By YASMINA KETITA
Well hello there my fellow Christmas horror enthusiasts! For this month’s edition of The Rewind Zone, I decided to choose a first time holiday horror watch! As a big fan of the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise, part 5 was always the only tape I was missing. But after many years of hunting and sending signals to the VHS overlords, I finally acquired a copy at this year’s Horror-Rama in Toronto. I’ve always heard great things about The Toy Maker, I mean how can you go wrong with Mickey Rooney, kidnapping and murderous toys?
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5 begins a lot like Christmas Evil where a child sees his parents getting it on, except the dad isn’t dressed as Santa Claus. The lesson here to all you parents is if you don’t want your kid growing up to be a murdering psychopath, lock your doors when you’re fucking! But then again if they did that, we wouldn’t have these festive horror movies that we all cherish and love to watch every Christmas. Joe Petto, played by Mickey Rooney, owns a toy store and loves Jack Daniels and making toys that have lethal intentions. Pino, played by Brian Bemer, is Mickey Rooney’s creepy teenage son that I definitely would’ve hung out with in high school because he wears a leather jacket, and is kept or possibly willingly living in the basement.
The main kid Derek, who funny enough is also in Demonic Toys, his mother Sarah, and her ex Noah, are the protagonists of the movie and run around Los Angeles defeating the evils of Mickey Rooney and his toys. Let’s talk about those toys, shall we? There’s a Santa ball with extended arms and legs for choking, a caterpillar that can produce electricity and wiggles around inside your head, killer roller blades, a Giger looking hot wheels that spins CDs that slice your feet, a moveable hand that’s programmed to fondle butts and many more!
There are recurring actors in The Toy Maker from Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation, however it is unclear if they’re supposed to be playing the same characters as they have the same names but seem to be trivial to their prior roles. However, it is always a blessing to see Clint Howard in literally anything! “Hey how bout that California cutie we had for an elf, hoe hoe hoe!”
When we finally get to see the basement of the toy store, it’s like a Tourist Trap situation. Mannequins and heads galore! Now I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone who hasn’t seen this fabulous instalment but I’ll just say Mickey Rooney’s robot face is truly incredible then it just gets even better and creepier with a bonus zesty sprinkle of incest and a creepy Astar the Robot vibe, (only Canadians will get that reference but for everyone else in the world please google Astar The Robot, nightmare fuel for Canadian kids!).
What I love about certain groups of film makers is the bonds of friendship along their careers that emanate throughout their work. I love spotting connections and adore the little things that go unnoticed in movies, something that I take great pleasure in pointing out to reveal to the world. Because Brian Yuzna directed part 4 and produced part 5, you can visibly see a kid standing in line to meet Santa wearing a Re-Animator shirt and a little girl asks Santa for Bride of Re-Animator as an homage to his friend Stuart Gordon. Brian Bemer plays Petrie in Society, Brian’s wife and daughter appear as extras in his films and the kid with the roller skates is his son and might I add his 90s threads are definitely righteous!
When it comes to killer toy horror movies, Dolls has always been my favourite. But now Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker has moved its rank up my list! Demonic Toys is good, Demonic Toys vs Dollman is half recycled scenes from Demonic Toys but with bonus Tim Thomerson filler, but Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys is an abomination, however I’d still own it just for Corey Feldman and Ted Nicolau.
So cosy up around the fireplace this Christmas with some rummy egg nogs and a delightful viewing of Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker, fun for the whole family!