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Evil Toons

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    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Evil Toons



    Released by: Retromedia/Bayview Entertainment
    Released on: June 5th, 2014.
    Director: Fred Olen Ray
    Cast: David Carradine, Dick Miller, Arte Johnson, Monique Gabrielle, Michelle Bauer
    Year: 1990
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Evil Toons, like a lot of Fred Olen Ray movies, revolves around some nubile young women, this time made up of a quartet of college students - Megan (Monique Gabrielle), Terry (Suzanne Ager), Roxanne (Madison Stone) and Jan (porn star Barbara Dare acting under the alias Stacey Nix) - who are dropped off at a creepy old house by a guy named Burt (Dick Miller) who runs a cleaning company. His van pulls up at the place and they unload everything that they'll need to spend the weekend cleaning the place up - you know, essential things like slinky outfits and lingerie. They head on inside and get comfortable but later that night a mysterious guy dressed sort of like a pilgrim named Gideon Fisk (David Carradine) shows up and hands them a weird old book.

    The brightest of the girls, Megan, decides to read a few passages from the book out loud and, well, you've all seen Evil Dead, right? Right. Bad things start to happen when a cartoon demon (voiced by the director himself) appears, summoned by the reading, and starts to make trouble for the ladies, first by killing off Roxanne and possessing her body. When various guys start showing up, some looking for sex and others looking to check in on the girls' progress cleaning, the demon kills them too. Maybe the weird old neighbor (Arte Johnson) will be able to help?

    There's a whole lot of rad boobs here and the cartoon (there's only a toon, not toons) that pops up is interesting to see alongside the live action players a la Roger Rabbit, but Evil Toons never quite takes off the way that it should. The ladies all look great and gleefully show off the goods at the drop of a hat but none of their performances are particularly convincing. Granted, it's probably tough to act against a cartoon you can't see on set, but bad is bad and the novelty aspect of the production isn't exploited well enough to really compensate for that. David Carradine is fun to see here (watch for a scene where he hangs himself - eek!) and Dick Miller is his typically amusing self, but they're underused. Michelle Bauer pops up here as the wife of Miller's character but it's more or less a cameo, albeit one with the unveiling of her mighty jugs, so that counts for something.

    Borrowing elements from The Evil Dead (the book looks an awful lot like the Necronomicon from the Raimi film) and slapping them alongside an evil cartoon and some naked ladies is a very good idea on paper but this one takes a little too long to get going and once it does, while the payoff is there, it still feels like it was a longer film than it actually is. It wouldn't be fair to call it boring, it never drags like that, but we don't get quite enough evil or enough toonage to really make this one live up to its potential.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Evil Toons looks soft and fuzzy in this 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This one could definitely use a nice remastering. It's watchable enough but don't expect much in the way of fine detail and colors are sometimes pretty flat looking.

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track, there are no alternate language tracks or subtitles offered. There are a few spots where the levels are a bit flat but otherwise the audio here is okay.

    The extras on the disc are plentiful and start with a commentary track from Fred Olen Ray in which he dishes the dirt on where the ideas for this one came from, what it was like directing flesh and blood characters opposite cartoons and more.

    The disc also include some footage from the original work-print version of Evil Toons that shows some material in unfinished form. It's interesting to compare it to the finished material in the feature itself. We also get an Evil Toons Suite comprised of segments of Chuck Cirino's score. Outside of that we get a trailer for the feature, a ten minute 'behind the scenes' segment that shows off life on the movie's set, a vintage Nite-Owl Theater intro with a few bonus naked ladies, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Evil Toons is a fun mix of sex and violence, live action and animation and trash-horror and comedy done in Fred Olen Ray's inimitable style. The DVD could look better than it does but it's got a load of extras on it. Pretty quirky stuff, yet somehow never as entertaining as it should be.





























    • Ian Jane
      #2
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      It's back in print through Bayview.

    • Tom K
      #3
      Tom K
      Senior Member
      Tom K commented
      Editing a comment
      Madison Stone was also a porn star...

    • Jason C
      #4
      Jason C
      Senior Member
      Jason C commented
      Editing a comment
      I've enjoyed most of the Fred Olen Ray films I've seen despite them being schlock and I'm a sucker for bimbos running around a cursed house flicks. EVIL TOONS is good fun. The Toon was pretty cool even if he wasn't onscreen as much as he probably should have been for a film called EVIL TOONS, but I think the cast (especially Carradine) and the T&A made up for it. Monique Gabrielle has one of the greats racks I've ever seen on film. I dug the Michelle Bauer mention in the review. Big fan of hers.
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