(In which I yet again share my thoughts on an obscure sequel: Today's film is brought to you by the Christmas Spirit, 1992.)
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker is a sequel to Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation which is not a sequel to Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!. This one at least follows the previous film, though indirectly, by making Kim and Lonnie from part four the next door neighbors. Clint Howard even manages to return as Ricky, despite have been turned into worm food, literally, in the last outing.
For those of you who don't know, Silent Night Deadly Night 4 was kind of like Suspiria, but with Clint Howard. I guess that makes Silent Night Deadly Night 5 like Toy Story, but with Clint Howard. Except the toys here are more dangerous than Tim Allen after an eight day coke binge.
Someone has been anonymously leaving gift-wrapped little toys for a young boy named Derek on the family's porch. The first one is unwrapped by his suspicious father. It looks like an oversized Pokeball, but soon reveals itself to be a demented Santa music box that churns out a death march before attaching itself, Alien face-hugger-style, to poor old dad and sucking the life out of him.
Witnessing his father's death has rendered Derek mute. Mom, on the other hand, doesn't seem all too broken up. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to tell her spouse had passed away at all. I guess we all deal with grief in different ways. Susan makes sandwiches for her son and otherwise behaves as if nothing happened. To be fair, she does express some mild concern for her son, and decides to buy him a nice toy to cheer him up.
Susan and Derek stop by Petto's Toys, in hopes of finding the perfect gift. Now, "Petto's" might look okay up on the façade of the shop, but saying it out loud makes it disturbingly pervacious. Shopkeeper Joe Petto is played by Mickey Rooney, and it made me wonder how broke, how desperate was he, that he had to appear in this. After 65 years in Hollywood, had he not saved enough money so he wouldn't be reduced to roles like this?
Joe Petto runs his shop with his son Pino, a stiff young boy with few social skills. When not imploring Derek to take a toy he built (a charming number called Larry the Larvae), he's breaking into Susan's house and sniffing around her underwear drawer.
All the while, packages keep showing up for Derek.
He manages to ditch them one after another. Unfortunately they end up mutilating whoever else happens to find them. A pair of rocket-powered rollerblades sends poor Lonnie into the path of a speeding car and straight into traction. If it ain't witches trying to sacrifice him, he's got to worry about demented toy makers.
Another toy burrows into some poor sap's head while driving, causing him to run off the road. Of course, his car explodes in a huge fireball. (For the record, any time a car in a movie explodes despite having no real reason to, a little bit of joy is brought into my life.)
Who the toy maker is, isn't exactly clear. Odds are on creepy little Pino. But then again, who's that strange guy always lurking around the neighbourhood? And what's up with Joe? Did he really sabotage some toys and mangle a bunch of kids years ago? And is Pino what he really seems?
That last one is probably a yes, because "wooden" seems to describe more than just his personality. If you figured out he's not a real boy, pat yourself on the back, because you've proven yourself not a moron.
As strange as this film is, it takes a serious left turn right near the end, with the last ten minutes being truly bizarre. Any attempt to describe it wouldn't do it justice, and besides, it would ruin the surprise. That'd be like peeking at your presents before Christmas. And we know what happens to boys and girls who are naughty. Well, if this movie is any indication, they end up abducted by a deranged lunatic dressed as Santa and stuffed into his sack. But now I've already said too much. No more peeking, just track this one down yourself.