Dollman vs. The Demonic Toys

(Charles Band, USA, 1993)


B movie producer-director Charles Band made a bizarre attempt to enter the field of family entertainment with Remote (1993), a Home Alone-style caper for kids. Band returns to the SF-horror chamber of his exploitation cinema empire with Dollman vs. The Demonic Toys, featuring laconic character actor Tim Thomerson (Future Cop [1985]) as the miniature Dollman and Tracy Scoggins (from TV’s Lois and Clark) as his life-size cop buddy.

Band redefines the direct-to-video quickie with this effort. Much of a very short (fifty-seven minute) feature is taken up with clips from three previous, completely unrelated Band productions – Dollman (1991), Demonic Toys (1991) and Bad Channels (1992). Between these crazy, rapid-fire digests of various plots and fictional worlds, the film contrives a mind-boggling way to bring together a disparate array of SF, soft porn, comedy and horror elements.

As in his best films, Band is able to achieve stylish effects of pulp poetry from even the cheapest, tackiest special effects – even if, these days, he is overkeen to protect himself with a large gesture of camp self-parody.

Still, Dollman vs. The Demonic Toys is a pop oddity notable for its spontaneous, unselfconscious re-creation of narrative games and conceits more usually found in arthouse cinema and modernist literature.

ANOTHER surreal meeting: Alien vs. Predator

© Adrian Martin June 1994

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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