Demonic Toys (1992): This first "Demonic Toys" film is pretty decent. I generally avoid "killer toy" type movies like the plague. Killer toy movies are usually pretty stupid. Although this movie isn't as brilliantly crafted as a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story, it does have a certain charm and is fairly well-conceived. An evil spirit resides in a toy warehouse, waiting for someone's blood to give him physical power. Enter policewoman Judith Gray (Tracy Scoggins) and a weapons bust that goes horribly wrong. Once the demon gets his first taste of blood, he has his toy-like minions kill more people to gain more power. His ultimate mission is to become strong enough to take over the body of Gray's unborn child. Will he succeed?
The evil spirit
prefers to take the form of a child. It would seem
his "demonic toy" minions are demon underlings merely
inhabiting the toys. In that regard, the killer
toy concept makes some sense.
Tracy Scoggins is cool and a pretty dependable actress. I also like it that they made the child demon sound like a grown man. He's a bit scarier that way. Plus, the child actor who plays the demon gives a good performance. The heroic toy soldier character is really cool and one of the film's highlights. I also like the Chunky Chicken car with the giant chicken on top...funny visual. The Baby Oopsie-Daisy toy is easily the best of the evil toy characters. In this first film, Linda O. Cook provides the voice and is much funnier than in the second film, where it was done by Frank Welker. Kristine Rose as Miss July is (understandably) another highlight.
"Demonic Toys" had a
pretty good saga started, but the next film ruined
it. "Dollman vs. the Demonic Toys" (1993) was a
crossover film as well as a sequel to both "Dollman"
(1991) and "Demonic Toys" (1992). The events of
the next film do not make any sense in relationship to
the first movie. We see Judith Gray again, but her
character is quickly killed off. The heart of the
whole "Demonic Toys" saga was gone! "Dollman vs.
the Demonic Toys" is not unwatchable. It's even
kind of likable, but it wasn't a good follow-up to
"Demonic Toys". It's more of a straight-comedy
sequel to "Dollman" than anything else.
The next film in the
series was "Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys" (2004),
originally shown on the Scifi Channel. "Demonic
Toys 2" (2010) ignored the events of the "vs." movies
and picked up after the events of the original film.
(1991): The first "Dollman" movie is more
of a "real" film than its sequel. It is straight
sci-fi action with comedy elements. Dollman could
easily be considered a superhero, but this film isn't
for kids. Brick Bardo (Tim Thomerson) is a cop
from the alien planet Arturos, which is like Earth in
many ways. While in pursuit of a dangerous
criminal, Bardo and his enemy become stranded on Earth
and in, of all places, the Bronx. What Bardo
discovers is that he is only 13" tall on this planet,
and that Earth is made up of giants! He soon earns
the nickname "Dollman" and is armed with an extremely
deadly handgun. The floating criminal head, Sprug,
allies himself with the criminal thugs of the Bronx led
by Braxton Red (Jackie Earle Haley). Bardo comes
to the aid of community leader Debi Alejandro (Kamala
Lopez) and takes out all the evil-doers.
Kamala Lopez gives a
great dramatic performance. The fact that she is
not in the next film is a loss to the series.
Thomerson is always good with offbeat characters.
The next film in the
series is "Dollman vs. Demonic Toys" (1993).
Although it isn't unwatchable, it's not as good as the
first. Where "Dollman" wasn't purposely set out to
be corny, "Dollman vs. Demonic Toys" is about as
over-the-top as you can get. The movie combined
the franchises of "Dollman", "Demonic Toys", and "Bad
Channels". Dollman was given a female companion,
Nurse Ginger from "Bad Channels". That was cool
and Melissa Behr is the best thing from that film.
Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt
(2011): The girls are hot, and some of
the dialogue is amusing. That's about it.
This is pretty schlocky and feels mostly like a
commercial for the first film, "Killer Eye"
(1999). This is worth watching if you get it in a
set, but I don't advise paying top dollar. A giant
eyeball stalks five girls in a house on Halloween night.
Heads (2009): Before I watched this, I was
expecting the worst. Actually, it's pretty decent
in its own weird way. The Americanized Arkhoff
family lives in an Italian castle. They're a much
closer family than they ought to be, and determined to
shut off their teenage daughter from the outside
world. Daughter Naomi invites three L.A.
filmmakers into the mansion who turn out to be art
thieves. Soon the Arkhoffs are in for the fight of
their lives. Enter the Skull Heads, ancient
demonic protectors of the castle. An odd, but
intriguing story with more than its share of twists and
turns. Worth watching.
(1991): Although a Charles Band production, this
film series is directed by Ted Nicolaou. These
vampire movies are pretty decent and close to mainstream
quality. Nicolaou did a very good job.
Filming the series on location in Romania was a nice
touch. The setting of these movies is as important
as Radu, himself. "Subspecies" is the first
American film to be shot in Romania since the fall of
the Berlin Wall.
students, Michelle and Lillian, join their Romanian
friend Mara. Their mission is to study vampire
culture in the small town of Prejnar. When they
start probing around Castle Vladislas, the girls get
more of an education than they bargained for. Radu
is a monstrous vampire who kills his father and takes
over command. His prized possession is the
all-powerful Bloodstone, said to drip the blood of the
saints. Stefan is Radu's younger, more human,
vampire half-brother who, like his father, wants
vampires to live a peaceful coexistence with the human
world. When Radu terrorizes the three girls,
Stefan comes to their aid. Michelle and Stefan
fall in love.
Michelle is bitten by
Radu, who wants to turn her into a monstrous vampire
like himself. Afterwards, Michelle has Stefan bite
her so she can be a regular vampire. Radu is
killed and our heroic vampire couple turn in for the