Swingers Donna and Ralph are invited to a midnight party at the castle of "Uncle," an overweight pervert who pays people to perform sexually for his twisted amusement. This time, however it appears that Uncle has died-which doesn't stop the guests from turning his wake into a nonstop orgy by acting out their fantasies in front of Uncle's dead, bloated eyes. but reality and illusion quickly become blurred as various partygoers may or may not be gruesomely murdered. Worse, a giant nude woman informs Donna and Ralph that Uncle is actually an alien from outer space who's collecting specimens for an extraterrestrial toy store specializing in the brains of "depraved" humans...Don't let the title fool you, The Toy Box is one of the most bizarre mixes of surreal sex and horror to ever assault audiences. With direction by cinematographer of Twin Peaks and a cast of sex film starlets-including the incredible Uschi Digart, who gets fondled by an amorous bed-The Toy Box is one kinky pleasure chest.
You want Strange
Los Angles' Boxoffice International were truly the purveyors of some of the most unpredictable sexploitation movies ever conceived, and they didn't come much stranger than The ToyBox. Two swingers Donna and Ralph, along with a whole bunch of like minded individuals come to a castle run by `Uncle'. Uncle is a rich old man who rewards them for acting out some of their most out to lunch fantasies with a gift from the `Toybox' that always contains something they've always wanted. Its the fantasy scenes of `greedy people performing sex acts'that make up the film and what strange fantasies these folks have! One tubby guy fantasizes about women being hung up like butchers cuts who come back to life and hack him to pieces with meat cleavers. In what appears to be a parody of a German sex film, one long haired guy imagines himself and a girl running around speaking German, he puts on a scary mask and she kills him with a pitchfork. Uschi Digart, an actresses with big things in front of her turns up to get groped by a horny `Thing' like hand in a box (the latter scene really has to be seen to be believed). Donna and Ralph soon realise that things are far from normal- How does Uncle know what they're doing when he always stays in his room?, Why does he appear dead ? and why is he so lacking in the eyeball department! is it all part of an alien invasion? Soon severed heads start falling from the roof, people start dropping dead on the spot, a 50ft Woman and a glowing Kiss Me Deadly style case turn up as well. Never mind what 70's exploitation movie audiences made of this, today I can't imagine anyone watching The Toybox without thinking `what the hell is this?' What it is, is wonderfully disorientating. The Toybox also contains scenes that put most horror films of the time to shame, plus a spooky ending of Carnival of Souls proportions. Confusing? oh yes but far from the average softcore quickie its an almost impossible movie to classify- part Sci-Fi, part House on Haunted Hill and part skin flick as viewed through the eyes of someone on the verge of infinite madness. As for director Ron V Garcia he's more well known as a noted cinematographer on many movies (everything from Seventies sleaze to recent mainstream assignments) and has a good eye for the bizarre. Its a shame he didn't direct more movies, then again how could you top something like The Toybox?. It was as if Garcia wanted to create the most eccentric movie on the face of the planet, and he certainly had a good go ! The Toybox then is surely the best surreal Age of Aquarius sexpo overflowing with early Seventies craziness ever made.
Surrealist, soft-core porn
In "Boogie Nights" Burt Reynold's porno director character has this hilarious monologue where he talks about his "dream" of making a porno film that people will sit and watch to the end even after they have. . . (well, see "Boogie Nights" if you haven't). Anyway, this is one of those rare movies. In fact, I'm sure most of the porn addicts out there would probably hate it because it's too flat-out weird to really be very erotic. But I actually admire sex movies that have the guts NOT to be the same old boring "erotic" crap. If you have seen and enjoyed "Cafe Flesh", "The Devil in Miss Jones",and "Let My Puppets Come" (the first and, to my knowledge, only hardcore porno puppet movie) you'll probably appreciate this film . On the other hand, if you're the type that eagerly lines up every week for the latest Jenna Jameson shot-on-video sex opus, don't bother.
First, about the plot--there is no plot. And that's good. There is nothing more annoying than when a movie like this tries to have plot. Imagine you have an hour and half or so to kill, but every five or ten minutes you have to have sex for five or ten minutes, you probably wouldn't get much done in that time, and you certainly wouldn't develop much as a character (especially if you were being played by your average porn star who couldn't act his or her way out of a crisp paper sack). This movie is ineptly made in some ways. Obviously, the dubbing is terrible (porno movies are dubbed?--who knew). But the best you can hope for in a movie like this is a lot of interesting scenes, and this movie has them in spades. What I enjoyed most about this movie was the cinematography (not surprisingly the director worked mainly as a cinematographer), and the truly unique dream-like atmosphere it creates. This isn't a pedestrian sex fantasy--it's a cross between a warped wet dream and a really, really strange nightmare. It's basically a surrealist soft-core porno movie.
A gloriously weird and warped soft-core oddity
Swingers Ralph (the smoothly sleazy Sean Kenney) and Donna (buxom and fetching blonde Ann Perry) are invited to a wild midnight party held at a remote castle by Uncle (tubby creep Jack King), a portly pervert who pays depraved folks to fornicate in front of him. Despite the fact that Uncle has apparently died, an uninhibited anything-goes orgy transpires anyway as the distinction between reality and illusion blurs into a surreal and nightmarish affair. Writer/director Ron Garcia really goes full-throttle with the mondo nutso far-out carnal kinkiness: We've got voyeurism, masturbation with a vibrator, bondage & submission, necrophilia, raunchy simulated, yet still quasi-pornographic sex, a gal getting murdered while performing fellatio on a man, a dude being run through with a pitchfork after he's finished doing just what you think with a attractive slender blonde, and, in the intensely erotic oddball highlight, the always amazing Uschi Digart finds herself getting fondled by lascivious sentient bed sheets (!). Moreover, Garcia's heady blend of Gothic horror and trippy science fiction along with the deliberate pacing and the jaw-dropping surprise bummer ending provides one hell of a super loopy punch. Among the revelers are such familiar sexploitation staples as Maria Arnold, Kathy Hilton, Marsha Jordan, and adorable redhead pixie Debbie Osborne (the latter as a zonked-out giantess!). Paul Hunt's stylish cinematography adds immensely to the overall outré and intoxicating dreamy atmosphere. A wonderfully wacky marvel.
erotic horror/scifi film
It's the presence of Uschi Digard and Malta that make this film seeing at all. I wonder if this was the first erotic simulated sex combination horror scifi film. One thing is for sure, it's one of the weirdest wildest erotic films ever made. It plays like an x-rated twilight zone or outer limits episode. The actresses have great bodies especially Uschi and Malta. Marsha Jordan also makes a brief appearance in the orgy scene but don't blink or you'll miss her. It even borrows part of its film score from (are you ready for this) the original INVADERS FROM MARS (the classic scifi movie of the 50's!) The orgy scene is done pretty well. I'm not really giving anything away here because in every erotic film of this period there were orgy scenes and in some movies there were even two or three such scenes. Uschi has a great body and her two scenes are very erotic. The first one she basically is masturbating on top of a bed with (we assume) a guy under the sheets to make us believe the bed she is on is possessed. The second scene she is in is the orgy scene where she is having simulated sex, riding on top of a guy.
Silly and bizarre horror/porn flick
The Toy Box is something of a crossover between a porn flick and a mystery themed horror movie, and it doesn't manage to lampoon either of these two genres. However, that's not to say that this is necessarily a bad film; it's certainly not a particularly good one, but through it's bizarreness; there's something here worth watching. It's clear that the plot wasn't the foremost thing on director Ronald Víctor García's mind, so instead he just packed his film with sex, but there is a plot here and it focuses on a mysterious 'uncle' who hosts weird parties in which people are paid to perform erotic acts. This party is a bit different to usual as uncle's not there; or at least not alive and the guests must perform in front of his corpse. I can't say that this film is particularly erotic and that's why it doesn't succeed as a porn film. I've seen quite a lot of porn in my lifetime, however, so I can forgive this one for not being erotic and focus on the good things about the sex scenes - and the fact that they're weird and different to the norm is a good thing if you ask me because it means the film is a little different. Naturally the whole thing is completely inept and the acting is horrible, but obviously no one goes into a seventies porn expecting a masterpiece. There's a stupid twist at the end, but if you make it to the end of this film; you're unlikely to care by then anyway. Overall, I can't say that The Toy Box is brilliant or a must see, but it's better than I thought it would be and it comes somewhat recommended.
Bizarre Atmosphere Makes It Worth Watching
The Toy Box (1971)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Donna (Ann Myers) and Ralph (Sean Kenney) attend another one of Uncle's parties where he has people perform weird sex acts in exchange for getting to pick out a prize from "the toy box." At this party however it's quite different because Uncle is dead and the sex acts are going on around his body. Soon party members start to turn up dead.
THE TOY BOX was originally released by Harry Novak and it eventually founds itself on DVD thanks to those great folks at Something Weird Video. I'm not going to sit here and call this a must-see or a masterpiece but if you're a fan of the bizarre then you'll certainly want to check it out. The film has an ultra low-budget but at the same time there's no question that it has a weird atmosphere as well as an early mix of sex, nudity, drugs and various horror elements.
As far as the sexploitation goes, there's plenty of naked people messing around here as well as some really beautiful women. There's a mass orgy going on so you've got a lot of people running around naked and there are some nicely erotic moments throughout. One of the highlights happens early on when the virgin Donna pleases herself with a dildo. As far as the horror elements go, they're not the greatest in the world but we've got that low-budget atmosphere, a meat clever murder as well as plenty of fog to go around.
THE TOY BOX has one major sin and that's the fact that it clocks in at 89-minutes, which is way too long for this type of film. There's really not much of a story so the film drags very badly at spots. Still, the bizarre atmosphere makes it worth sitting through.
only 2 reasons to see this, and BOTH belong to Uschi Digard *SLIGHT SPOILER*
Ralph and Donna go to "Uncle's" house where they meet many other like-wise pervs hoping to please "Uncle" enough to get something from his toy box.Pretty much a flimsy excuse to show softcore hippie porn. Pretty boring to sit through, save for one scene with Russ Meyer's Uschi Digard as a buxom hippie who gets it on with a possesed bed. (yes it's as insane as it sounds) This movie is coupled with "Toys are Not for Children" on the Something Weird DVD.
My Grade: C-
DVD Extras: Art Gallery;2 short subjects ( the Toy Telephone Truck, & the Christmas Eves); Trailers for Toys are not for Children, the Toybox, The Exquisite Cadaver, Tales of the Bizzare, The Single Girls, Ann and Eve, The Depraved, Sextet, The Naked Countess, and Labrinth of Sex
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