I have something to say, and it might not make you happy but here goes:
I’m mad at you.
All of you.
Specifically, any one of you readers who knew about Devil Times Five--also known by the far superior title Peopletoys--and didn’t tell me about it. (For the record, the one and only Wayne Kotke of Dead 2 Rights and Thomas D of Cinema Gonzo are excused from my vitriol.) This is a movie that features homicidal children, snow, the maid from Troop Beverly Hills, bear traps, kids in drag, farmer tanned naked buttocks, catfights, Boss Hog, and death by piranha.
People: I’m 30 years old. Do you know how many times I could’ve watched this movie by now had I known about it earlier?
I hate you all.
Quick Plot: While transferring five violently insane children, a schoolbus crashes on a snowy mountain road, releasing the preteen terrors upon a gaggle of very ‘70s adults doing some sort of work/vacation/drunk/surly/thing.
No seriously, I don’t really get it.
There’s the best named character of all time, Papa Doc, a wealthy but miserly grump with a sexy girlfriend named--not kidding--Lovely, who would rather be seducing the slow-witted caretaker Ralph.
Lovely’s ex Rick is now dating Papa Doc’s daughter Julie, keeping the group closely connected in a rather weird way. Last is Dr. Harvey Beckman (Sorrell Brooke) and his hilariously alcoholic wife Ruth (Shelley Morrison).
|And really, who wouldn't?|
I love movies with funny drunks. Well, to be clear, I love ‘70s movies with funny drunks. Especially when the other characters do nothing but roll their eyes at said lush’s antics or shout lines like “Listen you boozed up old broad!” It just makes life better.
Playing on the other team is a quintet of demons with various ticks. There’s Brian, the boy obsessed with military speak. Sister Hannah, a wannabe nun who would terrify my mother. Like any wacky sociopath, Susan loves fire and her little sister Moe, well, Moe is just odd. Leading the group is David (Leif Garrett), a competitive little jerk who doesn’t take kindly to losing, especially not to HARVEY BECKMAN!
After the kids fake a sob story to the adults about their accident, it doesn’t take too long for the killing to start. I should rephrase since the first murder goes on for about as long as Birth of a Nation. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration since Devil Times Five is only a 90 minute movie, but when everything happppppeeeeeennnnnnnnnns iiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnn slooooooowwwww moooooooosssssssshhhhhhhhhonnnnnnnnnnn, even a pitchfork stabbing, hammering, and beating over the head scored to the sounds of an angry giraffe getting a massage feels like eternity.
But hey, I can’t complain when we’ve still got a woman getting eaten by piranhas to enjoy! Not to mention the fact that even BEFORE the 9000 year killing, we got a random catfight complete with spy music and messy slapping. AFTERWARDS, we get axings, people set on fire, military booby traps, constant utterances of the words “Papa Doc,” and crazy stock 1950s UFO whistling to establish the fact that something is amiss.
It’s all so much more wonderful than these words here are possibly describing.
Everything. No really, everything
Nothing. Nothing at all. This is perfection on your screen
Lousy maniac drivers don’t deserve medals
Continually telling a sour child that he chops wood like a little girl might not be the best way to not make him want to chop your head off
In tennis there is a term called ‘following through’
“No, YOU sit here and relax! I’m going to go take a bath cause if I don’t, I’m never going to make it to morning.”
Ahh, the adorable naivety of a woman in a genre film who would dare to believe sitting in a tub wouldn’t kill her
The Winning Line
“Have you laid her?”
Yeah. She asked in that way.
Available on Mill Creek’s 50 Chilling Classics pack or streaming on youtube like many a fine public domain title, Devil Times Five is crammed from beginning to end with things designed to make me happy. The kids are genuine little monsters who take sadistic pleasure in torturing entertainingly unlikable grownups. It’s occasionally unnerving (I don’t want to die as a human snowman) but more often than not, cheesily wonderful. Whether credit goes to listed director Sean MacGregor or the mysteriously uncredited (except on IMDB) David Sheldon I don’t know, but everyone involved in Peopletoys deserves a cake. Or a medal. Or a loaded gun irresponsibly hung on a wall in a roomful of damaged children. Whatever your candy is, take it. You deserve it.
On the night that I watched Devil Times Five, I woke up at 4:46 AM from a fairly awesome nightmare. It starred a young, skinny, and BLOND Delta Burke (although it looked more like Joan Collins circa I Don't Want To Be Born but everyone kept referring to her as Delta Burke, so the details of dreamland are hazy) as she ran through the woods to flee a horde of nasty little children. Like Devil Times Five, the kids were groovy. The details are foggy, but one key detail involved a bratty little blond picking up a chainsaw but resorting to using sticks when he realized how heavy that machinery was. See, even the DREAMS that happened after this movie were super.