Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys (2004)

APRIL 26, 2009


What is worse? A bad horror movie, or a bad horror movie that SHOULD be "so bad it's good" but is just plain bad? After watching Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys, I have to say the latter. I'd rather just be bored or disappointed with a failed sequel or remake than with a movie that is, at its core, about a bunch of little toys whaling on each other.

Even as a kid I never cared much for the Puppet Master movies that I saw (which would be 1, most of 2, and 4 - which at least had Teresa Hill, an actress I was smitten with in the mid 90s). The concept was interesting, but the traditionally crappy Full Moon approach left little to really enjoy beyond the impressive toy effects. Also, the decision to make them "good guys" somewhere around part III (where they fought off Nazis), and also increasingly pit them against like-sized foes instead of dumb humans, made me lose all interest. It wasn't until I looked up this one on the IMDb that I realized that it was in fact the NINTH film in the series.

I DID, however, enjoy Demonic Toys (in that "so bad it's good" way). There was a guy driving a chicken truck, a foul mouthed baby toy, and a demonic kid saying "I've been imprisoned in that corpse for 66 years...". In fact I would like to watch it again, now that I think about it. I can't remember much about Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, other than that it was only 61 minutes long, half of which was footage from the two title films (as well as Bad Channels), but I am fairly certain that the end of the film saw them more or less destroyed.

So how they ended up in some insane woman's toy company is beyond me. Even though I hadn't seen half of the films in the PM franchise, I at least understood that Corey Feldman's character here is a descendant of the Andre Toulon character from the earlier films. But let's just go with the theory that no one involved in this thing gave a shit about continuity one way or the other.

I'm actually really surprised I didn't like this movie. The plot is more or less ripped from Halloween III, albeit set on Christmas, and again, it SHOULD be about a bunch of toys killing each other, as the title suggests. Unfortunately, the promised battle lasts about two minutes of the movie, and the toys don't really do much else for the rest of the movie. Fighting each other or other foes, I would estimate that less than 15 minutes of the 90 minute movie have the toys even moving, let alone doing anything interesting.

The rest is an over-written, plodding, and simply pathetic tale of "industrial espionage" (a term that gets thrown around more here than, I dunno, the term "killer toy" does). The evil Demonic Toy owner woman wants Toulon's blood to help make her toys kill kids, and she uses ladybug cameras to spy on him. And she has to sacrifice a virgin, and Toulon is going through a divorce, and his daughter used to listen to cheesy death metal, and I dunno, 400 other plot threads that seemingly exist only to keep the movie from being exciting. It's like the filmmakers watched Freddy vs. Jason and figured that it was the plot that people dug, and decided to load their "Vs" movie with as much plot as possible, instead of (expensive) fighting puppets.

And of course, this means we get far more Corey Feldman than any film past 1988 should include. His casting is completely wrong on every level. He's supposed to be old enough to have a 15-17-ish daughter, but I'd have trouble buying him as the father to even a 10 year old. His blessing and curse as an actor is that he looks much younger than he actually is, so to cast him as someone that is presumably OLDER than he really is is just fucking stupid. I can imagine the same girl playing his sister in another movie. Plus, he's using his idiotic scratchy "old" voice again, which grates after about 5 minutes (and again, he's pretty much front and center for the 85 minutes that follow). I won't even begin to address his "hilarious" attempts at physical comedy.

You would think with such limited toy action, that the effects budget would suffice and everything would look really good when it actually appeared, but no. I can't recall how good/bad the Puppet Master effects are with any certainty, but I REMEMBER them being pretty decent. And the Demonic Toys effects were above average for Full Moon as well. But they completely suck here. I don't know why they can't at least look AS GOOD as they did 12 or so years before, if not better, but there it is. Oopsy Daisy in particular is awful; they move the mouth around but the eyes remain stone still. And the Puppets are stop motion animated instead of CGI, so that's good, but the animation is usually poor, and the shots also run at a speed that seems far too fast.

Let's see, what else? There's a devil-demon thing that the sound editor gives a "WHOOOSH" sound every time he moves, even when merely taking a step to the right; a cute female cop that is seemingly charmed by Feldman's batshit puppet-maker; the death of one of the Puppets that is played completely straight... it's a mess through and through. My favorite bit has to be when Feldman uses a laptop. He is typing away furiously on the keyboard, but on-screen, the only thing that happens is the page scrolls down a bit. And yes, it's all supposed to be rather silly (it's not even R rated), but the problem is it's not, it's merely sad.

I wouldn't mind going back and watching the first few Puppet Master films again, but only for HMAD purposes. Otherwise, this movie, which should be a celebration of the two franchises, could conceivably kill interest in them for good, as it couldn't even meet my low expectations. Then again, the movie prominently displays the fact that it's a joint effort between Full Moon and the Sci-Fi Channel, so that's sort of like expecting good things from a poison that mixes cancer and AIDS.

What say you?


  1. Yes, this movie is terrible, but after a group of friends and I did a marathon viewing of all the Puppet Master and Demonic Toys (and Dollman) movies in one weekend, this shit cracked us up.

    We still quote Corey Feldman's angry old man lines pretty constantly.

  2. "Ahhh, Christmas dinner! We didnt have an invitiation, this is greeat!! Hahaa.."

    -Corey Feldman, playing himself in PMvDT

  3. Haha, maybe I'll remove this one from my netflix queue.

  4. nine films???? WTF? I only saw the first and tried (but not made it) to see two sequels (i can't remember which)I wonder how they maded the series go that long...

  5. It felt like a G rated horror movie. They end everyone is hugging and they all saved the day....blah. There was one part where the baby demonic toy flew at the secretaries boob but when he was pulled off there was just a little blood on her chest and none on the nipple. Guess that would have thrown off the Disney audience they were going with on this movie.

  6. I loved the whole series (big Full Moon Fan) the second, third, etc. are better than the first, and they're all good, though Puppet Master Legacy (i think the 8th one) is good for fans of the series only, and the 6th one Curse of the Puppet Master has nothing to do with the others.

  7. How can you not like Puppet Master? BLADE!!!

    also, prove me right, Jeff wasnt sure: "I've been imprisoned in that corpse for 66 years...". Thats the clip you used for FR?

  8. I remember watching this on the SFC a few years ago and thought it belonged on Comedy Central. Bad, bad, bad...

  9. "so to cast him as someone that is presumably OLDER than he really is is just fucking stupid."

    lol. This movie is on right now, and I looked for a review of it JUST so I could verify that anyone reviewing this movie could NOT let this go without saying. Thank you. Also, Feldman is far from the best actor in teh world, but I'm not sure I've ever seen him THIS bad...this was just like seing some random person try to audition for a part or something... Even most of the no-names do better than him. Maybe it's the scratchy voice. Oh, I just saw some boobs jiggle though, at least there's that.

    I really liked the first few puppet master movies as a kid, and the first DT movie wasn't bad either (well it was- but like you said, good in that so bad it's good, B horror movie type of way). Even with 9 sequels to PM, I can't imagine any of the others are as bad as this... At this point nothing would surprise me though.

    BTW, does anyone know if the original Puppet Master movies were ever released in the theater? I only caught them on video. Having 2 grandmothers that let you rent whatever you want is the best way to start a life long love with B horror movies...


Movie & TV Show Preview Widget