29th May2024

‘Teddiscare’ Review

by Jim Morazzini

Stars: Yolie Canales, Tim Hatch, Michael Korotitsch, Jeff Kirkendall | Written and Directed by Mark Polonia

[Disclaimer: Nerdly’s Managing Editor, Phil, is listed as an Executive Producer on this film. However, that will not, and does not, affect the impartiality of this review]

Teddiscare began life as another Winnie the Pooh horror film, but after “receiving a “cease and desist” from another company who made a killer teddy bear movie based of [sic] a popular character with a copyright that had recently entered public domain, we consulted with an amazing lawyer”. Said lawyer told them a larger company was about to start suing anyone who used the character, so they decided to just change the name. I wonder how brilliant they think that lawyer is now that Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 3 is going into production as well as a killer Bambi film and Disney hasn’t unleashed their lawyers?

Teddiscare opens with news on the radio about a worker falling into the machinery at a toy factory and bits of his body being stuffed into hundreds of teddy bears. As we hear this, a farmer (Yolie Canales; Amityville in Space, Pandasaurus) is looking for the bear that killed all of her chickens.

In town, Duncan (Tim Hatch; Cocaine Werewolf, Yule Log) hurries to the hospital to see his dying father. He shuffles off this mortal coil, but not before making him promise never to go back to his childhood playground in the woods. Apparently, daddy did something there that he’ll have to answer for on the other side, and it isn’t safe there now.

Of course, the old man is barely in the ground when Duncan does just the opposite. But as he’s picking up the stuffed animals he left there as a child, and talking like he’s returned to his childhood, something hiding in the forest is watching him.

Teddiscare was written and directed by Mark Polonia (Jurassic Shark 3: Seavenge, Splatter Beach), and as you can guess, there are lots of shots of the woods, shots, shots from the bear’s POV and plenty of talk before Mr. Trenton (Michael Korotitsch; House Squatch, Sister Krampus)is attacked while Duncan is talking to the lawyer for his father’s estate, Mr. Mallory (Jeff Kirkendall; Natasha Nighty’s Boudoir of Blood, Motorboat), who has his own interest in the woods.

Most of what could be considered disturbing are scenes of a grown man acting and talking like a child while he plays with stuffed animals. Taking them for rides in a wagon, roasting marshmallows for them to eat, etc. Unfortunately, they stage one of the attacks when we know Duncan couldn’t have done it, rather than leave the possibility open that his madness isn’t exactly harmless.

Speaking of which, Teddiscare’s killer bear, while obviously an actor in a mascot outfit borrowed from a local sports team, looks more like a stuffed bear come to life than the guy in a mask and overalls from Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey and its sequel. The effects unfortunately are mostly digital blood and a less-than-convincing headless body.

Judged by normal standards, Teddiscare is a bit of a slog to get through, with a lot of talk and not a lot of action or effects of any kind. If you’re a fan of Mark Polonia’s films, or even DIY cinema in general, you’ll probably have a higher opinion of it. And it is one of the better things Polonia has put out recently with, as I mentioned, some legitimately creepy scenes of Duncan and his stuffed friends and a lack of scenes whose ambition well outreach the effects budget.

Overall, although I preferred it to the two “Poohniverese” films, it’s not something I’d suggest watching with fans of mainstream films. Those who know what to expect however should be fine, it’s not one of the director’s best films, but it is better than a lot of his more recent efforts.

**½  2.5/5

Teddiscare is available on Digital Platforms as well as on DVD from SRS Cinema.

Review originally posted on Voices From the Balcony

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