It is said that imitation is the sincerest for of flattery. If nothing else, Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker should be flattered for paving the way of horrifying toys for films like Demonic Toys and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Movie: Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991)
Plot: Homicidal toys are on the loose during the Christmas season. It will take a woman, her son, and a drifter to figure out why.
Killer: A peculiar son, through the use of some harmfully altered toys.
Critique: I have to hand it to the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise: they have come up with some great film pitches. I can imagine the production staff at Silent Films Inc. (or, as of the 5th film, Still Silent Films Inc.) sitting around a table, throwing out pitch ideas the way comedy writers for late night shows throw around jokes. The problem is, a joke doesn’t need much fleshing out to make it into a monologue. A film pitch needs quite a bit more to complete an entire movie script. So, like the 3rd and 4th sequels before it, Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker takes an awesome idea and refuses to push it to its potential, but it does go off the deep end far enough to make it interesting.
The plot is pretty weird, with an old toy maker building himself a son and having that son pining for a mother to the point that he builds killer toys to off the kid he wants to replace. Characters named Joe Petto and Pino are pretty on the nose. The problem is, there aren’t enough killer toys. At least, not enough of them committing gruesome kills. A whole pile of them are wasted attacking one couple, with one of them miraculously surviving. Considering the 3rd, 4th, and 5th films were released directly to video within a year of each other with reoccurring actors (but not reoccurring characters) lays the blame on slim budgets and the inability to stretch those budgets, something that has continually plagued the Silent Night, Deadly Night sequels.
The one thing Silent Night, Deadly Night 5 can be proud of is that, without this film, we may never have seen the “killer doll” theme expanded to include other toys, such as Demonic Toys from Full Moon Features and the not quite so graphic The Nightmare Before Christmas from Tim Burton.
Scene of Awesomeness: The opening scene with the Santa music box really sets the bar high for Silent Night, Deadly Night 5. Unfortunately, most of the film doesn’t live up to that expectation.
Scene of Ridiculousness: The babysitter gets a hole blown through her chest by a toy tank, and still runs around, screaming. I’d think that would have been a kill shot, considering how they zoomed into the gaping, bloody hole.
Body Count: 4 (and 2 close calls)
1 impalement through the head with a flukily placed fire poker after being suffocated by a Santa music box
1 larva doll burrowing into the mouth and out through the eye (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 by a toy army massacre
1 vague death
0 breasts. I guess Mickey Rooney has standards.
Actors/Actresses of Note: Mickey Rooney!? Hell yeah, Mickey Rooney. I don’t know how the producers pulled that off, but it happened, even after Rooney had criticized the original Silent Night, Deadly Night. We also get a Clint Howard cameo, playing a totally different character, and the return of Neith Hunter as Kim, playing an apparently different Kim.
Quote: “Don’t be afraid. It’s only a toy, Mommy.” – Derek