17. Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker

It's your Horror Review Advent Calendar.
25 Christmas themed movies.
Ho, ho, ho.

Director: Martin Kitrosser (1991)
Starring: Mickey Rooney, William Thorne, Jane Higginson,
Find it: IMDB

The Silent Night I was dreading the most. I hate movies about killer toys. Bah humbug I know, but killer toys are a stupid idea for any movie, let a known the fifth in an established franchise. I hated killer toys when Halloween 3 did them, I hated killer toys when The Simpsons did them, and don't even get me started on that Puppetmaster bollocks. Chucky is my least favourite slasher icon, and I even hate Toyman in the Superman comics. The only killer toy movie I like is Small Soldiers, and that's because it has Tommy Lee Jones as a crazy Action Man.  

The Toy Maker starts as stupid as it means to go on, with a man being strangled to death by a glorified Christmas tree bauble as his young son looks on. The Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise is built on traumatised children, and the death of daddy dearest renders little Derek (Thorne) incapable of speech. In order to cheer up down-in-the-dumps Derek, mum Sarah (Higginson) takes him to a local toy store. The toy shop is run by Mickey Rooney playing a man called Joe Petto. Joe Petto has a son called Pino, be still my aching fucking sides. Not aching from laughter mind, but full-frontal assault with shitty scriptwriting.   

The presence of Mickey Rooney makes for oddly compelling viewing, this being the goofiest instalment of them all. There's only so much I can hate a film in which Mickey Rooney plays a man called Joe Petto. Who would have thought that in a franchise which boasts Clint Howard (who cameos in this movie), Bill Moseley and Mickey Rooney, the latter would emerge as king? At least he has the good grace to don a Santa outfit for us.

It fails completely as a horror movie. Killer toys are inherently not scary. Not even Chucky. Mickey Rooney is even less scary than that. There's no tension, no drama, nor any of the brilliant death sequences that Silent Night, Deadly Night 1 & 2 was famous for. Instead there are stupid Pinocchio jokes and a child called Derek. Fucking Derek, a child who hardly speaks during an 85 minute movie, but still gives its worst performance. Even worse than Brian Bremer as Pino - and Bremer's character is literally a robot.

Instead of beheaded Nuns and garbage day memes, The Toy Maker has a child being run over whilst speeding around on evil roller skates. The scene in which a couple are attacked by living toys pretty accurately summarises why I hate killer toy movies. Even late eighties' Freddy Krueger would have been ashamed of this cock. It's more memorable than Initiation and better than Part 3, but not by much. The ending is just bizarre, turning into a rapey cross between Bicentennial Man and AI: Artificial Intelligence.

In less than ten years, Silent Night, Deadly Night is a series that (d)evolved from a superior Santa slasher into a stupid killer toys feature. Also, Mickey Rooney is a robot at the end and calls a woman "mommy."


  1. Thank you for calling this film a cock. That made my night. Did you know Mickey Rooney was one of the most outspoken celebrities against the first SNDN? Kind of strange that he went on to star in this installment.

  2. Ah yes, I did read that. Very odd indeed. Nothing to offend his sensibilities in this film though, it's the most harmless movie in the series. He makes it ruddy entertaining though.