robot, and the demon-possessed Baby Oopsy Daisy. Led by Judith, the survivors must evade the toys and figure out who is behind the gruesome killings. Hint: It involves one of the boys in Judith’s dreams.

“…one by one, they are picked off by a small toy chest of ugly, demon toys, including a carnivorous jack in the box…”

I’m not a big horror fan, but I am a massive Muppets fan. What attracts me most to Full Moon titles is how much they lean into killer props and puppets. With Demonic Toys, a sense of fun can be felt with each puppet, which is complemented by gory maimings and dismemberments. So you have two great tastes that taste great together. If you’ve followed Full Moon, you know that they’ve upped their game in puppet horror over the last thirty years, with Puppet Master, WeedjiesEvil Bong, and most recently, the spin-off Baby Oopsie.

Compared to the entire genre of low-budget horror films, the acting is not half bad. I’m don’t know how classically trained the cast was, but again, not bad. Scoggins is probably the most well-known name across the board. She’s vying for her place in scream queen-dom, and the screams come fast and furious here. The lip-syncing between the demon boy (Daniel Cerny) and his adult voice of, I assume, Robert Stockele is flawless.

I’m not saying Demonic Toys tells a bad story, but the temptation is to make the story fit the technology. It’s as if the filmmakers had all these cool puppets, and they needed a way to string it all together. The narrative’s core is the demonic child haunting Judith and its plans for her unborn child. I honestly don’t have a lot to complain about here. It’s not Shakespeare, but Goyer’s script is well thought out.

But let’s be real, we’re here to see toys with razor-sharp teeth rips their victims to shreds, and we get that in abundance. In 1992, CG effects were not a thing, so brutal murder is done with glorious low-budget practical effects. Demonic Toys is sure to please all fans of low-budget horror.

Demonic Toys (1992)

Directed: Peter Manoogian

Written: David S. Goyer

Starring: Tracy Scoggins, Bentley Mitchum, Daniel Cerny, Michael Russo, Barry Lynch, Ellen Dunning, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Demonic Toys Image

"…sure to please all fans of low-budget horror."

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