Demonic Toys: Personal Demons
demonic toys: personal demons | sequel | demonic toys | william butler | alli kinzel | lane compton | selene luna | michael citriniti | killer toys | fantasy | united states | full moon | elizabeth bell | william marquart | leslie jordan | ben gunther | demon | demons
Film: Demonic Toys: Personal Demons
Director: William Butler
Writer: William Butler
Starring: Alli Kinzel, Lane Compton and Selene Luna
This was a film that I first heard about when I was working at Family Video. If you don’t know my story, I was the resident horror film expert. Any time horror films would come in, they were some of the first I processed so I could take home early. This one caught my eye as I have a lot of nostalgia for the original film and its sequel. I didn’t care for it the first time I saw it, but I decided to revisit it with a more critical eye. The synopsis is a group of people on a world wide search for oddities find themselves trapped in a nine hundred year old Italian castle when they accidently unleash the Demonic Toys.
We start this off with someone repairing two of the demonic toys. I’m not really sure if they are ignoring Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys or not, but it does look like this is more of a sequel to Dollman vs. Demonic Toys from the looks of the damage to them. The two who are reconstructed are Baby Whoopsie (voiced by Jane Wiedlin) and Jack-in-the-Box. They are then put into a crate.
The film then shifts to the outside of the castle from the synopsis. We have a young historian, Caitlin (Alli Kinzel), who is quite accomplished for her age and is fresh out of college. With her is Butterfield (Leslie Jordan). He is one of the best toy historians in the world. They are met by a vehicle of people led by Dr. Lorca (Michael Citriniti). He is a collector and has a scarred face. He states it is from his rivals who were after the same items as him. With him is his young wife, Lauraline (Elizabeth Bell), his stepson David (Lane Compton), a dwarf psychic Lillith (Selene Luna) and Eric (William Marquart), his assistant.
They are there to see a rare doll named Divoletto. When Butterfield looks at it, he states that it seems to be made back in the 14th century. It actually can move on its own when the side of the box is tapped with a tomahawk looking wand. When Lillith touches it, she feels a great evil. She also felt a similar evil when entering. Caitlin reveals that this place was owned in the past by a witch of sorts, Fiora. There is an ominous painting of her.
Things take a turn when the cars are stolen. It is decided that they will have to stay the night in the castle. It is revealed though that this isn’t really the case. Lauraline and Eric are actually lovers. They have a plan to steal Divoletto, replace it with a fake and flee. The problem is they don’t realize Divoletto is still alive. It has a demon living within it. It then revives the other two demonic toys that Eric brought into the castle. To complicate matters even more, Lillith attempts a séance and becomes possessed by Fiore herself. The group is picked off one by one as they try to survive the night.
After my second viewing I’ve come to two conclusions, I think this film has some really good aspects, but it also has some really bad ones. I want to start off with the elements of the story I enjoyed. I like the idea of this old toy being found. We learn in this film that exorcisms were performed on Fiore and that the ‘demons’ removed were put into this odd objects. This is something that I found to be quite interesting. Caitlin being a rational person believes that there was more mental illness, but these people believe it helped which makes a ton of sense.
Going from there, the tagline Personal Demons of the film also makes a lot of sense. Everyone that dies commits a sin of sort. I won’t go too much into those that live or die, as I don’t really like to spoil anything. There are the sins of adultery and theft though to give you a bit of an idea. There is a creature at the end of the film that is credited as Personal Demon which I believe is supposed to be the embodiment of Fiore. I could have done without that, but the evils taken from her she considered to be her ‘personal demons’ as well.
If you’ve read any of my other Full Moon film reviews, you know one thing that frustrates me is the lack of continuity in their films. I do have to give his one credit, it doesn’t tell us anything from the previous demonic toy films, so it really doesn’t violate there. I think it ignores Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys, as that is technically not a Full Moon film. I am fine with the toys being brought back by a different demon as well. That was something that I was at first upset about, as it completely ignores the history of them, but this makes sense.
As to the pacing and editing of the film, I would say that is fine. I never really found myself bored, it just falls into the same issue that a lot of Full Moon films do. They don’t want to pay more for the effects and they decide to go a little story or dialogue heavy. The problem with most of these films is that the story is pretty basic and the characters aren’t interesting enough. This film kind of falls into that a bit. It really wants to establish the mythology, but there are things that Caitlin acts shocked to find, but she and David don’t uncover anything. I thought the ending was fine for how the film played out. I just personally wanted more toy mayhem.
Surprisingly, the acting for this film was not too bad. I thought Kinzel was solid in her role. It felt believable that someone of her age could be in the spot she was in. I do think they went a little bit overboard on all of her accomplishments, but that’s not her fault. I also found her cute which doesn’t hurt. Compton I thought was fine in his role. I do think his family dynamic is a little bit too out there. Luna was interesting as the psychic. I know that Full Moon loves uses little people as well as having psychics so it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone. Citriniti is fine, Bell was annoying, but that’s what she is going for and Marquart was just kind of there. It was fun to see Jordan in this film as I’m a fan of him. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the change of Baby Whoopsie’s voice. It is funnier to see a baby doll with a man’s voice.
Something that I had a real problem with would be the effects of the film. There are some that were done practical and looked good. The blood is an aspect of that in here and some of the wounds. The real problem I had with this film though was the CGI. It looks horrible. There is green screen that didn’t make a lot of sense. The movement of the toys was mostly CGI and it was bad. There were wounds on people as well that falls into this category. I’m fine with computer enhancements, but to rely on it like this one did, I hated it.
The final thing to talk about is actually a positive. I thought the score was pretty solid. It is hard to give this film credit as it uses the theme from the original Demonic Toys and it uses it quite a bit. I really like that theme though, so I do give some. I did think the rest of the soundtrack did fit the film for what was needed from it.
Now with that said, this film did do some things right. It changes what brings these toys to life, but it does it in a way that makes sense. It doesn’t really violate continuity as it really did go ambiguous. The one thing I’d like to know is why Dr. Lorca was after the demonic toys and if he knew the history of them or not. The acting was fine. There was a bit of a pacing issue, but I thought the ending was fitting. The soundtrack was something else that was solid. The effects in this film really hurt it though. Overall I’d say that this film is below average and I would only recommend it if you are fan of the series.
My Rating: 4 out of 10