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Devil Times Five (Peopletoys) Reviews

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AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
A bunch of crazy kids start killing people! What a great horror story. Okay, it's not fantastic, but I really enjoyed this crazy movie anyway.
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2010
08/08/2010 (ONLINE)

Such dreadful children! But why do I like them?? If you were to hook "The Little Rascals" up with the "Orphan", you would end up with this lot.

In a weird way I enjoyed the way they were still being kids among themselves but what I could see is that innocence fused with darkness is not entirely wicked when you think you are the good guys.

It's quite an awful thought but it is a suitable plot for this flavor on interest. I wonder if there is a sequel? I would definitely check it out.
August 22, 2009
Really good movie about five psychotic children who escape from their doctors and terrorize a nearby cabin. It has good acting, the children are creepy, and the story had me guessing until the end. On the downside some of the children over act as well as some adult actors, and some of the death scenes are not realistic. Other than that it's got child actor Leif Garret in it and the character he plays is very interesting. So I'd recommend it if you into 70's horror flicks.
zman47240
September 13, 2008
Pretty cool old school 70's horror starring Sorrell "Boss Hogg" Booke, and Leif Garrett. Not extremely gory but more psychotic and demented.
September 16, 2007
Contrary to popular opinion on Flixster, the film deserves points for being a unique story (no devil/supernatural element), having some pretty well-acted child performances, some graphic and explicit kills, and a pretty satisfying ending. Fun stuff. Deserves to be remade for once.
April 2, 2014
It's a movie that makes you want to hurt little kids, but that doesn't mean it's not eerie or intense. The nerveracking is all part of the charm, and while it was done cheaply and unconvincing, nor does it end happily, it at least leaves you feeling something.
October 29, 2013
Worth checking out if you enjoy killer kid movies.
August 21, 2013
The Devil Times Five or Peopletoys as it was originally called is a low budget, very indy horror film from 1974. It stars... no one. Is directed by... no one special... and has a legacy of... being a low budget indy horror film from 1974. And sucking. Ah yes, The Devil Times Five does indeed suck, mostly due to its amateur filmmaking. Now I've dealt with amateur film makers before, in my video review of The Legend of Sorrow Creek, but I wasn't as fair to it as I should have been. It was the first directing and writing job of Michael Penning, so some tolerance should be given. I was planning on giving the same fairness to this film's director, Sean MacGregor, but then I discovered that this was his third movie as a director, and that he had done both writing and acting for quite a few years before this. And yet he some how managed to make a movie that makes Chain Letter look like fucking Citizen Kane!
The technicals in this film are a nightmare, with too many visual and audio mistakes and continuity slip-ups to count. Just the very camerawork itself screams basic film school, with different takes noticeable to a snob like me. While the average viewer won't notice that, what they will notice is the almost constant snow on the lens whenever they're outside! The special effects are... nonexistent, with the exception of a rather good fire stunt. The rest of the kills are fairly bland, most of which being impossibly intelligent, but unique traps. To compensate for his $0 budget, MacGregor uses different camera "tricks" to little effect. Such as putting the footage in slow motion, in order to create a "surreal effect" that will somehow convince us that the beating the victim is getting is real. However, it clearly wasn't shot for slow motion so we get a choppy mess for wayyyy too long as the kids spend minutes wailing on this guy, who's identity is only properly explained after he's dead. Another kill uses a freeze frame and slow motion to get away with an axe to the back of the head, almost making you think it's the end of a 80s sitcom. The audio work is not terrible, but it's quality overall is fairly low, leading to you having an even harder time understanding what's going on.
The acting is, big shocker, a fucking nightmare. The adults either over or underact, all the while being generally unlikeable. Shoutout goes out to the actor who did a good job as Lenny from Of Mice and Men, I mean the housekeeper. The kids do an occasionally good job coming across as psychotic, but the majority of the time they are just obnoxious little shits. Speaking of the child actors... they do a lot of fairly traumatizing stuff for kids that these days a filmmaker might not be able to get away with. They see someone on fire, they swear, one of them cross dresses, they hold guns, the list goes on. I know it's a weird, but if you are dumb enough to watch this film after reading this review, imagine doing that stuff as a kid and you'll see what I mean.
The writing is probably the second worst part of this movie, because it wouldn't be as bad as it was if the technicals could back it up. The pacing of this movie is all over the place, with scenes going incredibly slowly or just being completely superfluous. This is usually almost immediately compensated by a huge time skip, leaving us confused as to what just happened and it takes a good while to catch up. That's something you'll do a lot of with this movie, catch up. It's hard to follow, as the nonsensical dialogue teams up with the aforementioned issues to confuse the crap out of you if you stop paying attention for a few seconds. The beginning was the worst example of this. I must have missed some dialogue in the first scene, because the lack of basic exposition on the characters and their relationships, coupled with the dialogue and awkward scene transitions, had me confused for a half an hour. Even if you do pay attention to the story, there's not much to actually derive from it. It's a fairly simple movie, perpetuated by genius children and outright stupid adults to keep the plot going. Actually, if this movie were any complex, odds are I wouldn't have been able to follow it at all, so maybe simplicity is for the best.
The Devil Times Five is... a movie. It's not that much fun to watch, even for its weird premise. It's a dull movie at its best and a confusing movie at its worst. It may or may not be nunsploitation, but it definitely is childsploitation. The credits of this movie say it all. Instead of "The End" it says "The Beginning" displaying its stupid and cheesy nature and the extremely short crew list show how lacking this movie is, not just in budget, but in skillful filmmaking. If you really want to waste your time on a cheesy low budget 70s horror film, then do yourself a favor. Skip this waste of time and go see Death Bed: The Bed That Eats instead. You may or may not thank me later.
November 27, 2012
This film was from 1974 not 2003! It's a deeply flawed chiller about murderous kids who pick off their hosts one by one. Not terrible and has one or two very disturbing moments.
peter h.
September 6, 2012
Mill Creek's 50 Movie Pack: Chilling Classics Reviews
DEVIL TIMES FIVE / PEOPLE TOYS [1974]: Originally titled PEOPLE TOYS which for a horror film obviously didn't attract that many box office goers, which explains the re-issue title the DEVIL TIMES FIVE is a truly odd early 1970's Low-Budget American horror film. For painfully obvious reasons has slipped through the cracks of time to only find a small audience of bad movie nuts. With over-the-top killings, DEVIL TIMES FIVE is a schlocky mess of a horror film.

PLOT: The plot to the DEVIL TIMES FIVE sees a bus load of Asylum bound Children crashes into a snow covered hill side. This allows the five children are free to start their demonic killing spree starting with one of the surviving doctors from the bus. The group moves onto a resort home where a group of Adults takes them in from the weather. And in good old horror mythology the adults are picked off one by one by the kids.


THOUGHTS: With some odd moments like the surreal slow- mo killing of the doctor that turns into Sepia film from colour footage, and takes close to seven entire minutes to end. A woman is killed in a bath tub of piranhas and the fact that two of the kids dress like a Solider and a Nun. This film cannot be view as scary but more as a campy trash fest. Despite alright performances from the adult cast members; it is the cast of kids that steal the show who seem to be having more fun than the adults. So I'm going to award DEVIL TIMES FIVE / PEOPLE TOYS a 50% rating for all of these reasons (plus the snow on the camera lenses at some points).
June 7, 2011
A Horror movie with Leif Garrett...that truly does sound horrifying!

Known also to some drive-in venues as The Horrible House on the Hill, I can only wonder the references to Last House on the Left.
thirdman
June 9, 2009
After seeing Eden Lake a while back, I got interested in seeing more films that featured youths terrorizing adults. After some of the ratings I did on Netflix, Sean MacGregor's Devil Times Five came recommended to me. It's a little horror film from the mid-70's, a time period where a lot of great hidden horror gems have emerged from. So I checked it out to see what it was like.

The movie takes a twist on the old cliche of a bunch of mental institute patients breaking free by making the characters children, rather than adults. Unfortunately the movie poorly balances these five characters, and doesn't dig deep into their mental illnesses. The movie has a few moments that made me think these kids were off their rocker, like when David (Leif Garrett) is dressed up in woman's clothing and looking at himself in the mirror. But the film never explains what that was all about, or any other moments where the kids got a little weird, so I imagine it was in the film simply because it was weird and would convince us this kid was crazy.

When the children start to kill the adults, the deaths are among the most brutal to get through. No, I don't mean brutal as in so shocking it is hard to watch, but rather that they are just so aggravating that it was hard to care about the scenes. And all of them are done in slow motion, which is a filming technique I hate. The very first murder in the film probably would have taken about 15-20 seconds in actual time, but it felt like it dragged on forever because of the slow motion.

The adults in the film aren't very interesting either. So it was hard to care for these people as they were getting picked off by this group of children. And if the film didn't have such an awkward hurried pace to it, maybe it could have developed them a little better, and I might have felt bad for them when each met their demise.

Devil Times Five is just a silly movie that isn't well thought out. I have the feeling that the filmmakers behind this movie came up with the film's story, and put it into production too quickly. It is a decent premise, and one that could have had more promise to it than it ends up having. This could have been one of the most shocking horror films to emerge out of the 70's. But, alas, it is one of the more forgettable.
jazza923
July 25, 2008
Rather interesting low budget horror film, interesting characters, a bit ahead of its time. A bit provocative at times, some smart dialogue and interesting character interaction.
SteveMiller
February 20, 2007
Devil Times Five (aka "Peope Toys" and "The Horrible House on the Hill")
Starring: Sorrell Brooke, Gene Evans, Leif Garrett, Gail Smale, and Dawn Lyn
Director: Sean McGregor

A bus carrying five incurably homicidal children on their way to a high-security institution crashes, allowing them to escape. They make their way to a resort hotel where they proceed to murder just about anyone they come upon. (Not that this is necessarily a Bad Thing; those people were for the most part in need to some killin')

"Devil Times Five" is a disturbing slasherflick, due to the fact that the murderers here are innocent-appearing children. It's also disturbing because the director had a real talent for staging the murder set-pieces and because some of the murders are sure to make you squirm (like the pirahna in the bathtub).

This is definately one of the better "Killer Kids" movies that's been released, and it's heads-and-shoulders above the dross that is being passed off as slasherflicks in the theaters today as far as the horror factor goes. (And you can watch people getting murdered in horrible ways with almost no guilt, because the victims are mostly pretty repulsive.)
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