A group of youngsters find themselves in a world of terror in this very interesting horror film that makes good use of two genre veterans.
After a night of partying, Steffan Crane decides to take his friends Rosey, Rick, Josie, Doc, and Rick’s date Abby to an abandoned building his father had just bought. His father bought the building to make condos, but Steffan wants to turn the building into an after-hours night club. The building was once home to a 1960s era children’s show, The Handy Dandy and Mister Jolly Show, where it was rumored a series of murders had taken place.
When Rick and Abby decide to veer off from the group, they find themselves victims of the puppet Handy Dandy, who kills Rick and had kidnapped Abby, who undergoes torture. When mysterious occurrences begin to affect the others, Steffan is convinced that the group must find a way to escape. However, Mister Jolly, who is revealed to be a 200-year old black magic wizard, has other plans and it involves not only Steffan and his friends, but Steffan’s father as well.
This indie horror film has all the tropes and diverse characters as it can be said to be a true homage to the genre. Jeff Broadstreet unleashed this film, shot in location in Detroit, with J.S. Brinkley’s script bringing in the types of characters expected in the genre. We have the rich kid, the athlete, the nerdy one, the tough girl, the player, and the well dim-witted one. What is very interesting about this cast is that the script allows us to know and even like some of the characters as they have some interesting backstories, which is some ways, plays pivotal to the film.
The film also makes good use of two genre veterans in the two “Bills”, Bill Oberst Jr. and Bill Moseley, who were seen together as recent as appearing in a pivotal scene in Rob Zombie’s 3 from Hell. Here, they switch roles as Moseley plays the character of Richard Crane has had a long rivalry with Oberst’s Mister Jolly. Moseley and Oberst once again have that chemistry that makes the genre work, with the likes of Jake Red (as Steffan), Kyle Anderson (as Rosey) and others making the most of their screen…errr, scream time.
If anything is funny, it’s the puppet Handy Dandy himself, voiced by Jake LaMarca. The character can be best described as the love child of Paul Winchell’s Jerry Mahoney and Chucky. The kill scenes aren’t as gory, at least until the third act, but with the limited budget, it makes its point well made and the finale does have a sense of predictability, but overall, this is a fun film of the genre.
Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge may be seen as more of an homage to the horror genre with its tropes and characters. However, it still is a fun little gem nonetheless. See it especially, to see the two Bills, Oberst and Moseley share the screen once again.
WFG RATING: B-
Midnight Releasing presents a Milwaukee Junction Enterprises production. Director: Jeff Broadstreet. Producers: Donald Borza II and Alan Forbes. Writer: J.S. Brinkley; story by Donald Borza II. Cinematography: Andrew Parke. Editing: Casey Penn.
Cast: Jake Red, Kyle Anderson, Bill Moseley, Bill Oberst Jr., Katelynn E. Newberry, Danni Spring, Arthur Marroquin, Cody Renee Cameron, Jake LaMarca (voice)
Thank you for this review – I thought it was a tropey little homage, too. Bill Moseley is always a joy to watch work up close. By the way, your description of the main dummy as “the love child of Paul Winchell’s Jerry Mahoney and Chucky” is perfect. Yes, very Jerry. I love that smartass dummy vibe. – Bill
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