The fourth entry was a major departure in the series. First it didn't have a killer Santa. Second it wasn't a slasher. Third it really didn't have anything to do with Christmas. This fifth entry gets a little more on track...well at least for the fact it takes place on Christmas. It's kind of like "Halloween III" in that that aspect that it still took place on Halloween. It still has no plot carry over from the original killer Santa run. Instead, as one can tell from the subtitle, it's about a "toy maker" instead.
The video cover art also portrayed this "toy maker" aspect with a young child surrounded by stuffed animals with evil eyes. I remember this cover art from my child hood and it always captured my attention. Sadly, as predicted, the movie isn't as good as its video cover art.
The film opens with a child's stepfather getting killed by a toy that was left on their doorstep. The boy becomes traumatized by beautifully wrapped presents which starts worrying his mother. A drifter rolls into town and discovers a plot by a local Toy Shop owner (Mickey Rooney of all people!) who makes killer toys to ruin Christmas for all little boys and girls. There is an interesting, over-the-top plot twist at the end that I don't want to give away but with the toy shop owner and his son having the names Joe Petto and Pino it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.
For a low budget direct-to-video sequel this is watchable. Extremely silly and dumb but watchable. There's enough action and typical horror killings to keep attention. Also like predicted there are plenty of unintentional laughter moments especially when a drunk Mickey Rooney starts to abuse his son (I know that sounds wrong but you'll understand once you watch the film). Speaking of Mickey Rooney, he vocally voiced his disproval of the original "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and said that the makers of that film should be run out of town (this is viewable as a special feature on the SNDN DVD release) yet he appears in Part 5? What a hypocrite!
To be completely honest this is overall a better film than the first three entries. What, did I really say that? To be completely honest the two unrelated sequels in the franchise (this one and Part 4) are better than the first three killer Santa entries. Franchises aren't supposed to work like that! A later entry is not supposes to be a better film than the first. Is it more entertaining you ask? I wouldn't go that far as the first couple of films are very entertaining as B-slashers but better as an overall film? You bet, but then again it doesn't take much.
Written by: Eric Reifschneider