Fear of Santa Claus Pt 5 (Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: the Toymaker, 1991)
Oh boy. I genuinely feel bad for Mickey Rooney having this in his resume. On the other hand, the fact that he blasted the original film…well, it is kind of poetic. Rooney is kindly elderly toy-maker Joe Petto. Obviously, subtlety is not a priority for the film makers. Along with his son Pino (again, subtlety is a lost art), he runs a toy store. In case you missed it, there is a scene where a babysitter reads Pinocchio to a kid. His toys do not compete very well with the modern mass produced toys. But the film is not really about them…
It is about young Derek and his Mother Sarah. After a toy kills her husband, Derek stops talking, and he does not trust toys. Sarah is doing her best with Derek, and is unaware she is being stalked by a guy who just got out of the military. Don’t worry, he is actually Derek’s real father. Meanwhile, high tech toys are killing people.
The reveal of the person behind the killer toys is really no surprise. Although, the drive behind it is a bit…unique. Pino really wants Sarah to be his mom. This film continues the odd fascination with kids spying on people having sex. I am starting to suspect the people behind this franchise have a real unhealthy fear of sex. I mean, they just cannot avoid making a situation creepy. He wants to kill Derek and take his place, except Pino sees loving Sarah like she was his real mother as…well…incest.
No, Silent Night, Deadly Night does not finally elevate the franchise…it just keeps getting worse. About the only positive aspect is that the toy effects are good practical effects. This is not all that surprising, as they were designed and created by master effects-man Screaming Mad George. But it is not enough to make the film recommendable. And Ron Howard’s brother Clint makes a brief appearance as Ricky…it is unclear if this is the same Ricky from the previous film.
An interesting side note, the director Martin Kitrosser appears to be the go to script supervisor for Quentin Tarantino.