Killer toy

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Killer toys are fictional characters based on toys, dolls or puppets that commit violent acts. Reasons for these actions have included possession by demons, devils, monsters, ghosts, supernatural creatures, dark magic, and malevolent or malfunctioning technology.

Concept[edit]

Toys coming to life is a common and historical concept in children's literature,[1] and the idea has been adapted into numerous horror films and other horror fiction. The 1978 film Magic represents a key inspiration for subsequent films, while the subgenre's best-known films are the Child's Play franchise.[2][3]

Several works have used ventriloquist's dummies as antagonists, with the dummies either being outlets for their operator's psychosis or acting malevolently on their own.[4]

List of films[edit]

The films that feature killer toys are listed as follows:

Film Year Rating (Rotten Tomatoes) Ref.
The Devil-Doll 1936 100% (6 reviews) [5]
Dead of Night 1945 96% (28 reviews)[6] [7]
Attack of the Puppet People 1958 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [8]
The Curse of the Doll People (a.k.a. Devil Doll Men) 1961 No critic reviews yet... [9]
Devil Doll 1964 20% (5 reviews) [10]
House of Evil (a.k.a. Dance of Death) 1968 No critic reviews yet...[11] [12]
A Reflection of Fear 1972 No critic reviews yet... [13]
Asylum 1972 60% (10 reviews)[14] [7]
From Beyond the Grave 1974 No Tomatometer score yet... (4 reviews)[15] [7]
Craze 1974 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [16]
Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara 1974 [7]
Trilogy of Terror 1975 90% (10 reviews) [17]
Cauchemares (a.k.a. Cathy's Curse) 1977 No critic reviews yet... [18]
Magic 1978 83% (18 reviews)[19] [7]
Tourist Trap 1979 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [20]
The Pit 1981 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [21]
Poltergeist 1982 88% (56 reviews) [22]
Xtro 1982 20% (5 reviews) [23]
Curtains 1983 No Tomatometer score yet... (4 reviews) [24]
Black Devil Doll from Hell 1984 No critic reviews yet... [25]
The Devil's Gift 1984 No critic reviews yet... [26]
Joey (a.k.a. Making Contact) 1985 No critic reviews yet... [27]
Dolls 1987 64% (11 reviews)[28] [29]
GhostHouse (a.k.a. La Casa 3) 1988 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review)[30] [31]
Child's Play 1988 69% (35 reviews)[32] [29]
Pin 1988 No critic reviews yet... [33]
Puppet Master 1989 33% (6 reviews)[34] [7]
Child's Play 2 1990 40% (15 reviews)[35] [29]
Puppet Master II 1991 33% (6 reviews) [36]
Child's Play 3 1991 23% (13 reviews)[37] [29]
Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge 1991 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews) [38]
Dolly Dearest 1991 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews)[39] [40]
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker 1991 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [41]
Dollman 1991 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews) [42]
Demonic Toys 1992 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews)[43] [44]
Curse, Death & Spirit (a.k.a. Honto ni atta kowai hanashi: Jushiryou) 1992 No critic reviews yet... [45]
Dollman vs. Demonic Toys 1993 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews)[46] [40]
Puppet Master 4 1993 0% (5 reviews)[47]
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter 1994 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews) [48]
The Fear 1995 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [49]
Tales from the Hood 1995 38% (16 reviews) [50]
Patayin sa Sindak Si Barbara 1995
Doll from Hell (a.k.a. Ikenie) 1996 No critic reviews yet... [51]
Amityville Dollhouse 1996 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [52]
Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders 1996 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [53]
Pinocchio's Revenge 1996 No Tomatometer score yet... (4 reviews) [54]
Trilogy of Terror II 1996 No critic reviews yet... [55]
Quicksilver Highway 1997 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews) [56]
Curse of the Puppet Master 1998 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews)[57] [58]
Small Soldiers 1998 48% (44 reviews)[59] [60]
Bride of Chucky 1998 44% (34 reviews)[61] [29]
The Fear: Resurrection 1999 No critic reviews yet... [62]
Blood Dolls 1999 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review)
Totem 1999 No critic reviews yet... [63]
Retro Puppet Master 1999 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [64]
Ragdoll 1999 No critic reviews yet... [65]
The Dummy 2000 No critic reviews yet... [66]
May 2002 69% (64 reviews) [67]
Demon Island 2002 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [68]
Terror Toons 2002 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [69]
Love Object 2003 42% (24 reviews) [70]
Puppet Master: The Legacy 2003 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [71]
Doll Master (a.k.a. Inhyeongsa) 2004 No critic reviews yet... [72]
Seed of Chucky 2004 32% (75 reviews)[73] [29][74]
Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys 2004 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [75]
Marronnier 2004 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [76]
When Puppets and Dolls Attack! 2004 No critic reviews yet... [77]
Doll Graveyard 2005 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [78]
Tiki 2006 No critic reviews yet... [79]
Dead Silence 2007 21% (76 reviews)[59] [7]
Terror Toons 2: The Sick and Silly Show 2007 No critic reviews yet... [80]
Black Devil Doll 2007 No Tomatometer score yet... (3 reviews) [81]
Trick 'r Treat 2007
Dangerous Worry Dolls 2008 No critic reviews yet...[82]
Triloquist 2008 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [83]
Puppet Show 2008 No critic reviews yet... [84]
Skull Heads 2009 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [85]
Demonic Toys 2 (a.k.a. Demonic Toys: Personal Demons) 2010 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [86]
Puppet Master: Axis of Evil 2010 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [87]
Shake, Rattle & Roll 12 2010 No critic reviews yet... [88]
Puppet Master X: Axis Rising 2012 No Tomatometer score yet... (1 review) [89]
Ooga Booga 2013 No Tomatometer score yet... (2 reviews) [90]
The Conjuring 2013 86% (199 reviews) [91]
Curse of Chucky 2013 80% (15 reviews)[92] [29]
Maria Leonora Teresa 2014 No critic reviews yet... [93]
Finders Keepers 2014 No critic reviews yet... [94]
Annabelle 2014 29% (117 reviews) [95]
Poltergeist 2015 31% (102 reviews) [96]
Goosebumps 2015 76% (152 reviews) [97]
Krampus 2015 65% (97 reviews) [98]
The Boy 2016 29% (41 reviews) [99]
Annabelle: Creation 2017 68% (117 reviews) [100]
The Toymaker 2017 [101]
Cult of Chucky 2017
Tales from the Hood 2 2018

In television[edit]

  • Evil dolls are antagonists in episodes of The Twilight Zone, both the 1959–1964 series and the 2002 version:
    • 1962: "The Dummy" (3.33) with a ventriloquist dummy that attempts to exact revenge when he is replaced
    • 1963: "Living Doll" (5.6) features Talky Tina (voiced by June Foray), a doll belonging to the stepdaughter of Erich Streator (played by Telly Savalas)
    • 1964: "Caesar and Me" (5.28) features a ventriloquist dummy that goads his owner into committing robberies and deserts him when the police come for him
    • 2002: "The Collection" features a young girl's strange collection of dolls which were made from her past babysitters
  • The theme of evil toys has also been used in Doctor Who episodes:
  • 1986: Smurfs episode "Gargamel's Dummy," the series' antagonist Gargamel casts an evil spell on a ventriloquist's dummy Jokey Smurf had created for a talent show, hoping to use it to help him destroy the Smurf village and ultimately, the Smurfs. The dummy was a parody of Gargamel, and the real Gargamel, angered upon learning of it, casts the spell to begin exacting his revenge.
  • 1992: The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror III", the segment "Clown Without Pity" features a Krusty doll that tries to kill Homer. The segment borrows elements from the Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll", the Child's Play films, Gremlins, the 1975 TV film Trilogy of Terror segment "Amelia" about a killer Zuni fetish doll as well as its 1996 cinematic sequel Trilogy of Terror II segment "He Who Kills", which are both in turn adaptations of Richard Matheson's 1969 short story, "Prey". The segment also borrows elements from Cape Fear. In a different episode, "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner", a possessed killer doll named "Baby Button Eyes" appears in a horror film, The Re-Deadening (a parody of Dolly Dearest). The doll is most likely based on the real-life appearance of "Annabelle", a possessed Raggedy Ann doll.
  • 1994: The Mega Man episode "Crime of the Century," Dr. Wily reprograms a bunch of dolls and other toys to perform robberies all over the city. However, it's all just a diversion so Wily can get his hands on something much more valuable: a giant black pearl.
  • Ventriloquist dummies and dolls are also portrayed as evil in the works of R.L. Stine:
    • 1994: The Goosebumps books and TV series had the "Night of the Living Dummy" stories which featured a sentient ventriloquist dummy named Slappy
    • 2010: R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour featured Lilly D. in the episodes "Really You" Pt. 1 and 2 and "The Return of Lilly D"
  • 2003: In the What's New, Scooby Doo? episode "Toy Scary Boo," the gang investigates a store with living toys that are taking it over.
  • 2013: In the Grojband episode "No Strings Attached," Trina Riffin suffers from pupaphobia after she had wicked visions of puppets when she was a child.

List of episodes[edit]

The episodes that feature killer toys are listed as follows:

Series Episode Year Ref.
The Twilight Zone "The Dummy" 1962
The Twilight Zone "Living Doll" 1963
The Twilight Zone "Caesar and Me" 1964
Doctor Who "The Celestial Toymaker" 1966
Night Gallery "The Doll" 1971
The Smurfs "Gargamel's Dummy" 1986
Tales from the Crypt "Strung Along" 1992
The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror III" 1992
Mega Man "Crime of the Century" 1996
Goosebumps "Night of the Living Dummy II" 1996
Goosebumps "Night of the Living Dummy III: Part 1" 1997
Goosebumps "Night of the Living Dummy III: Part 2" 1997
Goosebumps "Bride of the Living Dummy" 1998
The X-Files "Chinga" 1998
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction "Battered Doll/Poker Justice" 2002
What's New, Scooby-Doo? "Toy Scary Boo" 2003
The Twilight Zone "The Collection" 2003
The Simpsons "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner" 2004
Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King "Battleground" 2006
R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series "Really You: Part 1" 2010
R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series "Really You: Part 2" 2010
Doctor Who "Night Terrors" 2011
R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series "The Return of Lilly D" 2012

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Media Myths, Children's Nightmares, Stories of toys that come to life can of course be found throughout the history of children's literature...
  2. ^ Buckingham, David (1996). Moving Images: Understanding Children's Emotional Responses to Television. Manchester University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7190-4595-0.
  3. ^ Lennard, Dominic W. All fun and games…: children's culture in the horror film, from Deep Red (1975) to Child's Play (1988), Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 133-142 (2012)
  4. ^ Trendacosta, Katherine (25 March 2013). "The 10 Creepiest Ventriloquist Dummies of All Time". io9. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  5. ^ "The Devil-Doll". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Dead of Night". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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  9. ^ "Devil Doll Men (Munecos Infernales)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Devil Doll". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Dance of Death". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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  13. ^ "A Reflection of Fear". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Asylum". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  15. ^ "From Beyond the Grave". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Craze, (Demon Master)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Trilogy of Terror". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Cauchemares (Cathy's Curse)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Magic". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Tourist Trap". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  21. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1016370-pit/
  22. ^ "Poltergeist". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Xtro". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Curtains". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Black Devil Doll from Hell". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  26. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/devils_gift/
  27. ^ "Making Contact". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Dolls". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Berra, John, ed. (2010). Directory of World Cinema: American Independent. Intellect Ltd. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-84150-368-4.
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  33. ^ "Pin". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  34. ^ "Puppet Master". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  35. ^ "Child's Play 2". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  36. ^ "Puppet Master II". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  37. ^ "Child's Play 3". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  39. ^ "Dolly Dearest". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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  42. ^ "Dollman". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  43. ^ "Demonic Toys (Dangerous Toys)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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  46. ^ "Dollman vs. Demonic Toys". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  47. ^ ||"Puppet Master 4". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  48. ^ "Puppet Master V (Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  49. ^ "The Fear". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  50. ^ "Tales From the Hood". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  51. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/doll-from-hell/
  52. ^ "Amityville Dollhouse: Evil Never Dies". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  53. ^ "Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  54. ^ "Pinocchio's Revenge". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  55. ^ "Trilogy of Terror II". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  56. ^ "Quicksilver Highway". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  57. ^ "Curse of the Puppet Master". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  58. ^ "Curse of the Puppet Master (Video 1998)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  59. ^ a b "Small Soldiers". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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  61. ^ "Bride of Chucky". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  62. ^ "The Fear 2: Resurrection". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  63. ^ "Totem". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  64. ^ "Retro Puppet Master (Puppet Master 7)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  65. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ragdoll/
  66. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dummy/
  67. ^ "May". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  68. ^ "Piñata: Survival Island". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  69. ^ "Terror Toons". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  70. ^ "Love Object". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  71. ^ "Puppet Master: The Legacy". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  72. ^ "Inhyeongsa (The Doll Master)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  73. ^ "Seed of Chucky". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  74. ^ "Seed of Chucky (2004)". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  75. ^ "Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  76. ^ "Marronnier". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  77. ^ "When Puppets and Dolls Attack!". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  78. ^ "Doll Graveyard". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  79. ^ "Tiki". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  80. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/terror_toons_2/
  81. ^ "Black Devil Doll". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  82. ^ "Dangerous Worry Dolls". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  83. ^ "Triloquist". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  84. ^ "Puppet Show". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  85. ^ "Skull Heads". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  86. ^ "Demonic Toys 2". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  87. ^ "Puppet Master: Axis of Evil". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  88. ^ "Shake Rattle and Roll 12". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  89. ^ "Puppet Master X: Axis Rising". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  90. ^ "Ooga Booga". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  91. ^ "The Conjuring". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  92. ^ "Curse of Chucky". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  93. ^ "Maria, Leonora, Teresa". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  94. ^ "Finders Keepers". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  95. ^ "Annabelle". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  96. ^ "Poltergeist". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  97. ^ "Goosebumps". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  98. ^ "Krampus". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  99. ^ "The Boy". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  100. ^ "Annabelle: Creation". Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  101. ^ "The Toymaker".
  102. ^ "Dr Who 10th Anniversary Special. Chapter: Dodo Chaplet / Jackie Lane". Radio Times. 1973.
  103. ^ The Celestial Toymaker reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
  104. ^ The Celestial Toymaker reviews at Outpost Gallifrey