This is just one of several straight-to-video films featuring the 'Puppet Master' set of sinister, living dolls. The wicked owner of a toy company wants to get her hands on a secret formula that can bring toys to life, held by the great grand-nephew of the original Puppet Master. With the help of a demon who speaks in a bizarre Shakespearean manner, she plans to mass market her toys as widely as possible, so that on Christmas Day they will 'wake up' and kill huge numbers of children.
The movie is classed as a horror comedy, and isn't particularly frightening. One or two of the toys are pretty creepy (the Jack-in-the-box in particular) and there is a small amount of gore (mainly one scene where a characters eyes blow out). Despite sharing a similar theme to Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982) this is mostly played for humour and campiness. The cheesy script, the cartoon-like scenery, the bright costumes, and the bonkers story - this has b-movie written all over it, and it clearly revels in it. After all, you wouldn't find a film like Silence Of The Lambs featuring a fart-propelled flying baby doll.
The performances are far from Oscar worthy. Corey Felman looks way too young to be the father of a teenager, even with his unconvincingly greyed thick mop of hair, and Vanessa Angel's accent seems to wander between American and English. But both clearly have a lot of fun in their roles, which is quite infectious. As for the puppets themselves, they are brought to life through stop-motion animation and puppetry, rather than CGI. This makes a refreshing change, but also adds to the overall cheesy tone.
I would have liked the evil dolls/puppets to be given more to do. They are the most interesting part of the film, and the main draw after all. But the best of the puppet violence is mostly kept to an early scene, and a climactic one near the end.
Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys certainly has its faults, but I don't think it's pretending to be anything more than what it is. And that is daft, light-hearted entertainment. Yes, some of the humour made me groan out loud, but on the whole the movie entertained me and I enjoyed it. 3.5/5