Most slashers fans have talked the merits of Silent Night, Deadly Night to death and in recent years have given its sequels more time on their watch lists.
In keeping with this theme, this year I have finally got round to see Silent Night Deady Night 4: Initiation and now the fifth entry of the franchise – The Toy Maker.
While I posted that Initiation may be the most bonkers Christmas horror, I think the follow-up may take that illustrious crown.
The Toy Maker, right from the outset is truly bonkers with the main plot centring around a local toy store owner and his son who plot to kill local children with their evil brand of toys.
If this wasn’t crazy enough, we have the casting of Mickey Rooney as the titular toymaker, who had previously slandered the original Silent Night, Deadly Night upon its controversial release in 1984, saying,
“How dare they! I’m all for the First Amendment but…don’t give me Santa Claus with a gun going to kill someone. The scum who made that movie should be run out of town.”
While not behind the camera, Bryan Yuzna returns from Initiation with Screamin’ Mad George, creating some stunning practical effects once again, which deserve a larger audience.
The Toy Maker is low budget early 90s horror at its best, with a mix of comedy and gruesome kills plus some pure camp performances for the ages.
While the first 3 SNDN films follow a similar plot strand, the series has to be praised for going in completely different directions for its 4th and 5th films, and all these years later it feels better for it. After Initiation, the filmmakers only doubled down on their crazy ideas for The Toy Maker and because of the low stakes were allowed to express their creativeness, which only benefits the film and the audience.
The series may hit serious lows with Part 2 and 3, but it is that rare beast where its later entries will rival the original for the top spot on people’s watch lists.