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  Terror Toons:

Evidence that God may very well be Dead.

You wake up with rusty steel tightly bound around your wrists.  Your chair, bolted to the floor, feels cold to your skin.  The room smells of fear and mold...the sound of a dripping faucet echoes down the hallway.  Suddenly, a television turns on, its harsh light too bright for your weak eyes.

"Hello, Jared (your name is Jared now; shut up and go with it).  Do you know why you're here?  You've spent a lifetime wasting away before a television screen, tearing apart movies others have poured their life's blood into.  Are you prepared to do the same for your freedom?  It's time to find out.  In your left hand, you'll find a slightly sharpened spoon, your easy way out if you choose to take it.  You will notice that while you'll be able to cut your wrists with this, you are unable to reach your eyes.  This is by design.  In 52 seconds the DVD player before you is going to begin playing the 2002 classic 'Terror Toons.'  If you are still alive 92 minutes later, your restraints will open and you'll be free to go.   Or gouge your eyes out, if you're so inclined.  Good luck, Jared and God speed."

Jesus Christ.  Terror Toons.  Terror Toons is one of these films that's a deep part of why I review bad movies, and there's a reason I haven't written about it before.  It is truly one of the worst movies I've ever seen.  I'm pretty sure it gets 1st place at the bad movie awards...but it does for a lot of reasons you might not exactly expect.  It's from Brain Damage Films, a company you'd expect a guy who runs "Head Injury Theater" to have some kinship with.  BDF is not a company that makes films.  They make implements of torture.  That come on DVDs.  I can't speak for every film I've seen them distribute, but from what I have seen, they're....special.  Even worse, you've probably seen them on the shelf of Blockbuster or MegaVideo or Whatever the rental chain is in your neck of the woods.  Brain Damage excels at criminally low-budget productions and they're savvy enough to convince rental stores to give them shelf space.  Not surprising...when it only costs $2,000 to make your movie, it's pretty easy to turn a profit.  And yes.  Terror Toons was made for only $2,000.  And was filmed in one weekend.  Like I said, Brain Damage is something special.  How special?  Check out the film's intro.

A balding punk biker comes out and reads the back of the Terror Toons box...that's what I want at the beginning of my film.  This sets the stage as a guy doing his best "I'm a spooky monster" voice greets all the "gore hounds" watching (thus telling us that this film is only for the most selective of horror movie fans), and tells us the plot.  He tells us about "Doctor Carnage & Max Assassin," two demons from the "cartoon dimension."  Apparently, only Cindy has the power to stop their "insane blood-fest murder spree."  Holy crap. It's a blood-fest AND a murder spree?  Hardcore.  Can you imagine if Star Wars had started like this? 
George Lucas: 
"So hey Sci-Fi Geeks.  Be prepared to face the terror of Darth Vader, the right hand of the empire's dark lord, a creature of malevolence and evil.  Only Luke Skywalker has the power of the Jedi that just might be what he needs to overturn the wicked Empire.  He succeeds with the help of his cuddly Ewok brethren and his incestuous sister, the princess of a planet that gets destroyed by the end of the 3rd act."

So yeah, the guy who I think might be the director comes out and tells us the basic plot, just in case you decide to be mildly retarded and not actually watch the movie.  It's a bit surreal.  Even lamer is the fact that....wait a sec.  Scroll back up and see if you can tell what sucks the most about the picture up there. 

If you said "Holy crap he's on a set made up of garbage bags, paper plates from Wal-mart, and Warhead Candy stuffed mascots" then you get 5 points.  I....gee.  I wonder how they stayed under budget for this movie.  But enough of the intro.  Let's start this bitch.

So there he is....Dr. Carnage.  The film (actually) begins in the "cartoon dimension" where the good doctor is torturing a random grown man pretending to be a little kid.  Either that or he's retarded.  That's actually a theme of Terror Toons, but more on that later.  Point is, they want us to see the "style" of Terror Toons and get sucked into the ultraviolence.  Which, if the films didn't suck so much, might actually be cool. 

I mean, the opening scene is a mad scientist electrifying a mentally handicapped guy, pulling out his internal organs, and then pulling out his skull+spine through his stomach, leaving his body an empty, skull-free husk.  Which would be cool, if every special effect wasn't the equivalent of hitting the demo button on an electronic keyboard.  I don't know if that makes sense at all to you, so let's get the suckiest thing about Terror Toons right out in the open.  This is the reason it'll wound your soul and then pound your brain into the concrete.

What's wrong with this picture?  Kind of cool mask aside (the jaw doesn't actually move...they Photoshopped this picture to make him laugh), something should set off a red flag.  If you said, "that syringe is actually just a picture of an oversized syringe," then you can award yourself another 5 points.  People making bad YouTube videos have better special effects skills than Terror Toons.  Of course, the argument could be made that this is intentional.  The flick after all does feature demons from the cartoon dimension, so it makes sense that a certain style might be present in their antics.  Fine.  I accept your point.  Now sit back down in your chair while teacher rocks your world.

Later in the movie, Dr. Carnage does a magic act where he saws a young lady in two.  He then plays with her entrails, which brings poorly animated vultures, hungry to eat her guts.  Poor animation aside (there are only two frames of it), check out that vulture on the right there.

By doing a quick online search for "Vulture Clip Art", you'll find this one the 2nd page:

Yes.  Terror Toons is animating public domain Microsoft Word Clip Art.  In the world of special effects, it really doesn't get more ghetto than that.  The Clip art animation shows up randomly throughout the movie which....Jesus.  Words fail me, and I haven't even really started into the movie.  One last technical thing so you can fathom what I'm talking about here:

Check out that animation.  That's exactly what I meant by only "two frames" of crappy animation.  The good Doctor and his purple monkey friend, Max Assassin (not to be confused with Grape Ape, the other purple primate of power), are just guys in rubber masks...masks that get animated in exactly the same way you see to the left there.  It.....God.  I already want to start slashing my wrist with the spoon.  The style is meant to be "live-action cartoons" which....yeah.  It hurts.  It's only going to get weirder, but I'm going to do my best to not talk about the main reason you're going to hate this film.  Even worse, the director seems proud of his special effects, with exceedingly long scenes set up to showcase things your 8-year-old can churn out with Flash in a handful of minutes. 

So back on track.  We've seen the introduction and an opening (but pointless) scene of a man in a stylish rubber mask killing a retarded man.  Now what?

Are you ready for two and a half minutes of credits?  The filmmaker dazzles us with Text Warping font magic for a while, forcing us to read the names of the cast.  My theory is because no one's going to stay after the movie to read the names.  I feel this is pretty accurate a theory, as one of the lines in the final act is "Who reads the credits? Gah."  Now that the actor's friends and families can say "I know where that guy/girl lives...we can beat their ass as soon as this is over for what they've done to us," the film begins.  Again.  For real this time.

Ok, this isn't so bad.  We open with slippers with rubber duckies stapled to them, while it sounds like a small child sings a generic version of the Rubber Ducky song.  Maybe this film is going to be normal, besides the goofy special effects.  Let's keep an open mind I'm sure...OH MERCIFUL CHRIST.

Is that a grown woman talking like she's a little girl?  Maybe she just looks older than she is.  Yeah that's got to be....WOW.  Um.  Yeah.

I don't know if the character of Candy is supposed to be an 8-year-old with gonzo breast implants or she's a retarded young lady who works in an equal opportunity strip club on the weekends.  Either way, it hurts my brain. I really think she's supposed to be a kid but.....jesus. 

Porn actresses starring in cheap horror movies isn't anything new.  Candy is played by performer Lizzie Borden (Lizzie Borden with her ass, gave her boyfriend 30 wanks), who currently dwells online at LoveLizzyBorden.com.  It's an interesting site, currently holding a special post from Lizzie herself about how she used to be able to fist her mouth but she can't because she's had her wisdom teeth removed.  Ms. Borden, I salute you.  You've starred in a film that lets the rest of the world see what a pedophile sees when he sees a little girl.  That's reallllllllly creepy, but hey, Lizzie's cute.  And her breast are bigger than a breadbox (filled with breasts).  But yeah.  She's playing a little girl.  Which is going into a weird fetish role-playing area that's pretty surreal. 

Even weirder, we're later introduced to "Tommy", Candy's boyfriend or something.  He acts kind of sheepish like he's a kid or something...or he's embarrassed that he's taking advantage of a mentally-challenged stripper (or an 8-year-old O_O).  We never do find out if he's supposed to be a kid or just a molester or something, as he gets his head cut off pretty much as soon as he enters the house.  But he does raise some creepy questions that don't get clarified.  Back to the film's opening (third).

Oh good.  Another character.  I'm sure this movie needed a mother played by that announcer guy at the beginning cross-dressing.  The parents are out of town for the next day or so, which will explain why the young folks are unsupervised in this time of horror movie crisis. 

Candy gets a Terror Toons DVD in the mail but before she can watch it we meet her older sister (I assume) Cindy and her Asian friend Amy.  There might be a formula for determining what age these characters are supposed to be, as these two twenty-something adults keep talking about boys in high school and stealing wine coolers from someone's mom.  I guess if we take off 5-10 years from these characters they'd be the right age.  In other news, Cindy, our hero, is played by ex-cheerleader Beverly Lynne.  You might know her from such classic films as Kinky Sex Club, Maximum Thrust, The Bikin Escort Company, Bikini-a-Go-Go, Bikini Round-Up, Bikini Chain Gang, Bikini Pirates, Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet, The Girl from B.I.K.I.N.I., Bikini Royale, and, of course, Super Ninja Bikini Babes.  It's nice to know that classically trained Shakespearean actresses can find work these days.

For the first act or so of the movie, little big-breasted Candy watches the Terror Toons DVD she randomly got in the mail....from The Devil.  We're introduced to Doctor Carnage and Max Assassin or we would be if the director hadn't told us in the first 30 seconds of the film what the movie itself takes a little while to explain like a normal narrative would.  It's weird when a film makes itself redundant.  Well, not for Terror Toons.  Get ready for a healthy dose of redundancy.

By the way, while the "what Candy is watching" scenes have nothing to do with the plot, they do showcase a LOT of really embarrassing special effects.  Take special note of the MS Paint tongue and "bloody foot" effect.

I don't think I need to say anything else...besides raise the question:  Are terrible props better or worse than terrible blue screen effects?

Long story short, the Terror Toons come out of the television and put their hand inside Lizzie Borden.  No, really.  They remove her spine and make her a ventriloquist's puppet, just like that scene from Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  And yes, Terror Toons makes Killer Klowns look like Citizen Kane.  Which is a scary fact unto itself.  (Review of Killer Klowns soon to come.) 

So while all that is happening with Candy (who doesn't show up again until the ending so we can see her blood-soaked 8-year-old gonzo boobs again), Cindy and her friend are busy calling boys and getting them to come over with stolen wine coolers.  Whatever.  What I do need to point out is we get to see people dialing the telephone and talk about dialing the telephone like six times in this movie.  Remember what I said about redundancy?  There are other ways to do it besides making a long montage.  Not that this film is lacking one of those. 

The boys come over and want to play Strip Poker.  The Girls want to play Ouiji.  Man, I wish I knew girls in fake High School who wanted to talk to ghosts.  Would have made Senior year a little more fun, I'm sure.  Anyway they compromise...and play Strip Ouiji.  We get a long montage of them spelling out articles of clothing (for beyond the grave) and then having to take off that piece of clothing.  Hilarious.  A Laugh Riot.  A Human Triumph of modern...nevermind.

I have a theory about the cast.  I think they ate a lot of paste or lead-based paint in the recent past or something.  There are a lot of extremely drawn out scenes of them...well, looking at things but not responding. 

"Hey, What's that?"

"What is that?"

"Did I already ask what that is?"

"Yes."

"Mind if I ask again?"

"No problem.  We have to keep staring and not responding for a full 60 seconds according to the script."

"Hey, what's that?"

The "kids" have their fun and games interrupted by the Terror Toons turning on a disco ball, some generic dance music, and doing some crappy dancing.

And, apparently, it too is a laugh riot.  That seems to go on forever.  Terror Toons is pretty low budget, so they have to stretch out scene whenever they can.  And they do.  Criminally so.

"I'm laughing."

"Ha. Ha. Ha."

"Intruders in costumes make me giggle."

"I'm still laughing."

"Ha. Ha. Ha."

"I wish I remembered a time when I wasn't laughing."

"I....don't feel like laughing anymore."

Apparently the laughter was magical in origin and it causes Eddie to puke (cough?) up his own lungs (or something).  The monkey fires a machine gun and the kids all run away.  We're deep into the movie at this point, as multiple characters are dead and it can only escalate from here.  The forced prolonged laughter might actually be the film's attempt at conditioning us to be entertained.  I mean, if it worked for sitcoms with laugh tracks then why not?  The fact that the film is filled with hypnotic spirals doesn't hurt either.

Oh no, they put a blue screen outside the door, we must be trapped in the Cartoon Dimension!

The girls leave Rick behind because he throws up and that's apparently gross enough for them to abandon him.  Speaking of dragging out scenes, do you think it really takes six minutes for a scene to saw open a man's head?  Dr. Carnage pokes his brain making Rick laugh, a moment that goes on long enough to try to trick me into thinking what I'm watching might be funny. 

Of course, lobotomized characters hallucinating bad clip art is pretty funny.  But I doubt that was intentional.

In the final act, Cindy gets sucked down to hell (via a crappy special effect of course) and meets the director of Terror Toons....The Devil.  Which explains so much, really.  He's an effeminate actor who kind of meanders with everything he has to say and, well, helps eat up time, like most things in this movie.

Satan also goes on to explain how you can be anything in the Cartoon Dimension, illustrated by the tiny Dr. Carnage and the "Huge" Max Assassin.  Or, as I like to call him, Maximum Ass.  Because I'm twelve, apparently.

Cindy turns this around by becoming a superhero and flying around via a blue screen effect.  I'd say it's a terrible thing, but now I'm being redundant.  She starts talking smack to the Devil, who threatens to curse her family for a 1000 years, make her joints explode, and burn her in the fires of Hell.  Then he runs away.  Thank you, Prince of Darkness.  Your paycheck is in the mail.

Finally, Cindy starts killing the villains.  She simply breaks Max Ass's neck and then steps on his head, which of course spews gore and makes farting noises incessantly.  Immediately after, she catches Dr. Carnage's novelty axe with her bare hands Keanu Reeves style before turning it back onto him.

Nice.  They actually cut the mask in half for the effect.  Not bad.  I wasn't actually expecting more than a....Oh. 

Apparently Dr. Carnage's skull was filled with more Clip Art madness.  Charming.  :sigh:

Just as the film had multiple openings, so too does it have a few multiple endings.  The first one shows the parents coming home to find everyone dead, brain damaged, or laughing maniacally dressed as an all-pink superhero.  It's the classic "everyone loses" ending.

The second ending opens with the words "meanwhile, a the neighbor's house".  There a small child checks his mail and finds a copy of Terror Toons.

The weird thing is I think that THIS character as supposed to be a 35-year-old.  Which makes about as much sense as anything else.

And there you have it.  Terror Toons is a film I first saw back in 2003 back in New York.  I had a gang of friends there who'd hang out with me and watch terrible movies.  I don't have that anymore because after enough bad movies, people stop returning your phone calls.  Anyway, Terror Toons broke us. It's both boring, terrible, hypnotizing, and....amaaaaaaazing all at once.  I still can't believe this thing was on the shelf of a major rental chain.  I also can't believe I've seen this movie more than ten times in the past few years.  It's the one film I have that I have to show anyone who wants to pretend they like bad movies.  It's a trial by fire, a rite of manhood, and the cinematic forge that gives birth to the most hardcore of bad movie fans.  I can't say much else but if you want a challenge, I can't recommend/warn you about Terror Toons enough.

In similar news:

They made a sequel.  And Part 3 is in post-production as you read these very words.  Like I said at the begining:  God may very well be dead.

-Jared

PS:  Happy Halloween Everyone.  October is officially here. 

 

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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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