** ½ Out of 5
Release Date- November 6th, 1991
Running Time- 85-Minutes
Screenplay- Martin Kitrosser & Brian Yuzna
Director- Martin Kitrosser
Starring- Jane Higginson, Tracy Fraim, William Thorne, Brian Bremer, Clint Howard with Neith Hunter and Mickey Rooney as “Joe Petto”
After the pathetic 4th installment I suppose things really couldn’t get any worse for the series and Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker is in my opinion a far better movie than the 4th, but with that said by no means is this The Toy Maker a good movie. Overall despite the problems with the movie it is semi entertaining for the most part and while I didn’t hate the movie I sure didn’t really like it either, but I guess it serves as a decent time killer, but I have little desire to see this anytime soon. We have killer toys and even a robot! So how can one totally hate this movie?
Like part 4, this one is also a sequel by name only and has no connection to the first 3 and this one doesn’t really have much of a connection to the 4th part. Neith Hunter as Kim, Conan Yuzna as Lonnie and Clint Howard as Ricky are all back in this part, but I’m not totally sure if they are meant to be the same characters even if they have the same names as they did in the 4th. Every so often you have those sequels with actors playing a character by the same name, but are different people. But like I said it’s never really made clear if they are the same people and in the case of Ricky it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense.
The screenplay was written by Martin Kitrosser & Brian Yuzna and while the script was poor it was better written than the 4th film, but then again I suppose that isn’t saying much. While the characters lack any depth they are however fairly decently written for and at least this installment has hint of a plot. The basic premise has a young child named Derek (Thorne) sees his father killed by a toy left in front of the house and due to the shock and trauma he’s become a mute and somehow this might be connected to Joe Petto (Rooney) who owns a toy store.
I don’t think Kitrosser & Yuzna were attempting a straight forward screenplay due to the camp factor, which had to be intentional. Regardless, while the script is mostly poor it does have some decent characters as well as a decent idea even if it never totally works, but it could have been a lot worse.
Martin Kitrosser makes his directorial debut and he’s best known for writing the 3rd and 5th installments of the Friday the 13th franchise and he’s also known for being a script supervisor and has worked on all of Tarantino’s movies; Kitrosser possibly makes the best of the sequels, which really isn’t much of a compliment since the sequels were rather poor overall and each one seemed to only get worse until The Toy Maker, which again isn’t a very good flick overall; the pacing is fairly decent and there is some decent mystery and at least Kitrosser is able to make it sort of feel like Christmas, which is something that was totally lacking in the sequels.
It isn’t much of a surprise that Martin Kitrosser’s directing career never took off, but for what it’s worth he made a film that isn’t very good, but does serve as a decent time killer. The idea of killer toys isn’t exactly very scary, but Kitrosser makes it work to a certain extent and the scene when the teenage couple is attacked works on a campy level, which had to be the point. Like I said this isn’t anything great, but Kitrosser makes a passable movie, but again not a very good one and if you’re looking for suspense and scares you won’t find it here.
I’m sure most horror fans are aware of the backlash the first film got due to having a killer dressed as Santa Claus; people even tried to get the movie banned and critics panned the movie and Mickey Rooney even wrote a letter of protest, which makes it all the more hypocritical that he would later star in the sequel, but I suppose the guy needed a job since by this time his career was pretty much dead. Rooney delivers a fun and campy performance and believe it or not the rest of the cast wasn’t too bad; while the acting wasn’t anything great it’s better than most DTV horror flicks released at this time.
Overall Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker is a poor flick, but has enough campy and silly moments to keep the viewer interested even if never really entertained.