Director – Peter Manoogian
Cast – Tracy Scoggins, Bentley Mitchum, Daniel Cerny, Michael Russo, Barry Lynch, Ellen Dunning, Jeff Celentano, Peter Schrum
Release Year – 1992
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Demonic Toys is an easily recognizable film to those who have spent numerous hours scouring the horror isles at local video stores. The title bleeds awesomeness, and the cover art looks to deliver some good fun as well. Sadly, after finally viewing this film in its entirety, I can honestly say that this film is pretty bad and not worth spending your time on.
In this film we follow police woman Judith Gray(Tracy Scoggins), who’s partner has just been killed in a failed bust. She apprehends the culprit in a nearby toy warehouse, but her night is only beginning. The warehouse contains a demon that has been awaiting her arrival for 66 years, and he uses the arsenal of toys in the warehouse to exact grisly horror upon those inside.
You know I love demons, and you know I love killer toys, so naturally this is a film that had my devout attention at the get-go. Sadly, when the halfway mark of the film kicked in I realized this was not going to be the film I expected it to be, but simply a piece of crap.
The story comes to us from David Goyer, who wrote not only the Blade series, but the screenplay for Batman Begins and the storyline for The Dark Knight. Demonic Toys was his first horror film, and it shows. While the overall plot is a cool one, we get too many ridiculous scenes and elements throw n into the film that couldn’t even muster up a pity laugh from me, but a feeling of wishing time would go by faster. I liked how the protagonists were used, and sadly the bulk of this film’s negativity comes from the usage of its antagonist, which should never be the case in the horror genre. While the antagonist should always be the real star of the film, the shape shifting antagonist we had in this film was ridiculous and poorly used. To make matters worse, we get some of the worst dialogue imaginable regarding this killer, which was then coupled with pathetic acting and execution, as if things couldn’t get any worse.
Direction-wise we get an equally poor job from director Peter Manoogian. Manoogian was no stranger to the genre at the time, as he had worked as production manager for Humanoids From The Deep and The Howling, yet somehow he managed to screw things up with this one. While the look and usage of the killer toys was pretty awesome and definitely the best aspect of this film, the execution involving everything else was pathetic at best. The dubbed voices of the killer toys were horrible, as was his execution of the demon antagonist, which as you should already know was already poorly written to begin with.
Overall, this is a disappointing watch that had potential in its overall story but failed heavily in regards to every other element of the film. Not recommended.