Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)
PUPPET MASTER VS. DEMONIC TOYS
WRITER: Courtney Joyner
DIRECTOR: Ted Nicolaou
STARRING: Corey Feldman as Robert Toulon
Vanessa Angel as Erica Sharpe
Danielle Keaton as Alex Toulon
Silvia Suvadova as Jessica Russell
QUICK CUT: A toy company seeks to stop a small time rival before their power grows too strong.
Robert Toulon - A devoted father, less devoted husband, and more devoted puppet maker. I’m pretty sure he’s drunk, he’s not entirely together, and eccentric is an understatement.
Alex Toulon - Robert’s daughter, and way more together than her dad. She’s the brains of the outfit, and is into computers and tech.
Erica Sharpe - Owner and CEO of Sharpe Toys, into making deals with the devil, looking for power, and a bit of a spoiled brat.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back, Triskelions! Here we are. At long last. After nearly ten years. The 300th review I have done for this site. Yikes! And you know what it is time for? You know what we have not talked about in forever? The Puppet Master series. In fact, not since I wrapped up my PM boxed set with the 200th review. But I am going back to the well I built this site on, and we are watching Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys.
In retrospect, I maybe should have snuck in Demonic Toys first, but eh, oh well. Time to get to this movie!
We open up after the credits, with a Christmas toy commercial featuring the Demonic Toys...yep, this is a Christmas movie! I'm only two minutes into this mess, 90 seconds of which were credits, and I already hate it with the cheery cheesy commercial and Christmas music.
Yep, that's Corey Feldman, in a Puppet Master movie. Playing Robert...Toulon? Wait...what? Are you serious? And he has a daughter? This kinda stomps over a lot of continuity, doesn't it? In true Puppet Master fashion, I supposed. Okay okay, he’s Toulon’s grandnephew, but still.
Robert and Alex flip through Toulon's journal, saying how Andre guarded his puppet formula with his life...well, aside from the GIANT BOOK FILLED WITH COPIOUS NOTES. Not a great secret when it's all written down.
They're trying to recreate the formula, they have the puppets, and have obviously not seen any of the past movies to know that's a bad idea, typically. They add some blood to the formula, because that's apparently the missing ingredient...where are they getting the brain tissue from, I wonder? Or are we just ignoring THAT too?
ANYways, Alex asks dad if they're weird, and dad says oh gosh, no! We're only trying to recreate a family recipe to animate wooden puppets with our blood! YES YOU ARE WEIRD.
Meanwhile, they're being spied on by Erica Sharpe, the owner of Sharpe Toys, who foisted the toy commercials on us earlier. She has a bug in the workshop, and wants the puppets for her own nefarious ends. As you do.
They watch as Toulon injects Six Shooter with the latest formula attempt, and finally, it works. Because otherwise, this would be a short movie. At least we’re getting right to the puppets.
So they get all our old familiar faces working, and introductions go around. Pinhead wants to shake Alex's hand, and her dad reassures her not to worry, the puppets won't hurt her. Uhh, excuse me, I have several movies to say OTHERwise.
Robert starts to tell Alex about how Old Man Toulon and the puppets fought the Nazis, and I SWEAR TO FUCK IF YOU START TO FLASHBACK!!
But Alex puts a stop to it, in a genuinely funny bit of self awareness, as she says she's heard that story before. Yeah, this series goes back to that well A LOT.
Six Shooter wants his guns reloaded, and Robbie is like, OKAY SURE! They won't harm us! AGAIN, let me direct your attention to THIS ENTIRE FRANCHISE. This movie so far is an entire series of potentially bad ideas.
Now that she has seen the formula work, Erica demands her minion bring her the go juice and the puppets, for her nefarious plans. Whatever those are. We'll get to that.
So a bunch of nameless canon fodder goons break into the Toulon Doll Hospital...say, Robert, is there much call for a doll hospital? Does that pay the bills? Ahem, but I digress. They try and take the puppets, and you would think, knowing the puppets are awake, they would be better prepared for their retaliation, but nope.
We get some pretty lame puppet animation sequences, making me long for the old days, and during the fight, Six Shooter shoots out some chemicals. Rather than turning Robert into the Flash, this just sets the place, and the puppets, on fire.
The goon squad beat feet out of the place empty handed, and Alex comes downstairs, putting out the flames before they do too much damage.
A police officer love interest arrives to see what all the commotion is, and...okay, is Corey Feldman drunk during this entire movie?
So we go back to Sharpe, who reveals she wants the toys to protect her. So...so she's doing all this, to have living toys as...protection. That's a motivation, I suppose.
There's also talk about having a contract with a demon, but things are pretty vague as of yet. And it's kinda frustrating, because the plot is a bit of a mess. But more on that later!
She heads back inside and grabs the receptionist Christine, to go meet the board of directors...the long awaited Demonic Toys. Almost 30 minutes in, and finally someone gets killed, because she's a blood sacrifice to their dark gods.
Erica uses the blood to summon her demon master Bael, and they blather about how Toulon blood will be shed to bring to life all the toys they are selling, that will kill all the children, causing a giant sacrifice of innocent blood and allowing evil to rise on Earth on the birthday of Christ.
Uhh... Yeah sure, fine. Although something about this is familiar…
But Erica doesn't LIKE the Demonic Toys, doesn't find them trustworthy, and that's why she wants Toulon's gang. The demon seems fine with this, which makes as much sense as anything else. I mean, she doesn’t trust THESE living toys, so maybe those other living toys I can trust!
Meanwhile, the Toulons are trying to figure out what the attack was all about, and thankfully Alex is the brains of the organisation. She wonders if it's because of the puppets, and Robert brushes that aside at first, because no one knows about the puppets except...for Erica Sharpe.
They discover the ladyBUG that Erica planted, and decide to get out of there and into safety, figuring the doll hospital is no longer safe.
Robert tries to bring Officer Love Interest into things, but she's on her way to Sharpe Toys to keep an eye on an event they’re throwing. Which makes Robert drop everything to rush over there and protect her or expose them or both or something.
While lurking through the building, Robbie sees Baby Oopsie yelling at Julian, but the Demonic Toy spies the spy, and the chase is on.
Robert crashes out to the event, and tries to accuse Erica of working with living dolls. As you can imagine, his carrying on comes off as the ravings of a madman.
Officer Love Interest takes Robert into custody, but lets him go back at his car. He again tries to explain, but that continues to not go well.
He heads back home, and starts repairing the puppets, upgrading them with cybernetic limbs and oh no. This is not the upgrade the franchise needs. And outright saying, "They're like...cooler than ever!!" is a bit too on the nose. You can say it as much as you want, but I'm not buying it.
Robert suddenly remembers a tattoo he was punched in the face with, and Alex recognises it from a metal band, figuring they must be fighting against demon worshippers. Eh, I've heard worse leaps in logic. Which has become my catch phrase for this entire movie.
Meanwhile, Officer Love Interest heads back to the doll clinic to check things out, and gets attacked by the Demonic Toys.
She ends up at Toulon's hideout, they fill her in, and then they all get kidnapped by Sharpe and Julian, bringing Alex to the dungeon of doom.
The puppets are trapped in a steel box, trying to get out, until Six Shooter remembers he's been upgraded with frickin' lasers.
Julian shows up with the jerk in the box to keep things busy, Blade slices the Demonic Toy up, and geeze, even with a bloody morningstar, Jester remains pretty useless.
So to recap, this company is selling toys, which at a specified time on a major holiday, will destroy the children across the country...and then it hits me, this is the plot of Halloween 3.
Bael reveals there's also some revenge going on, as their ancestor...Jean Paul Toulon..sold his soul for the secrets of...OH FOR FUCKS SAKE. Just one, just one movie, could we have consistent continuity??
But at least this leads to a final confrontation, and it delivers on the threat of Puppet Master versus Demonic Toys. Some hilarious highlights; Baby Oopsie passing gas and launching into the air as a 'fartball special’. Blade going full on blender mode spinning around to take out the Grizzly. Even Jester finally does something by smacking around the jerk in the box! It's really no surprise the Puppets kick their ass.
With all the fighting though, sunrise comes and goes, and Bael doesn't get his Toulon blood, and his entire plan is a failure. So instead, he takes Sharpe back to Hell with him, and nothing happens.
So once again the movie ends just because the bad guys couldn't complete their plan. Our heroes recover outside, and Robert makes one last attempt to ask out Officer Love Interest out for Christmas plans. She says she HAS plans with her friends…so, where can she drop them off? OH NO wait, she meant the Toulons. Ha. Ah ha ha. End this.
Video: This looks pretty rough. It’s easy on the eyes, especially compared to some things I’ve seen, but it feels too blown up, and fuzzy.
Audio: It sounds fine, but nothing stand out
Sound Bite: Even without the slaughter of innocents...this has been our best Christmas season ever
Body Count: Sad, sad death count.
1 - Poor Christine gets sacrificed to the Demonic Toys at 27 minutes.
2 - One security guard goes down at the lasers of Six Shooter.
3 - And then a second guard.
4 - Julian's eyes explode
Best Corpse: I mean, the exploding eyes was cool.
Blood Type - C: Mostly for the flow of blood out of the iron maiden, with a few decent effects. I take away a few points for the poor puppetry, but it sure could be worse.
Drink Up! Every time they remind you how long until Christmas morning.
Movie Review: I was going to give the actual movie an okay review…until I realised this is essentially the same plot as Halloween 3, which did this a LOT better. Mostly. If you took a few elements from this plot, and mixed them with H3, you would have a rock solid movie, because there’s some flaws in that movie you’re just supposed to buy into. Ahem, this is NOT a review on Halloween 3… The story is fine for the most part, but a little threadbare, and while the Puppets are fairly unimportant overall, at least they do something. And at least we DO get a fight between the title characters. Not bad, but not great, and barely good. Three out of five business dungeons.
Entertainment Value: The entire entertainment for this movie comes from Corey Feldman, no doubt. The puppets are just kinda there, the plot is silly. The Demonic Toys are little more than fart jokes, so it all rests on Feldman’s quirky performance, making you wonder what he was thinking of the entire time you’re watching him in that bad wig. But even that can’t save this mess of a movie. This is far from the worst Puppet Master movie, but just as far from the best. Two out of five ladybugs.