08th Oct2019

‘Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Bill Moseley, Bill Oberst Jr., Jake Red, Kyle Anderson, Cody Renee Cameron, Arthur Marroquin, KateLynn E. Newberry, Danni Spring, Victoria Esther Castillo, Jake LaMarca, Nick Pirrmann, Stanley Sarnowski, Mark Sikes | Written by J.S. Brinkley | Directed by Jeff Broadstreet

devils-junction-poster

Written by J.S. Brinkley, based on a story by Donald Borza II and directed by Jeff Broadstreet (Night of the Living Dead 3D), Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge (also known as just Handy Dandy) is a horror movie about a TV studio that is haunted by a ventriloquist from a 60s kids television program. It’s a basic premise at it’s simplest level, but one that immediately made my B-movie horror loving ears prick up in the air and take note. A promise of muderous dummies? I mean, as a huge fan of killer doll and toy films like Puppet Master, Dolls and Demonic Toys, I was there.

The plot really is a simple one, yet it’s effective. A group of buddies get trapped in an abandoned TV station and are tormented, stalked and… well, you probably know how bad this is going to get for those poor bastards, by some very mean and very evil creatures.

Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge is low-budget cheese horror but I don’t want that to come across as an insult or a negative, because I don’t mean it that way. Low budget horror CAN be very good indeed. The film does look decent enough and there’s a small handful of good ideas to be found here, especially in the choice of location and the initial concept. Bill Moseley is the big-name appearance when it comes to the cast, a horror mainstay, it’s always cool to see him pop up in stuff, and it was cool here too, I suppose. The rest of the cast, however, don’t really hit their stride and the performances are very amateurish, and not in a good way. The script has little to offer, too, and while there’s a few funny lines delivered, there’s little to pull you through, and little reason to care too much about these “friends” who are being hunted down.

Being involved in a pursuit, being chased down by Mr. Jolly, played by Bill Oberst Jr. (3 From Hell) and Handy Dandy in this old studio has it’s fun moments though, and those are worth watching, if only for the silliness and elements of old-school silly schlocky horror they offer from time to time. The quipping and dialogue of the puppets… it’s not very funny, but it’s obviously meant to be. Another miss, then. With a better script this could have worked better, and that’s the main issue here. There was potential, but pretty much every element wasn’t given the correct care, thought or passion. The script lacks, the performances lack, the effects lack and the story has gaping holes in it until it fizzles out to the end credits.

This is one of those titles that looks like you expect it to look, feels like you expect it to feel and ends like you expect it to end. When you snag a low-budget horror DVD off the shelf, it can sometimes be a surprising hit, but Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge sadly fell flat way too often for that. The performances are dull, never really getting high enough or energetic enough to make you believe even for a second, and the villains are… just there. It’s a shame. Conceptually I was on board with this, and then I began watching it. There were a couple of moments that made me laugh, and a few things that did work, but mostly it’s a limp film that doesn’t live up the promise of its wacky, flashback synopsis. A shame, because this could have been better.

*½  1.5/5

Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge will screen in L.A. on October 18th and 19th, with an On Demand and DVD release set for November 5th from Midnight Releasing.

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