Starring: Corey Feldman, Danielle Keaton, Vanessa Angel, Silva Suvadova, Nikolai Sotirov and Anton Falk
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Producers: Charles Band, Jeff Franklin, Bob Perkis and Jörg Westerkamp
Rating: Six of Ten Stars
Eccentric inventor and toymaker Robert Toulon (Feldman) and his teenaged daugther Alexandra (Keaton) recreate the secret formula that can bring inanimate objects to life, and they use it to revive some of the puppet's created by Robet's grand-uncle Andre Toulon--Blade, Pinhead, Jester, and Six-shooter. It's a good thing they do, because the sinister president Erica Sharpe (Angel) of Sharpe Toys has been selling demon-possessed toys which will come to life Christmas morning and kill millions of Americans, sacrificing their souls to the demonlord Bael (Falk) and elevating Erica to ruler of Earth. Only the Toulons and the magic puppets can stop them... if they survive long enough.
"Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys" is one of the best movies to come out of the Sci-Fi Channel's original programming department. Yes, it's goofy and illogical and the special effects won't be winning any awards, but it's a fun and funny movie.
Although the creator of both the Demonic Toys and the Puppet Master concepts, Richard Band, had no direct part in the creation of this film, the presence of an old-time Full Moon script-writer (C. Courtney Joyner) and a director who worked on a number of Full Moon features (Ted Nicolaou) the spirit of the original movies is alive and well in this one. In fact, it's better than much of what Band has been producing and directing lately.
Corey Feldman in particular is great fun as the gruff grand-nephew and last male decendent of the Toulon line, and teenaged actress Danielle Keaton gives a nice performance as a cute and well-mannered kid who patiently puts up with the dad's weird nature. The father/daughter relationships in this movie is one of the things that makes it such an interesting film, particuarly when the Toulons are considered in the light of the relationship that Erica Sharpe must have had with her father. There's nothing deep here--like most films from the brain-trust that is/was the Full Moon gang, the emphasis is on gags, gimmicks and gore rather than characterization--but it's enough to make us interested in the characters, enough to make us care.
If you're looking for an unusual movie to mark the Christmas season, "Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys" could be the one to reach for. There might be a few too many fart jokes and exploding eyeballs for grandma's sensibilities, but I think most kids will get a kick out of it. (This might make a good capstone for a "Puppet Master"/"Demonic Toys" film festival, too. Start off with "Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge", go to "Demonic Toys", and then wrap it up with this film.)