Wednesday, 13th December 2017. 3:41:51pm ET
Reviews Movie Reviews Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys
Movie: Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys
Company: Sci-Fi Original Picture
Format: Television
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 12/18/04

The immediate success of Freddy vs. Jason kicked off something of an epidemic of wheeling and dealing between studios trying to set up the most profitable franchise versus match-ups. While the direct-to-television Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys will not likely fall into the "most profitable" category, it's certainly one of the most logical, combining two of the most popular "killer toys" series this side of Child's Play. Both series are rooted firmly in cheese and are enjoyed mainly by low-budget horror aficionados rather than the mainstream public. Hence, it's only appropriate that their meeting plays up the cheese even further.

Starring 80s movie icon Corey Feldman and Weird Science television series alum and b movie vixen Vanessa Angel, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys is actually something of a holiday film. Feldman stars as a member of the Toulon lineage who, together with his daughter, has been working on the secret Toulon family formula in order to revive the puppets that protected his family for generations. Angel, on the other hand, plays the antagonist, master of the demonic toys and owner of a toy company that, with the aid of a demonic contract, plans to distribute toys and bring them to life on Christmas morning. It's sort of a "spill the blood of the innocent, rule the world" type deal. You know the drill. Dissatisfied with her tiny band of 3 demonic toys, Angel's character also wants her own loyal Toulon puppet bodyguards, and luckily, the sacrifice of the Toulon bloodline is part of the demonic bargain. Hence, the families cross paths. Can Toulon and his infamous band of puppets save Christmas? You can probably guess the answer. It's pretty cookie cutter, and the "good vs. evil" deal pretty much removes all doubt that was found in Freddy vs. Jason.

Overall, the film's main draw is its cheese factor, which, for the sake of the crew and actors involved, I hope is intentional. The puppet and doll animation is almost consistently laughable, ranging from exceptionally bad low budget stop motion to shots that look like someone just threw a doll in the air. Overacting (or, sometimes, just plain bad acting) is abundant, the most apparent example being Feldman's eccentric gruff-voiced character. Even the wardrobe department went overboard here and there, especially when it came to clothing Angel. The plot itself does a good job tying the histories of the two series together, but it's riddled with unbelievable events and predictable plot devices, further adding to its silliness. Granted, the film's overall demeanor and quality makes complaints like "that guard should have seen him…he was right out in the open" seem a bit moot.

Is Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys a good film? Not by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, a supremely cheesy slice of b-horror schlock that is, while sometimes just plain dumb, ultimately amusing. Fans of serious horror will simply find it horrible rather than horrific, but fans of cheese will revel in its excesses, shortcomings, and silliness. In other words, it's best viewed with a group of friends ready for a good laugh.


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