Review Date: January 11, 2001
Released by: Image | Prism Entertainment
Release date: 1991
Full Frame 1.33:1
finally makes its way onto the laserdisc reviews list. Normally we review an LD that isn't currently scheduled for DVD, or the scheduled DVD won't have the LD extras (e.g. The Howling
). That isn't the case with Evil Toons
- it is coming to DVD (scheduled for Summer 2001 - more on the DVD later) and it's certainly going to have more extras than this bare bones LD. I started this review prior to finding out that news, and I've decided to finish this laserdisc review, even though a DVD isn't far away. I figure a review may get more people interested in the upcoming DVD.
This laserdisc dates back to 1991. Like many laserdiscs, it was released by Image Entertainment. Lets take a closer look and see how it holds up by today's standards.
A man dressed in black (David Carradine) arrives at the entrance to a mansion carrying a book that has a demon's face on the cover. The face speaks, telling the man to "let your conscience be your guide". The man proceeds to the mansion's basement carrying the book. In the basement is a noose, which the man uses to hang himself. Just before he hangs himself, he tells the book that it has lost. Little does he know just how wrong he is.
Years later new owners are finally found for the mansion. Burt (Dick Miller), the realtor, has hired four college girls - Roxanne (Madison Stone), Megan (Monique Gabrielle), Terry (Suzanne Ager) and Jan (Barbara Dare) - to spend the weekend cleaning the mansion for the new owners, who arrive on Monday. Burt drops them all off at the mansion, telling them they can contact nearby neighbor Mr. Hinchlow (Arte Johnson) if there are any problems. Once inside, Terry, the leader of the group, explains to the other girls that the house has a history of "mayhem and madness", including previous owners disappearing into thin air.
The girls start cleaning in the basement, where they come across an old chest with a mysterious tag on it. They open the chest, discovering a jagged knife. Thinking it may be valuable, they decide to keep it. That night a mysterious man dressed in black delivers a package to the girls. They convince one another that it's okay to open the package, justifying their actions by claiming it may be something perishable. Inside is the demon book, which they immediately open and start glancing through. The book is full of writings in a foreign language, along with various demonic drawings. Megan, the braniac of the group, is called down from upstairs to see if she can translate. She's able to roughly translate some of the writing, which seems to be some sort of ancient demon incantation. Quickly they become bored of the book and call it a night, except for Roxanne, who is expecting her boyfriend to show up for some fun.
Unbeknownst to the girls, they've just raised a demon from hell right out of the book. The animated demon has a thirst for blood, and perhaps an even greater thirst for naked girls. It does a bit of peeping while Roxanne tries on some lingerie, eventually attacking and fondling her. Disguising itself as Roxanne, the demon starts killing off visitors to the house throughout the night. Its desire for blood and naked flesh being far from quenched, the demon heads after the remaining girls. With time and clothes rapidly disappearing, the girls must uncover the secret to the book and learn the only way to send the demon back to hell.
is all about - you guessed it - t&a. The "story" and the animation are just an excuse to get some topless women up on the screen. As for the "acting", let me just say that the women in the movie are the absolute worst actors ever! I even caught one of them blinking when they should've been dead! Still, I ended up enjoying the movie because of the animated evil toon and its humorous personality. Certainly most people would associate toons with children movies. Even other animated/live-action movies like Roger Rabbit, Puff the Magic Dragon
, etc., are all children movies for the most part. Now imagine seeing something like Evil Toons
, where there's this horny, demonic toon running around ogling girls, tearing their clothes off and making comments such as, "Nice tits!". The results are hilarious. Unfortunately, the evil toon only gets a few minutes of screen time at best before it takes on Roxanne's appearance. No doubt a result of being low budget. It's a shame too, since it's really the only part of the movie worth watching.
The animation is a bit rough, resulting in a low budget look and feel to it - don't expect something as pretty as Roger Rabbit here. Don't get me wrong though, I think the animation looks quite good, especially for a low budget movie. I've never seen anything like this in a horror movie before, it's too bad we haven't seen more of it. Speaking of horror, besides some fangs on Roxanne and some occasional spots of blood, don't expect much. It seems the makeup effects budget was used on animation!
If you know what you're getting into with Evil Toons
, I think you can go in knowing whether you're going to like it or not. It's a fun, entertaining movie - at least for a few minutes.
is presented a Pan & Scan 1.33:1 transfer. Given the age of the laserdisc, and the fact that the last laserdisc I reviewed - Waxwork - left a lot to be desired, I was somewhat surprised by the transfer here. While it's far from perfect, it's decent overall, and is certainly better than the Waxwork LD. The image is soft, though it's slightly sharper than Waxwork
. There is lots of light grain present throughout much of the presentation and at times the image appears too bright. Colors are slightly faded, which is somewhat expected for a low budget movie - I wouldn't expect the DVD to be much better in that regard. There is minor video noise, consisting mostly of occasional white specks appearing.
Many of the problems on the Evil Toons
laserdisc are the same problems on the Waxwork
laserdisc. The difference is they're not as severe on Evil Toons
. For that reason I'm rating this a C-, whereas Waxwork
scored a D. This is definitely an acceptable transfer, though I expect the upcoming DVD to be light years better.
is present with a mono track. Sound is clear and distortion free throughout the entire presentation. Dialogue is clearly audible as well.
The acting and story are just plain horrible, but thanks to the animated evil toon there are few minutes of enjoyment to be found with Evil Toons
. Don't go in expecting anything remotely serious and you may just enjoy it if you like this type of humor. Audio/video are decent for 1991 laserdisc, making it a worthwhile value. But given the rarity of this laserdisc, most people will want to wait for the upcoming DVD or track down an old...dare I say it...VHS copy. WAIT FOR THE DVD!
The Evil Toons
DVD is scheduled for a Summer 2001 release by Retromedia Entertainment. It will be presented widescreen, contain previously unseen footage, original trailer, featurette and a coupon for a free animation cell from the movie.
Movie - C+
Image Quality - C-
Sound - B+
Supplements - N/A
- Running time - 1 hour 26 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- Chapter Stops
- Digital Stereo