Evil Toons (1992)
Evil Toons (1992)

Genre: Horror Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.

Release Date: January 8th, 1992 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Fred Olen Ray Actors: David Carradine, Dick Miller, Arte Johnson, Monique Gabrielle, Suzanne Ager, Madison Stone, Stacey Nix, Michelle Bauer

 


 

“T

he story you are about to see is true. Nothing has been changed. These are the actual people who lived this great adventure and this is exactly the way it really happened. I truly believe this.”  – Fred Olen Ray (who is merely the writer/director, not someone famous). Thus begins “Evil Toons,” a low-budget, hastily-designed, lowest-common-denominator exploitation flick. The only unique idea in this hopelessly generic excuse for paranormal eroticism is the inclusion of traditionally-animated antagonists. But they are so far and few between, it’s more of a false advertising scheme to insinuate inventiveness.

The warlock Gideon Fisk (David Carradine, either desperate or doing someone a favor, and barely able to recite his lines without cracking up) escapes a “Book of the Dead” copycat hardcover by hanging himself in a deserted mansion. But the cursed text, complete with a hideously scarred face writhing from the flesh-like binding, vows to return once again to conduct its evil bidding. Decades later, four girls are offered $100 each to spend the night in the very same haunted palace – for cleaning purposes prior to new owners moving in. It’s like some sort of game, with a signed waiver required, despite the sizable renovation task earning them barely any spending money.

The momentary tenants trade tales of previous inhabitants, untimely demises, and murders in the neighborhood – such as the Mortimer family and their sudden vanishing in the middle of the night. Terry (Suzanne Ager) is the leader of the cleaning company; Roxanne (Madison Stone) and Jan (Stacey Nix) are indistinguishable girls with revealing, tight work clothes; and Megan (Monique Gabrielle) is the nerdy, slightly more responsible employee, entirely unaware of her porn-star sexuality. She essentially narrates, using her lines to outline the basic plot, rules of witchcraft, and even to provide a contrived means of salvation.

The foursome decides to start in the basement, since that will likely be the creepiest place to be once night falls; immediately, they discover a large, dusty chest full of human remains and a curvy dagger. They slip into comfortable pajamas, fix themselves some sandwiches, and then watch Roxanne perform a striptease – typical activities, apparently, for a slumber party cleaning crew. When Fisk is magically incarnated from timely lightning, he delivers the bedeviled book to the unsuspecting women, who fearlessly recite a few ancient demon incantations that unleash mischievous monstrosities.

The introduction of a libidinous cartoon beast is downright laughable, especially since the animation is inferior, sourly derivative of Tex Avery’s “Red Hot Riding Hood,” and devoid of any humor. There’s opportunity for creativity, but the filmmakers don’t bother with an attempt – the focus remains on showing skimpily-dressed girls prancing around a darkened estate. The acting is obnoxious, casualties aren’t permanent or serious, and Megan can’t muster concern – even when Roxanne surprises her in the stairway, naked and covered in blood. In its retracing of haunted house movie tropes, “Evil Toons” doesn’t spoof as much as it bores, though the music sounds a touch more professional than expected and the bared bosoms are never unappealing.

– Mike Massie

  • 2/10