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  Silent Night, Deadly Night 5:

The Toy Maker

If someone told you that they'd just watched a Christmas movie that had the moral "It's good that we have genitalia because it keeps us sane" in it, chances are you wouldn't believe them. Of course, that person in this case is me and by now you should know I don't kid around when it comes to genitalia and Christmas.  So, what are we looking at on this happy holiday this year? 

Nothing pretty, I assure you.

Silent Night Deadly Night 5 is, as you can tell, the fifth installment of the SNDN franchise.  What all started with the tale of a psycho in a Santa Claus costume (click HERE for the Yuletime Review of the original) degenerated somewhere between part 3 & 4.  The first 2 (or 3, if a psychic isn't too weird for you) revolved primarily about a killer Kringle.  Part 4 was so distant from the series in concept (it featured an evil Wiccan/Druid/Demonic cult and giant worms crawling into and out of women) that it also ended up being distributed under the title "Bugs".  How lame is it to have an installment in a series that's better off going by a different name?  Part 4 is a special trainwreck all on its own, but today we're going to talk about the horror and magic that is Part 5.  Kind of hard to find (because dear Lord the movie is just old enough for no one to care about getting it on DVD too quickly), chances are you haven't seen this one yet.  This article is hitting the site on Christmas Day, so if you don't have an awesome rental place nearby, keep it in mind for next year.  Trust me, you'll thank me when your friends run screaming from the television, their brains dribbling from their ears.  That IS what a good host does to his friends right?  Huh.  No wonder I'm so lonely this time of year. 

Self pity aside, it's time to tear through this little monstrosity.  A good horror film needs a defining scene to set the mood of the film.  This isn't a good film, but sometimes even bad films have these too.  The film opens with a small boy, unable to sleep, investigating strange noises in his house.  What does he find?

Nice.  30 seconds into the movie and I'm already watching a 6-year-old watching his parents have sex.  He doesn't just stumble onto them doing the act, he does what he'll continue to do throughout the entire film:

This is the image of a small child burning his parents fornication into his tender little brain.  Yay!

Derek likes to WATCH.  The child actor here is pretty much treated like a prop doll himself throughout the movie.  He doesn't have to emote more than twice and, while a lot happens in this flick, almost none of it happens to Derek, who just watches horrible crap happen to everyone else.  Hell, he's eventually kidnapped because he couldn't stop himself from watching a couple of teenagers have sex/get murdered by toys.  Derek's still one of our protagonists and while he is a bit of a voyeur, he's the closest thing we have to a sympathetic character.  His mother, Sarah, is obviously meant to be the main character here but....well, calling here the heroine has some ethical baggage tagging along.  Trust me, all will become clear. 

Derek hears the doorbell ring and, when he opens the door, he finds a mysterious Christmas present for him.  When he goes to open it his father interrupts him (all post-coital and unbathed) telling him to go to bed.  Tom, the dad, does what every good father would do:

He opens the gift.  This ends up being a pretty bad move on his part.  The toy inside ends up being a red ball.  That's ticking. 

Oh...this isn't so bad.  It's just a happy music box with Santa's jolly face on it.

I say.  That doesn't look good.

Santabulon:  Tranform and Roll Out!

Apparently someone sent an Autobot to young Derek because the music box grows stretchy arms and begins strangling father Tom.  I'm not entirely certain it was meant to kill anyone, as the only reason Tom seems to die from this is that he's a complete spastic and hits his head on a shelf, tips over some pointy things by the fireplace, and then impales himself on a poker.  I'd say that's pretty complicated for a robot...or retarded.  Then again, a good villain succeeds by selecting the dumbest of adversaries.  In the case of father Tom, I think whoever sent the toy could just have jumped out in a rubber mask and somehow Tom would end up lying there dead, with his fountain pen sticking out of his left eye socket. 

And that's the opening:  Tom is dead, Sarah is a widow, and young Derek is traumatized, meaning he doesn't have to talk much during the entire film.  Oh and despite the poster, there aren't any killer stuffed animals (or Raggedy Andy) in this movie.  Like the "Santa Strangle Ball" pictured above, all the killer toys in this film are robots.  We'll eventually get into cybernetics and artificial intelligence which is just...weird for a movie franchise known for Santa stabbing teenagers with a knife.  And just to make it clear:  Yes, this is a Sci-Fi Horror Christmas movie. 

Also worth pointing out is that the special effects of this movie were done by hometown favorite, Screaming Mad George.  I've already gushed about the guy many, many times on the site, which makes this hard to say:  I think Screaming Mad George was ill while this film was being made.  For a guy who's renowned for making unique one-of-a-kind special effects, Part 5 is phenomenally ghetto in the prop department.  I'm not kidding when I say at one point some characters are attacked by a rubber snake that someone off screen is shaking to make it look like it's alive.  Oh George, what happened?

In one of the early scenes, Widow Sarah takes Traumatized Derek to a ghetto toy store.  The toy store looks like a dollar store, if dollar stores were only allowed to carry things in their price range from Salvation Army.  Now, there's a secret twist to this movie, but they introduce the 3 possible villains in the first scene.  Let's meet our choices:

This is Noah, an ex-military man who's stalking Sarah and Derek, tinkers with toys in his hotel room, and makes murderous overtones when he gives his landlord a toy that moments later burrows into his face.  I'm going to call him McCreepy, because he's presented as the unnerving stalker that's just attractive enough that you let finding him in your panty drawer slide, just this time.

Not that I....well, you know.  Shut up.

Suspect #2 is Pino, the awkward teenager who wants to give Derek a weird toy (that later burrows into a certain someone's landlord's face) and breaks into Sarah & Derek's house.  He lives in the basement of the toy store and likes giving strange looks to people.   Did I mention he tries to give a small boy a robot grub?

Suspect #3 is "Joe Petto" the crazy toymaker who's MY GOD IT'S MICKEY ROONEY!  I don't know why Mickey Rooney is in this movie...he's not in that many horror films but, to his credit, he's had the longest running film career since...ever.  Seriously, he's been in film since the 1930's.  60 years after he begins, he plays the abusive father to Pino who has a drinking problem.   You have to be a bit of a pop culture geek (or over the age of 40) to be excited about Mickey Rooney so if you don't know the guy, don't sweat it.  You're almost cool for not knowing.  If you DO know/adore Mickey Rooney, then I whole-heartedly recommend this flick just to see him get pissed on Jack Daniels and beat his son as if he were step and redheaded. 

Trivia Time:  Mickey Rooney was one of the more outspoken celebrities against the original Silent Night, Deadly Night film.  To quote, more or less, he wanted the filmmakers thrown out of town for desecrating the sacredness of Christmas.  Less than a decade later he's in this abomination.  I don't get it either.

By the by, if you haven't figured out the whole "Joe Petto" and "Pino Kino" thing is kind of giving away the plot yet, I'm terribly sorry and advise you to stop eating so much lead paint.  Later on the babysitter actually reads Pinochio to young Derek, so if you hadn't figured it out by Act 3, SNDN 5 spells it out for you.  Think of it as wheelchair access for the narratively impaired.

Meet Larry the Larva:

Larry is the 2nd killer toy we get to see and he's passed around like a very hot potato in the game sharing that very name.  I actually think he's a tribute to the infernal worm from SNDN 4, but that's just wishful thinking.  First Pino tries to give him to Derek, Derek refuses, Noah (McCreepy) buys the toy, Noah can't pay his rent so he gives the landlord Larry with the phrase "He's to die for."  Considering how McCreepy ends up not being the villain, it's a particularly poor choice of words, particularly when giving the movie's only black man a skull-eating cyborg worm.

What is it about worms in movies jumping into people's mouths?  Is it an oral fixation?  Is the mouth just the most vulnerable orifice?  Are murderous insects drawn to its damp warmth? 

Hold on a second, I seem to have something in my eye.

So yeah, Larry the Larva burrows into the landlord's face, eats his eyeballs, and then causes him to crash his car.  God Bless us, everyone. 

The 3rd killer toy in the film falls back on the "blind stupid luck" method of killing someone, a tactic enjoyed by the Santa Ball previously.  By now Derek has realized that someone is sending him killer Xmas gifts, so he's starting to throw them in the trash.  The neighbor's kid, let's call him "Douchebag", sees the gift and grabs it out of the trash.  (He's named that because he's trying to be a hardcore rapper 1980's style and is pretty much a dick in every scene he appears in.)  What he finds inside the box are rollerblades....that have secret rockets in them.  So after annoying the heck out of some other kids, Douchebag ends up screaming as the boots take him out of control.  Of course, the rollerblades just make him skate like a tard in random directions, until....

"So boss, how are these going to kill Derek?"

"An excellent question!  After a short while of use, the rockets will deploy!"

"And that'll make him run into a wall and explode?"

"Stop your foolishness!  They're make him roll slowly in random directions, while sparklers go off under the wheels."

"And this kills him how?"

"Well, eventually he'll wander into the road and get hit by a car."

"Wouldn't it just be easier to send him a pipebomb or something?"

"I swear, Igor, you have no style."

Naturally, since Douchebag's a kid he can't die, so he's just horribly maimed.  It's a Christmas Miracle. 

Oh my. Here's the ethical issue we have with sympathizing with Sarah, the closest thing we have to a non-autistic protagonist.  McCreepy ends up being the father of Derek who's been gone in the military for 6 years and didn't know Sarah had his child.  Sarah goes on about how she needed security and that's why she went for Tom, painting a picture that she only married him for his money.  This is somewhat lessened by the fact that she was being boned by him in the first scene (and seemed to enjoy it). Throw in the tidbit that her husband's funeral was just last week and it raises a serious eyebrow when we see her getting her stocking stuffed in the back of her SUV by McCreepy.  Sure, they're supposed to be long lost lovers but...gah.  I'm overthinking this...I'm sure it's totally normal to hook up with your old boyfriends/girlfriends a few days after your spouse's funeral, right?  This is the kind of etiquette you need to know beforehand. 

So while that's happening, the babysitter and her boyfriend sneak into Derek's room (he's sleeping in his mom's bed) and start making out. Since sex typically equals death (thus meaning Sarah and McCreepy are doomed according to narrative tradition), you know this is going to be good.

I've heard of weird fetishes, but you're looking at picture of a couple having sex in a child's bedroom while Mickey Rooney, dressed as Santa, plays with his sack.  That's a completely innocent sentence, in a relative sense of the term.  I mean, he's totally got his hands all over his sack. 

Mickey Rooney ("Joe Petto") opens up his big red bag and deploys a bunch of toys, starting the "grand finale" of violence for the movie.  Yes, there's really only a handful of horror scenes in this flick, but they seemed to have decide to blow their wad (of cash, perverts) for the finale, evidenced by the sheer volume of randomness that's about to happen.

Oh my.  Rubber snake, fake gag hand, a robot, toy soldiers, an action figure, some random "things" and a....dinosaur?  How much of a dork am I for recognizing the T-rex?  The answer may surprise you.

Turns out, I'm a big freaking dork.  The T-rex is actually one of the cooler toys from the old line "Dino Riders" which also had a cartoon I watched way too much when I was about 4 feet tall.  The toy doesn't do anything in the movie, but talk about cutting corners by throwing in a random kids toy.  This is just stupid trivia but hey, someone else out there has to remember Dinoriders and that weird Hammerhead shark guy who only communicated by gargling threats at the heroes.  Anyway....

Derek, naturally, ends up walking in on the sex scene which is why he ends up being put into Mickey Rooney's sack. Why our villain doesn't just murder him then and there is anyone's guess since he's been trying to do it the entire movie but whatever.  Let's get back to the smut and horror.

The toys don't initially start slaughtering the teenagers...instead they slowly creep up on them.  How, you ask?

I quote "Oh honey, you've never touched me there I love it don't stop".

What the hell is....

Oh God. 

No. Not the robot hand.  Please no.

It's bad enough to have a close-up of a guy's tighty whities, but to have a scene where a toy molests a man's ass....I'm speechless.  The hand ends up fondling the girl so the last scene is kind of supposed to be funny I guess but....gah.  The hand ends up choking the guy (after pleasuring him :shudder:).  I wonder what the other toys are up to.

Oh and if you're a woman, I do hope you're enjoying yourself...it's very rare for a guy to be on top in a film's sex scene, mostly because lady rump beats man ham most days of the week.  So yes, I suppose the above shot IS indeed "something for the ladies."  You saucy minxes you.

Oh my, it's a rubber snake being shaken by a intern just off-screen. 

Can you feel the Christmas Terror?

So far the toys aren't doing anything a kinky couple might be into.  The hand's asphyxiating the guy while the snake binds the girls hands together...is this as bad as it gets?  Naughty snake and severed limb play?

Say hello to Razor Car.  Razor Car might not look like any toy in the real world, but I want one.  The thing drives around, cutting people's feet and eventually chopping off the guys' face.

Ok, maybe I don't want one per say, but it still looks damn cool.  When it's not cutting into someone.  I have a theory that Razor Car was the most expensive prop in the movie and it might not have even been made for this flick.  It's rather similar to something that appears in one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, another series Screaming Mad George worked on.

I have no idea what this is, but the film implies that it bites the woman's groin.  Now that I say that, the movie implies quite a bit of violence.  There's also this action figure that flies around and explodes, but the film's too cheap to actually show the thing flying.  Sometimes less is more and sometimes, such as in this case, less is pretty darn crappy.

Naturally the soldiers fire tiny bullets at the teenagers, but even weirder:

A robot fires a olde schoole cannone.  This borders somewhere in "'Zombie Pirate"/"Ninja Monkey"/"Robot with a Civil War Era piece of artillery" territory, where two flavors that shouldn't mix assault the brain in some unholy union.  It's like seeing a caveman with a laser rifle.  So naturally I secretly think this is awesome.

Apparently someone's bursting with flavor.

It's important to note the babysitter gets ANNIHILATED by the toys, her chest exploding in slow motion with lots of blood spraying everywhere.  Yet when Sarah and McCreepy show up she's still alive and relatively fine (but dirty from blood).  It's a bit weird...this is the 2nd time the movie's "killed" someone on screen and then reneged on the deal, as if it'd be improper for someone to die in a horror movie.  Of 6 deaths in this movie, 2 of them are accidents only marginally related to a killer toy and another 2 of them feature murdered victims which are more or less fine by the next scene, despite their obvious on-screen death.  That leaves 2 real murders, one of which that doesn't even happen in front of the camera.  Not that I need hot sexy murder in all my Xmas movies...but it is weird to see one that skirts around the topic with such finesse.

Sarah finds out that Mickey Rooney kidnapped Derek so she breaks into the toy shop and finds him in the basement.  And that, ladies and gentlemen is when the movie starts drilling directly into your brain.  You are NOT prepared for this.  Drink deeply of that spiked eggnog and hope for the best.

Oh, it's Mickey Rooney and he's...grabbing his ears?  What is he...

Neat?  He's a robot with a detachable face.  The hell?

Oh it was Pino(chio)!  That explains...wait.  What's he doing now?

Um...why is he stripping?

No, No, No, we don't need a close-up of his groin why are you

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I've seen a lot of weird movies, but I can't think of a single one where the villain exposes his lack of genitalia as the final horrific plot twist of the film.  I'm....I have no idea what's going on now.  I'm....

Well, all hope and joy just died in the world.  I hope you're happy, Silent Night Deadly Night 5.

Pino apparently was created by Joe Petto to replace his long-dead son.  So we're looking at the film's big reveal and it ends up being a life-size Ken doll with the very same "I have no nipples or junk" issue the normal dolls have. 

Let's see Sarah's reaction.

Yep, the first thing she does is stare at his lack of wang.  She's not troubled by the fact that he's a robot or anything, but she's most disturbed by how impossibly smooth his crotch is.  Pino even has a few lines where he laments his complete void where a weenis should be.  This movie is amazing.

Pino ends up doing the villain monologue now, telling us that he wants to be Sarah's son and he's been trying to kill Derek this whole time so he can replace him. That's not too weird is it?  He's screaming I love you Mommy repeatedly at Sarah, that's pretty standard psycho behavior right?

What's NOT normal is the fact that he's telling her how much he wants her to be his mommy while he dry humps his incredibly smooth groin against Sarah.  Sweet Jesus NO!  I'm actually spending Christmas afternoon writing about a holiday flick where a giant toy attempts to rape someone but fails because he doesn't have genitalia.  I'm done.  It really doesn't get much weirder that that boys and girls and...oh jesus. 

DOLL RAPE, ladies and gentleman.  Merry freaking Christmas.  Again.

Long story short, Pino gets chopped in half and dies.  The End, I'm done talking about this film.

Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker is possibly one of the most horrifying films ever made, if only because the jaw-dropping finale just...you have to see it to believe it.  It's nightmarish in a way that transcends the horror staples and goes into a weird area that movies just shouldn't go. Doll Rape.  While calling the victim Mommy, because the Rapist wants to be the victim's son.  It boggles the mind....though if you read my review of the original Silent Night Deadly Night than you already know that rape is pretty common in this film series.  I guess if you have to top Santa Claus raping someone's mother, this is the way to go.  I mean, if you HAVE to.  And no one needs to do that, really. 

I wish I had a clever way to end this but I've got too much Eggnog in me right now and visions of sugar plums are dancing in my head.

Oh wait.  Make that a COMPLETE LACK of sugar plums dancing in my head.  That's vastly more accurate. 

 

-Jared

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and, um, a racially pure Kwanzaa, free of white folks.

 

Who hasn't made fun of Santa Claus Versus the Martians?  I sure have:

Is your night Silent but Deadly?  Check out the original:

Edit:  How do so many people NOT know that there's a rule in Kwanzaa about African Americans only shopping in stores owned by African Americans?  It's one of the holiday's "Seven Principles of Blackness".  Check out the history of Kwanzaa for a strange, meandering tale of civil rights, unrest, violence, and unity within certain communities if you don't know it already..  Hell, the holiday's creator spent jail time for torturing people.  It's an AWESOME story...and one of the few holidays to start  in your parent's lifetime.

 

 

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Copyright 2008 Jared von Hindman or maybe just Jared Hindman.  It depends.  Any images used that are not Jared's are used via Fair Use review purposes and belong to their respective owners....who are nice people that don't want to sue me.

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