Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, 1993 – ★★★

The Definition of ‘Middle of the road’ cinema, ‘Dollman Vs. Demonic Toys’ is basically a ‘free for all’ on ‘Full Moons’ part and I feel the it garners something of a set of mixed results. Where it works, it’s decent, nothing spectacular, but solid enough, where it fails? Well. It’s not quite as bad as ‘Puppet Master: Legacy’ but it’s absolutely heading in that direction.

The film basically unites 3 of ‘Full Moons’ IP’s at that time (I believe they didnt use ‘Puppet Master’ for this film as they were already tied up in a bit of a convoluted series of events in their own series at this point. But in it’s place we see characters from ‘Dollman’, ‘Demonic Toys’ and ‘Bad Channels’ unite in a story that picks up a few months after the events of all three of these series individual respective films. With tough intergalactic cop ‘Brick Bardo’ hitchiking across the US to try and locate Ginger from ‘Bad Channels’ as, the events of her own movie have left her shrunk to a mere 12 inches and currently living in someones kitchen drawer.

Meanwhile, Judith Grey is continuing to explore the strange goings on of the Demonic Toys, and after a tip off of someone breaking into the Lucky toys factory she sneaks in against her officers wishes to see whats going on, only to arrive *just* too late and a drunken homeless man gets murdered, with his blood being used to reanimate the demonic toys, who set about ressurecting their ‘master’.

Judith is let go from the force for disobeying orders and decides to follow a lead about Brick and Ginger, eventually leading to all three of them teaming up to take on the demonic toys in a 3rd act finale thats…’s SOMETHING I guess…

I didnt hate this thing, but I think the broad opinion I have on this thing is basically that it feels like a cheap and cheerful rushed attempt at a cash in. Almost like they had all these elements just kind of lying around and decided, rather than waste them, to just shoot SOMETHING and try and squeeze as much profit out of the thing as possible.

The plots fine enough, its not as good as any of the films that preceeded it, but for a way to kill an hour, you could do a LOT worse from ‘Full Moon’ But thats not to say this is by any means a good film. Its SUPER overeliant on stock footage, which basically pads a good quarter to a third of the runtime, for an hour, its a pretty zippy movie, but its super basic, tonally kind of all over the place and I feel like it waters down all three of these film series in order to produce one mediocre offering. The act structuring is a little bit sloppy because of the stock footage usage, its use kind of throws the films pacing off at times as we stop to recount specific events from other movies.

Key plot points from those films are also glossed over like, What happened to Judiths kid?, what happened to Dollmans spaceship? or Debi, How did Ginger end up where she is? it could be seen as nitpicking, but a lot of these external films relied on these points as main driving elements. So to pick up a sequel where they’re largely glossed over or forgotten was a bit of a poor show to me.

The characters are also a bit out of character as well compared with the last films, Baby Oopsie has had a change of voice artist and a smartass psychopathic doll has here just been replaced with a crude, squeaky voiced pervert. Bricks softened considerably, has nowhere NEAR as wisecracking an attitude as he did in ‘Dollman’ and Judiths had a nuanced ‘firm but fair’ sterness replaced with just a flat out cold and aggressively blunt attitude.

The dialogue across the board has taken a significant step down in quality and crudeness is much MUCH more prominent. On the whole this feels like a step back in quality on the script front in almost every regard, it feels like they’ve taken some complex ideas and just dumbed them down to the point that ANYONE, whether they’ve seen the other films or not, will be able to get on board. Which neuters the film in terms of its ability to world build.

The direction feels a bit on the cheap side as well, everythings pretty much shot for function over style, it’s a blunt viewing experience that gets the job done, but lacks the distinct style that all these other movies brought to the table. it’s passable. But thats all it is really.

Direction of the cast is also kind of neglected a bit, we have the barest elements of these original characters here and they seem to have been given a basic scene walkthrough and not a lot else to work with. As such we’re relying on the performers (who all VERY much feel like they’re here for the paycheque and little else) to bring their characters back to life. Something I think they have a decent stab at…but with the script being tepid, they can only do so much.

The cine feels quite lifeless too, It had 3 films to pick a style to copy from, and they chose ‘Demonic Toys’ the least interesting looking film stylistically of the three. and it feels like a ‘Soundalike’ copy of that cinematography. cheaper, less arty, less interesting, flat underlit cine that again is here more for style over function. I cant fault it on a technical level because in that regard it IS passable. but again. thats all it is really.

OH! and *something something* Richard Band does the music *Something Something* Generic ‘Full Moon’ sound *Something Something* heard it in one movie, heard it a million times Etc. Etc…

I didnt hate this film, but I didnt love it either. by the skin of it’s teeth it managed to maintain a level of energy and narrative development that kept me on board, it’s passable. a scrape ‘C’ grade movie that, if you enjoyed ‘Demonic Toys’ you’ll probably quite like this one. If you liked ‘Dollman’ you’ll probably feel a bit underwhelmed and confused, and if you liked ‘Bad Channels’ you’ll probably just appreciate that Full Moon remembered this film existed.

By NO means an ‘essential’ watch, it’s totally skippable, but if you DO have an hour to kill and you dont have to overexert yourself to catch this thing, you may just have an okayish time with it.


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