Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Amityville Toybox, Exploiting a Faux Haunting

 Before you read on, do yourself a favor and listen to this episode of Harrison Smith's Cynema podcast (click this link to listen on YouTube Cynema Ep. 77 ).Today, another Amityville film. As decades pass and the credibility of Ed and Lorraine Warren diminishes, a most horrifying crime of the 1970s seems to have eternal life as a horror exploitation vehicle. One may wonder if 2016's "Amityville Toybox" was needed. Of course, was "Jupiter Ascending" needed? Was "The Last Airbender" needed? All is fair even if we get muddy when watching. Or is it?

Mark (Mark Popejoy) is turning 50. He has a nice house in rural New York and his family is coming for the week-end to celebrate. Mark is a tortured soul. A former alcoholic, he is guilt ridden for the death of his wife. He was driving drunk during the accident that killed her. He lives with his mom (Jeanne Kern). Mom is senile and thinks her long dead husband is about to return home. Also living with him is his pregnant daughter (Britany Dailey). No spoilers see this coming a mile away...they'll both be shotgunned  to death. Okay...the family arrives...none are likable. In fact all they want to do is screw and drink...a parable of modern America? Time to open gifts...Mark gets an antique toy. The proverbial spooky monkey that bangs cymbals together. Of course, these monkeys are always cursed.

The monkey is indeed cursed and releases the spirit of whatever possessed the DeFeo guy in Amityville. You remember, he murdered his whole family. Now the spirit is in Mark and he has an axe and a rifle. He begins his work and methodically goes about massacring the helpless sons, daughters, aunts, etc. Julia (Julia Farrell) is a daughter who has some fight in her. She man's up but is there any escape for the evil that has grown out of the Amityville house? 

Is Mark too far gone to spare the remnants of his family? Even not being cursed, are there any redeeming qualities to those annoying and ugly monkeys that clang cymbals together? Is it time for Amityville to become unincorporated and allow the Suffolk County government to take over? Heartbreaking and exploitive, "Amityville Toybox" is brutal and low-budget. For those who pride themselves in seeing all the 'Amityville' films, here is another one.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the Jakarta monkeys who hold riffles, I must send you the image. I can see, your writing and b grade movies, merge magically, at times I don't know what I'm reading.