Monday, June 18, 2007

Terror Toons 2 (2007)

For fans of kooky and creative low budget movies, Terror Toons 2 is a wild and crazy ride! The fun begins with little Tiffany Saunders, who is having her twelfth birthday party. Her friends and family arrive to stuff their faces with cake and watch her open presents. Meanwhile, in cartoon land, Hansel and Gretel decide to play in the woods against their mother's warnings. They come upon a house made of candy, end up stuffing their faces and puking, and are forced to go inside to find help. Instead, they find a witch (played by Brinke Stevens in a delightful cameo) who wants to eat their tender flesh to the bone. When she gives them poison and a rat to "make them feel better," they mistakenly mutate into Terror Toons!

Back at the Saunders, Tiffany receives a Terror Toons DVD (Devil Video Disc) in the mail with no return address. She puts it on and soon all hell breaks loose! The house and its inhabitants are in a strange hellish cartoon dimension and are forced to play deadly games like "musical scares" with Hansel and Gretel. One by one, the party guests start dying gruesome deaths by electrocution, by a giant Acme-type mallet, by cooties, by tickling, by "playing doctor" and so on. It's up to Tiffany's older sister Tina, her boyfriend and his two friends to stop the Terror Toons, which means going into Hell itself to chat with the son of Satan and take on superhero personas to kick ass!

I will be the first to admit that when I first received Terror Toons 2, I wasn't looking forward to watching it. Boy, was I ever wrong! Though this definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, I thoroughly enjoyed the frenetic pacing and the silly and cartoonish feel of the film.

Joe Castro is definitely one of the most creative and imaginative independent filmmakers with his creation of Terror Toons. The candy-colored splatter coupled with the zany mix of animation, live action, creature FX and other special effects is unlike anything I have ever seen! Terror Toons 2 is like Saturday morning cartoons for gore-hungry grown-ups! The wildly colorful sets and costumes, the Looney Tunes sound effects and the grue-drenched death scenes all have a funhouse-feel that add to the wacky atmosphere of the film. If you are looking for a serious, character-driven horror movie or a typical slasher with lots of T&A, look elsewhere, because Terror Toons 2 is all about manic-paced silliness!

The performances are all a bit over the top, but they all fit into the feel of the film. The real stand-out in the film is Emma Bing as Tina. She is completely natural in front of the camera, and reminds me of a younger Amanda Bynes. Also, Fernando Padilla and Tina Mahler both do a fantastic job playing Hansel and and Gretel, especially with the costumes they had to wear. I loved every second they were onscreen!

My only complaint with the film is that it dragged a little toward the middle and the rest of the film felt stretched out. I feel like it could have been tightened up a considerable amount and shortened. It runs under an hour and a half, but it feels like it goes on much longer than that.

One major perk of the DVD is the amount of special features the disc comes packed with. It includes the short Terror Toons 1.5 that plays before the movie, an uncut "Dr. Carnage and Max Assassin" Terror Toon, an uncut "Hansel & Gretel" Terror Toon starring Brinke Stevens, Behind the Scenes of TT2 Gore, a slide show, commentary with writer/director Joe Castro, producer/editor Steven Escobar and actress/stunt coordinator Tina Mahler, a Terror Vortex and, my personal favorite, Blood Thirst, a short film Castro made with his buddies in high school. The special effects that Castro managed to pull off for Blood Thirst were absolutely amazing considering how young he was. It's a very fun, blood-drenched short to watch!

Even though I wasn't expecting to enjoy this film, it thoroughly delighted me! If you are looking for a cartoonish kaleidoscope of gore that is zany, maniacal and unabashed, Terror Toons 2 is your ticket to an LSD-laced Looney Tune trip!

Buy Terror Toons 2!

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