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Toy Box, The
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

2 stars

Yet another useless piece of our nation's cinematic history has been dredged up by the fine folks at Something Weird Video, who have never seen a movie they didn't like. THE TOY BOX is a wonky soft-core sex film with a typically off-the-wall Seventies plot--this was produced back in the days when the specter of "redeeming social merit" inspired filmmakers to all kinds of weird inventions. It's weird, certainly. But good? No. Interestingly botched? Not even that.

From what I can tell, it deals with a sinister bearded fellow named Uncle who presides over an all-night orgy. Events soon take a turn for the surreal, the highlight of it all being the scene in which a woman is seduced by a bed. Yes, a bed. A talking bed ("Your body and and my sheets are one," it moans). Meanwhile, our two leads run around and try to figure out what's happening.

Any description of this film runs the danger of making it sound cooler than it really is. This thing is nothing but a cheap, gamy combination of lame erotica and bad surrealism. The mostly dubbed dialogue (you'll notice that you rarely see the characters' mouths when they speak) is irritatingly silly sex-talk, as in, "Oh my God! I feel like there's a tree-trunk between my legs!" Scenes drag on interminably.

Finally, the attempted surprise ending fails--not because you see it coming, but because after some 90 minutes of free-form weirdness, you can't be shocked by anything that transpires. The twist ending depends on a reversal of expectations: if anything can happen--as it does here, with all the pointless murder scenes and severed heads popping up out of nowhere--then then there's no surprise when it does.

The Something Weird DVD includes another feature, Toys are Not for Children (note a theme here?), which seems to be some malarkey about a woman with an Elektra complex, though I'm not able to judge as I turned it off after about twenty minutes. The disc also contains an odd B&W stag loop featuring a pack of naked women romping around a Christmas tree.

Trust me, you've got better things to do with your time.

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originally posted: 02/24/03 20:01:58
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  01-Aug-1971 (NR)
  DVD: 14-Jan-2003



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