Killer Dolls: Charles Band Classic's (1987 - 2012)
There is something about this B-movie that I like, its hard to pinpoint as the film is so ridiculous and belongs in a cartoon realm, I guess its the quaint 'Twilight Zone' charm of the plot and the cheesy yet fun effects mixed with some great hammy acting.
Pyun regular Thomerson gives his best 'Dirty Harry' performance here as 'Brick Bardo' (great name ) complete with silly shades and a long trench coat, his gritty strong voice barking out silly dialog left right n centre to the wonderfully cliched baddies and gang members lead by a young over acting JE Haley.
This film does seem to have a cult following (nowadays, apon release no) and its easy to see why as its highly enjoyable through its highly nonsensical premise, classic lead character and brilliantly bad effects, Pyun's best film along side 'Cyborg' for sure which I'm sure came as a shock to him.
Demonic Toys (1991)
Yes its totally stupid and not in the least bit scary, I dunno why its referred to as a horror, but this cult is highly enjoyable with its basic charming effects. Of course its ridiculous and has a high trash content with strong levels of cheese but with a film about killer dolls what do you expect, its much more of a light hearted horror/comedy.
The main swing here is the dolls of course, a killer teddy bear, a baby doll, a robot and a jack in the box, all of which actually look kinda cool, not scary more eerie and bizarre, think killers Muppets haha. The sequences where the dolls attack are pretty amusing and the highlight of the film, with their limited movements and funny voice work its hard not to enjoy despite how silly it is watching a grown adult thrash around as he's being attacked by a psychotic Fozzie the Bear lol!
The whole concept is hard to pull off but its an interesting one with toys coming alive, much like 'Toy story' and 'The Twilight Zone' its a fun route to explore, plus the dolls are always well designed and made with obvious care and attention.
Demonic Toys 2 (2009)
Seeing as this was made recently it makes it hard to accept the crapness involved as these type of films tend to work better knowing they were made back in the 80/90's but despite that its still a reasonable horror with fun doll mania.
The plot is pretty much the same as all the killer doll films previously accept with a different setting but the effects are slightly better or alittle more technically advanced than the rest. The dolls still look good but we're missing 'Mr Static' and 'Grizzly' and instead have 'Divoletto' which is a devil looking doll, nice design and very 'Puppet Master' but he doesn't do too much.
Nice setting and the usual kills accompanied with some rather poor acting but we all know what we're getting here, not as good/classic as the first but its still solid if you have a doll fetish
Dollman vs. Demonic Toys (1993)
Suppose to have been the first 'vs.' film made so really this film is a groundbreaker if we are honest about it. Its a very silly premise of course and the back story behind it is muddled, basically this is the sequel to 'Bad Channels' 'Dollman' and 'Demonic Toys' all at once which in itself is pretty impressive and unique but alas they screwed up the continuity badly by making 'Nurse Ginger' as the sidekick from 'Bad Channels' when it should of been 'Bunny'.
That aside this is actually good fun and continues the cult craziness of the previous films with the added bonus of Thomerson back as Dollman. Most of the film is filled with flashbacks unfortunately which does take up time and seeing as the film is one hour!! you can tell they struggled to fill out the plot.
Effects wise its about on par with the other films accept this time we have lifesize Demonic Toys going up against 'Brick' which don't look too bad really, the fact they are real or stop motion makes all the difference which would be lost using cgi, almost modern day Harryhausen films...almost
Yep found another doll film but this time from Bands Empire film company and not directed by the man himself. Surprisingly this doll flick is different from all the rest with its plot, this time its very much like a fairytale or even a Stephen King story. An old couple that make dolls in a big mansion in the middle of nowhere take in lost or stranded folk and shrink them down turning them into dolls depending on the persons character, if they're good or bad.
So a slightly different spin with this film which is nice and gives it a fresher feel, the dolls are not weird looking killers either they are just normal looking old fashioned toy dolls from various times, almost 'Pinocchio' in design, style and feel.
Cast is good in this too with the old couple being especially well performed, no one really well known but they all play their parts well enough too make the film seem better than it maybe should be, infact the whole film looks good with decent well lit sets, dark hallways, plenty of shadows and the classic thunder and lightning all giving the right atmospheric glow.
Not scary but more of a 'Scooby Doo' creepy feel to it which is just right as its obviously hard to make killer dolls come across as genuinely scary.
Blood Dolls (1999)
Yes I can't believe it either but Band still somehow manages to make yet more killer doll flicks without anyone saying...'hey, haven't we done this before?'. This doll flick is pretty much the same as 'Puppet Master' accept the dolls are much more detailed, extreme looking, twisted and bizarre but also really decent looking too.
The whole film is kinda off the wall or more like a twisted fairytale as the dolls are controlled by a villain with a normal human body but he has a shrunken head (think 'Beetlejuice') that actually looks good I must admit. His main henchman is a human version of 'Jack Attack' from 'Demonic Toys'...basically a big guy with clown face paint on which was alittle disturbing I guess, all this and a sexy girl rock band imprisoned in a large cage for his amusement haha sweet.
The plot is..again..a bad guy using the dolls to kill for his own evil plans, afew different plot twists here and there buts its the usual thing really, not much else that can be done I guess, to be frank its just a chance to do a puppet film with a new fun set of killer dolls really, much like 'Doll Graveyard'.
Its competent and solid as a doll horror, doesn't look cheap n nasty and the characters are good fun.
Doll Graveyard (2005)
This is probably one of Bands best films to date although not exactly an original concept but its pretty well made and directed coming across as a sensible thriller. Again we have killer dolls on the loose but much like 'Puppet Master' they do look really good and have been well designed and made, I especially liked the samurai and German dolls.
Its very very predictable with nothing new to bring to the forum but simply if you like these types of horrors then you will certainly enjoy, by now Band is pretty much an expert at shooting dolls so this is quite good and not just trashy cheap stuff, just don't expect top class acting or thrills. Nice film title
Devil Dolls (2012)
What on earth was the point of this Mr Band!? I thought this was gonna be another dubious yet enjoyable killer puppet horror comedy yet it turns out to be a compilation of three of his older films!!
'Demonic Toys' 'Ragdoll' and 'Doll Graveyard' have all been cut down to short 30min stories which make no real sense now and mainly show the dolls killing. If you wanna make a compilation of kill sequences from your films fine but don't market it as a new film for chuffs sake!.
Complete waste of time and utter rip off Mr Band, for shame. What was the point anyway!? why watch this when you can watch the whole film properly, milking the shit out of your films is an understatement Mr Band.
Dollman vs. Demonic Toys I found to be a whole lot of cheesy fun...still need to check out Dollman!
Blood Dolls was awful to me, as was Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys. Dolls is a true neglected classic!
I won't even bother with the more recent attempts such as Doll Graveyard and Dangerous Worry Dolls.