61 Days of Halloween: Demonic Toys 2 (2010)


For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, as well as a list of previously featured films, please go here.

Demonic Toys 2 (2010)

While I did not include the original in this series, I did write about Demonic Toys previously. It was one of my favorite older movies first seen in 2011

This movie is part of the reason that this list is called “Favorite” and not “Best.” I don’t usually distinguish between the two but this is the rare film in my estimation that garners that elusive title of “So Bad It’s Good.” It has an audacious script by David S. Goyer (pre-Nolan Batman films) and a great albeit dubbed evil kid performance by Daniel Cerny, good flashbacks and chemistry between leads. For all its faults, which are myriad, I still found it to be very enjoyable to watch. Beyond that it nearly defies description. I wanted to include it in my 61 Days of Halloween series but I stuck with mostly posting about the original class, this year I may include it.

So at the most recent Mosnter-Mania Con I saw available on DVD this sequel. I actually saw the first a few times and decided to give it a try. This installment made quite a bit later, is a little less ambitious than the prior one and as such, while there’s definitely some cheese involved in dialogue and some of the effects work, and the acting must be forgiven; it too works. This tale goes into the collector realm and has the clan, with a new, valuable addition (as well as demons and ghosts in tow).

Having now seen only two of these films and more of the more popular Puppet Master series I’m not sure why this one doesn’t have more of a following. It’s funny, a bit more self-aware and so far still combines its tropes pretty well and gets good effect out of them.

It’s in this clan where I find myself a fan of the villains. It’s childish but Baby Whoopsie cracks me up non-stop.

Full Moon Features has recently started its own streaming service where this and many of their other titles can be found if you’re interested.

When Is It Time To Stop a Movie?

This is a topic I was thinking about just recently. It was likely inspired by some godawful Netflix or the like. There are many schools of thought on this but essentially it’s something I’ve never been consistent with and it’s also an emotional visceral decision rather than an intellectual one, so I thought it was worth some examination. Without further prelude: Do you have a hard and fast rule regarding when to just stop watching a movie?

Clearly the environment one finds themselves in will impact how heavily you debate it. I’ve only theatrically ever walked out of one film, Jumanji. While I don’t necessarily regret the decision, the thought of “I’d rather be home and I should be leaving” did factor in. Either way, that’s the only precedent and while I’ve been tempted I’ve not done it again.

The stop or move on question comes into play a lot more when dealing with home video, more specifically on Netflix.

Some films, such as the one referenced in the picture Satan’s Little Helper, have the Train Crash Effect on you as a viewer, which is to say no matter how bad it is you have to keep watching. Regardless of the fact that I never even grew an ironic fondness of the film it was good fodder for joking.

Some films, of course, are so terrible they actually hurt your eyesight. The prime example of this would be Dollman, a film that’s the antithesis of Demonic Toys inasmuch as its so bad it’s offensive. That film I turned off within 10 minutes.

Which brings us to the argument of time; Syd Field’s theory that you typically know if you like a film within the first 10 minutes has some basis in fact but isn’t gospel. It’s more a guideline emphasizing the importance of a strong start to screenwriters. Few, if any, endings have ever salvaged a film in my mind. Many endings have ruined films. Usually, the cut-off is the mid-point. One film I saw recently really started to collapse around that point and few improve beyond it.

Is the 50% rule set in stone in my mind? Sadly, it’s not that easy. I’ve rarely stopped a movie past that point, but I have found redeemable qualities or scenes beyond it in the past when all that had preceded said point had been irredeemable.

I’m given further pause by films I nearly quit on very early on but I stuck with and eventually loved. The most notable example being Dogville. Eventually I got past my resistance and really started to appreciate what was happening. That does complicate things and is a case against ever turning anything off.

While I certainly understand the philosophy behind not wasting one’s time any further the allure of the unknown and the possibility of something to latch on to is compelling.

When watching a film as a group it’s easy to make it a democratic process. The question can be raised: “Are we done with this?” If there’s no consensus you can tune out in some fashion, which is an option when viewing solo but then why even keep the movie playing?

I suppose this is a roundabout way of putting my thoughts down and hoping for some insight from without that will lead me to a conclusion but in all likelihood it will remain an instinctual decision. If I think there’s something I can glean or catch from continuing I shall, if it’s pointless I shan’t. What are your thoughts?