Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 17th, 2014
BluRay released: December 9th, 2013
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £11.00
Demonic Toys was directed by Peter Manoogian whose other notable films include The Dungeonmaster and Seedpeople. Key collaborators on Demonic Toys include screenwriter David S. Goyer (Dark City, Blade, Batman Begins) and composer Richard Band (The House on Sorority Row, Re-Animator).
Content wise Demonic Toys can be summed as a mishmash of The Puppetmaster and Rosemary’s Baby. With the former being the more the one it bears the strongest similarities too and this should not come as a surprise since Charles Band produced both The Puppetmaster and Demonic Toys.
Narrative wise things start off strongly as all the main players and their motivations are laid out. Also don’t be dissuaded by the film’s opening moments which are more in line with your standard police procedural, since the film quickly shifts into the full on horror film once all the main players are entrapped within the warehouse which serves as this films main location.
As far as horror film’s go Demonic Toys actually holds up really well when compared to its contemporaries. The acting is more than adequate for the story at hand, especially the performance of this film’s leading lady / protagonist Tracy Scoggins (‘Dynasty’) in the role of a detective named Judith Gray. The moments where her character is draw into a dream / nightmarish world with the being trying to take the place of her unborn child are easily this film’s most memorable moments.
Another area where this film’s holds up really well are the special effects involving the blood thirsty demonic toys. Sure these effects to most may look primitive by today’s standards, but it is also this crudeness that makes them all the more sinister. And when it comes to the kill scenes they are all inventive in design and sufficiently gory.
Though Demonic Toys was not the first too explore the creepy world of possessed dolls with murderous intentions. It is the one that I am always most drawn too whenever I feel like watching a psychopath doll movie.
Demonic Toys comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Overall this is a strong looking transfer, details look crisp, black and contrast levels look consistently good and there are no issues with compression or DNR.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a DTS-HD Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound great as dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise both audio mixes sound appropriately robust when they need too and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the five and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment (7 minutes 38 seconds – 1080 Progressive 1.33:1 aspect ratio) and trailers for The Pit and The Pendulum, Castle Freak, Dollman, Puppetmaster and Subspecies. Though brief the ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment contains a lot of onset footage and some interesting comments from cast & crew. Overall Demonic Toys makes its way to Hi Def via a first rate release from 88 Films.
Note: This film is also being released by 88 Films on DVD.