When you look up a film director's credits and you see titles like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, you know you're not exactly in for an erudite film-viewing experience — and so with that grain of salt in mind, I slipped the Evil Toons DVD into my player and gave it a whirl
I'm a David Carradine fan, but the man's body of work was so immense it's nearly impossible to have seen them all. In the advent of his untimely passing, I'm getting to catch up on some of the horror flicks he did which had slipped through the cracks. Evil Toons — kind of like a cheaper Johnny Suede without Brad Pitt (not to mention a good script or decent direction) — melds a mystery with humans on film and cartoons superimposed into the action. Actually, make that "toon" — there's only one, and he's only there for a few minutes to commit a rape.
The movie stars Carradine (ironically enough, as a corpse who killed himself by hanging), Arte Johnson, Dick Miller, Monique Gabrielle, and real life porno pros Madison Stone and Barbara Dare, and is about jiggly, half-naked chicks all alone in a big, spooky house who, once given a mysterious book of shadows by a mysterious cloaked man (Carradine, who was wise enough to keep his appearances very limited), encounter the "evil toons." And when I say encounter, I'm talking sexual encounters. Or, close encounters of the absurd kind, if you will.
The film is ridiculously stupid and I definitely won't be watching it again anytime soon (like, ever), but I will say it's got moxie. There's a spirit of fun in the terrible acting, clearly nobody's taking anything too seriously, and the super-lame humor is so atrocious it's actually mildly amusing.
There really aren't any horror elements, and there's little blood and gore. Most of the action revolves around not-so-inventive ways to get the girls naked, so unless you're a 13 year old boy — or you were a 13-year-old boy in '90 and remember this movie fondly — I suggest you pass the Evil Toons by.
Special features include commentary, an Evil Toons documentary, and something about Nite Owl Theater.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson