Dollman vs. the Demonic Toys (1993)
Directed by Charles Band
Written by Charles Band, Jackson Barr
Run Time: 72 minutes
25 Words or Less:
Diminutive alien cop hooks up with hot nurse to battle toys from Hell!
|Brick Bardo (Tim Thomerson)
Only 12-inches tall, but with an galactic-sized attitude, interstellar cop Brick Bardo is trapped on a planet a long, long way from home…but that doesn’t stop him from getting the hot chicks.
|Nurse Ginger (Melissa Behr)
Shrunken down to a foot tall in a completely different movie, Ginger does pretty well for herself in a world filled with giant spiders and demons.
Ring leader of the Demonic Toys, Baby Doll certainly has a face only a mother could love…yech.
|Detective Judith Gray (Tracy Scoggins)
Back from the first Demonic Toys movie, Gray is here to finish the job…unless the Toys get to her first.
|Ray Vernon (Phil Fondacaro)
Incompetent security guard, but master procurer of dead prostitutes.
Sleazy, psychotic, serpentine. Hey, I kinda like this guy.
Armed with deadly lasers and red LED eyes, Death Bot is not one to trifle with!
Dollman vs. the Demonic Toys is one of those films that keeps on entertaining, even after all the years since I first saw it as a wee lad in Minneapolis. I’ve wanted to write a review of this little nugget for many years, but it’s been difficult to track it down: big surprise, eh? Well, after a few beers and some DVD web site surfing one night (another big surprise, eh?), I stumbled upon this gem for sale at a decent price, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Jumping into the story with both feet, we open on a dusty highway where a 12" tall guy is hitchhiking to the town of Pahoota. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that this guy is Dollman. Cut to opening credits and then to the interior of a toy warehouse where Ray the Security Guard is busy "guarding" the store, i.e., reading Playboy and listening to loud music. Ahhh…a Rent-A-Cop in a monster movie, I wonder what’s going to happen to him?
Outside the warehouse, Detective Judith Gray (from Demonic Toys ‘fame‘) sits in her car continuing a stake-out that has lasted "for months" (!) because (as we discover much later in the film) she’s expecting the demons to return at any time. Why? Who knows! We also learn that Gray has been suspended because of some crap from her earlier movie that, to be honest, I don’t remember so well. Give me a break, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen Demonic Toys. The point I’m trying to make is that she’s been parked outside a warehouse for months awaiting demons toys from hell. You’d think that somebody would’ve tossed her into the loony bin by now, but then again, the entire script seems to be have written in an asylum, so she fits right in.
While Ray peruses his porn d’ jour, a homeless guy breaks into the storage room via an unlocked window. Keep up the good work, Ray. Once inside, the bum does what any normal person would do: chug wine, ride around on a tricycle and hoot like a maniac. It’s always nice to see somebody taking time out of their busy schedule to stop and smell the roses, you know? The "Bum", and yes, that’s how he’s credited on IMDB, quickly topples to the floor and smashes his head on the concrete. Within seconds, a huge pool of blood flows from his cracked noggin and soaks into the bottom of a box of toys. Of course, this results in a discharge of weird green sparks. Green sparks? Why, that can only mean one thing….Mwu-ha-ha-ha!
(MST3K Alert: The bum is played by R.C. Bates, the scruffy "Sam the Keeper" from the horrible "Werewolf" movie…If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then shame on you!)
As the Demonic Toys materialize out of thin air (thanks to the Bum’s blood…sure, whatever), Gray sneaks into the warehouse and cautiously makes her way through an endless maze of empty cardboard boxes (eat your heart out, Future War!). As she turns a corner she meets Death Bot! Ayeee! It’s a toy robot! Gray opens fire with her pistol as the diminutive automaton shoots its lasers (complete with ricochet sounds!), forcing her to take cover behind an ubiquitous pile of empty boxes. Yeah, that should give you great cover, Detective. Death Bot’s laser barrage manages to distract Gray long enough to give the other Toys time to scramble into the air ducts. Ahhhh…what would a monster movie be without air ducts for things to hide in?
As Gray fires wildly at the Toys, a couple of cops arrive and arrest her for "discharging a firearm in the city". (I thought police officers were allowed to discharge their firearms? Oh, she’s suspended. But…huh? Then why does she still have her revolver? My head hurts. I’m shutting up now.) With Gray temporarily out of the picture, the Toys step out of the duct and present themselves to Ray. After explaining their nefarious plans to take over the world, Ray is recruited to Team Evil, with the caveat that he provides a steady supply of dead people for use in demonic rituals. "I can get all the dead hookers you need!" Ray gloats. (Wow, what a cool guy.)
Cut to the sunny town of Pahoota, where a miniaturized (and gorgeous) Nurse Ginger lives. (She’ll later fill in her back story in a series of flashbacks from the movie Bad Channels…I absolutely love this: A movie that is a sequel for three…count ‘em, three, movies at the same time!)
I want to take a quick pause and extend kudos to the FX crew for the oversized sets that were built for the film: thank you for not using crappy blue-screen effects! It’s very clear that a large chunk of the film’s (undoubtedly) miniscule budget went into constructing the various "giant sized" rooms and objects, and I give a big shout out for that.
Well, time for the meet cute. After agreeing to an interview with sleaze-bag reporter (and throwaway character) Collins, a big-ass hairy spider lowers itself down onto the nearby radio. Naturally, Ginger starts screaming her pretty little head off (and by now wouldn’t she take more precautions in a giant-sized world besides just screaming when a threat appears?), and she’s just about to be gobbled up when Dollman steps out from behind a box and disintegrates the arachnid with a blast of his gun.
After a quick hello, Brick announces to a shocked Ginger that he’s from outer space. Via flashbacks from, you guessed it: Dollman, Brick says that he’s a cop from a distant planet where everybody is 12 Earth-inches tall…"My job was to nail every intergalactic scum bag I could get my hands on," he tells a suitably impressed Gingers. Dollman further explains that he wound up on Earth after chasing a criminal through some sort of time warp or black hole or something…I doubt even Stephen Hawking could understand all this…and now he’s stuck on Earth.
Now it’s Ginger’s turn to tell her sad tale, including tons of clips from Bad Channels. (A entertaining goofy movie…see it if you get a chance. Actually, like nearly everything else, it’s on YouTube if you can be bothered…) In a nutshell, a bunch of horny aliens come to Pahoota and shrink a group of local hot Earth chicks for easy transport back to their world. In the end, the aliens were defeated and all the other girls were returned to normal size except for Ginger…don’t you just hate when that happens?
OK, yes, Dollman and Ginger end up having sex in a drawer on top of a pot holder…for some reason I found that amusing…almost as amusing as the fact that the FX crew went to the trouble to actually build all of this for this little scene. As they bask in their post-coital blow, in bursts Detective Gray trying to recruit Dollman to help her kill the Toys. Why Dollman? Because he’s capable of climbing through air ducts and flushing them out, or at least blowing them away. Makes sense to me. Nurse Ginger gets jealous (what in the world could she possibly be jealous of…Gray is a veritable giant compared to him), dons her miniature nurse’s uniform, and tags along in case Dollman needs her help since she is a nurse after all. Touching.
Back at the warehouse, Ray supplies a freshly murdered prostitute to the Toys who magically make her disappear in a bunch of green/glowy cartoon stuff. I guess that means she’s been sent to Hell or something. Who knows in a movie like this.
I know I promised not too over analyze this movie, but I’m left wondering why
a) the Toys need dead bodies.
b) why they have to be hookers.
……but, let’s just move along here.
After arriving at the warehouse the intrepid trio sneak their way into the warehouse. Wow, great security, Ray. Oh wait, I stand corrected, Ray does notice them and comes in with his gun drawn. "I’ll be damned…more living dolls!" he says in disbelief upon espying Dollman and Ginger. (Why would Ray would be shocked by Dollman when he himself is employed by demonic toys is unclear.) Well, Gray shoots Ray, Hooray! just as Death Bot rolls around the corner and kills Gray with its tiny laser hand thingees. Without missing a beat, Dollman proceeds to blast Death Bot into a billion plastic pieces. Say what you want about this movie…it certainly doesn’t suffer from slow pacing.
Well, Gray gasps her last but not before Bardo promises to Finish The Job. Unfortunately for the forces of Good, Soldier Guy bum-rushes Dollman and knocks him unconscious. Ginger, unable to think of anything else to do, runs screaming through the air ducts, which might not be such a bad idea given the fact that the only thing she’s armed with is a high-cut nurse’s outfit and a hot body. When Brick regains consciousness, he realizes that he’s been tied up between two radio-controlled trucks. Uh-oh.
With Baby chuckling at the radio control, the trucks take off in opposite directions and stretch poor Dollman in a most painful manner. Ginger, now tied up to a toy clock (when did that happen? I must have been in the other room getting a beer…) watches helplessly as her beau is yanked to pieces. Wrapping up this dramatic scene, because I’m sure you’d rather be out Christmas shopping than reading this review, Ginger escapes from her bonds, surprise surprise, and rescues Dollman from the trucks. Somehow, Baby snatches Ginger again, carries her kicking and screaming up to a dollhouse and binds her to a bed with miniature pink hand-cuffs. (!)
Anyhoo, Brick makes his way up to the dollhouse while disposing of the rest of the toys with his normal elan, i.e., blowing their heads off. Once inside the bedroom where Baby stands gloating over Ginger’s lovely bod, we learn that the "relationship" must be, uh, consummated at the stroke of midnight in order to bring forth The Master….(again, just go with it.) After a short standoff, Ginger realizes that, like, wow, if Baby is going to screw me, he must have the correct "equipment", so tada!…a sharp knee to the groin sends Baby into spasms of pain which allows Brick more then enough time to transform the evil little shit into a pile of bullet-riddled green goo.
With the forces of Evil defeated…for now…Dollman and Ginger hop into a cab back to Pahoota for a little utensil-drawer action…and…wow – that was it, you betcha!
Dennis Grisbeck (December 2012)
This movie is a hell of a lot of fun…assuming you’re into weird low-budget sci-fi like this. I’m still impressed over the fact that this was a sequel for 3 other completely separate movies. Brilliant! And allow me to pat the FX team on the back again for a their work in building all of the sets instead of blue-screening everything.
Note that the Toys make a reappearance, sort of, in Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, but it’s really not the same, although some of the special effects with the evil toys are pretty nifty. And for all you Demonic Toy completists out there, you can find and watch it on YouTube if you want.
So, sure, check this movie out if you can. It’s only 72 minutes long which forces it to be a bunch of action sequences with a plenty of screen time for the Toys and a good dose of T-and-A.
Hey! And look what I found!: