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Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991)

VHS Cover (International Video Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
Silent Night, Deadly Night
> Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night III:... (1989)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night 4:... (1990)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The... (1991)
> Silent Night (2012)
Director:
Martin Kitrosser Martin Kitrosser
Starring:
William Thorne William Thorne
Jane Higginson Jane Higginson
Van Quattro Van Quattro
Tracy Fraim Tracy Fraim
Neith Hunter Neith Hunter

4.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Slasher Film, Christmas, Toys
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Review by Chad
Added: December 25, 2010
So, with a little holiday cheer coursing through my bloodstream, I decided to settle down with the final film in the Silent Night, Deadly Night series. To say that I needed a little liquid courage to cuddle up with this fifth movie would be an understatement: thus far, we've seen one good slasher flick, a rehash of that movie, and two movies that made me want to stab my eyes out. What could the fifth one do to change my mind on this series, to prevent me from forever labeling it as a one-trick pony? Surprisingly, the last movie ended the series on a decent note. I won't say that it was a "good" note, but yes, it was decent.

As for the story, it centers around young Derek (William Thorne) and his mother Sarah (Jane Higginson). They along with daddy dearest are settling in for the night when Derek notices someone outside his house. He heads down to investigate, and what does he find? Why, it's a present on the doorstep with his name on it, along with an ominous note warning him not to open until Christmas. Being a kid, he brings it in and starts to tear into it... but before he can find out what's inside, his dad walks in and sends him back to bed. Daddy, noticing that the box seems to be moving around a bit, decides to finish unwrapping it, and when he does, he finds a holiday toy that winds up killing him. Derek watches this horror unfold from upstairs and is traumatized.

Jumping ahead two weeks later, we find that little Derek has quite literally been struck speechless by watching his father get mauled by an electrified toy before falling face-first into a fireplace poker. I guess I can see why. Sarah decides to help her little boy out by taking him to the local toy shop to buy him a present, and that is where the oddness begins. You see, this toy shop is run by Joe Petto (Mickey Rooney - yes, the guy who openly damned the first film), a man who seems a little... off. His son Pino (Brian Bremer) fares no better in that department, but what really strikes a chord is when we see a mysterious guy (Tracy Fraim) walk in and stare at Derek the whole time. Cutting to the chase a bit, Derek starts to receive all sorts of deadly toys, but who is sending them and why do they want Derek dead?

On the positive side of things, at least the film stuck to the Christmas theme that the first few movies started. This is a Christmas movie through and through, and whether you love it or hate it, you can't criticize it for not delivering what the title promises. It's also a nice change of pace from the slasher flick that spawned these sequels, as it plays out sort of like the Christmas version of Puppet Master. The ending moves away from that scenario a bit and dives straight into bizarro-world, but the thought was definitely there.

Moving over to the negative, this film follows the tradition that the previous sequels brought to the table: it's just too goddamned slow. We kick things off with a kill that sets the stage for the film, and from there, it's something like fifty-six hours of a mom trying to bring her son back to the world of the speaking and red herrings trying to grab our attention. I get that a film like this relies on making the viewer second-guess who the guilty party is until the grand reveal, but really, we only need a scene or two for each person. It actually brings up some loose ends when everybody in the freaking movie seems like a villain, but only one of them truly is. Honestly, there's only three real scenes in the movie: the beginning, a scene in the middle involving a bit of premarital sex and a whole lot of pissed off toys, and the ending. Everything else is merely fluff.

Back to the positive, at least the acting wasn't half bad. I don't usually care for children in leading roles, but as a mute, I have to give young Mr. Thorne credit for not stinking up the movie. Mickey Rooney was also pretty damned good, and even though I don't agree with the man's views on, well, anything, I can't say a single bad thing about his appearance here. Brian Bremer is also effectively creepy, and it was nice to see both Neith Hunter and Conan Yuzna get minor cameo appearances here (even though they didn't stick to their characters from the previous film).

Overall though, I'm going with an average rating for this one. There's a lot of padding and it may cause the viewer to nod off from time to time, but there's a neat idea wrapped up in this release that manages to shine through every now and then. The acting is above average and the "creature" effects are mostly memorable, so I believe that a 6/10 is warranted: not quite a holiday classic, but worth a Christmas viewing every couple of years.
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