'Toys Are Not For Children: Special Edition'
(Marcia Forbes, Harlan Cary Poe, Evelyn Kinglsey, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1972) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Emotionally stunted child woman Jamie Godard not only suffers from an unhealthy fixation on her long absent father, but also has an obsession with all the toys he gave her as a little girl.
After getting a job at a toy store, Jamie decides to marry co-worker Charlie Belmond.
When the marriage doesn't work out, Jamie runs away to New York City and becomes a prostitute who specializes in servicing perverted old men who want to play daddy with her.
Blu-ray Verdict: Emotionally stunted child woman Jamie Godard (a solid and touching performance by adorable brunette Marcia Forbes) not only suffers from an unhealthy fixation on her whoring no-count long absent father Philip (well played by Peter Lightstone), but also has an obsession with all the toys her wayward pop gave her as a kid.
After getting a job at a toy store, Jamie decides to marry co-worker Charlie Belmond (a sturdy and likable portrayal by Harlan Cary Poe). When the marriage doesn't work out, Jamie runs away to New York City and becomes a prostitute who specializes in servicing perverted old men who like to play daddy with her.
Although the seamy premise sounds like ideal grindhouse fodder, director Stanley H. Brasloff and writer Macs McAree surprisingly deliver very little nudity and no simulated soft-core sex.
Instead they tackle such dark and disturbing themes as incest, pedophilia, sexual repression, childhood trauma, kinky fetishism, and arrested adolescent syndrome gone tragically wrong in an unflinchingly stark and head-on confrontational manner.
Naturally, this makes for decidedly grim and uncomfortable viewing, but the sordidly engrossing story and alarming array of almost universally miserable, messed-up, and unsympathetic characters give this picture a certain bitterly potent sting (the uncompromising bummer ending in particular packs a devastating downbeat punch).
Moreover, the fine acting from the capable cast holds the movie together, with especially praiseworthy contributions from Evelyn Kingsley as brash and worn-out hooker Pearl Valdi, Luis Arroyo as scuzzy pimp Eddie, and Fran Warren as Jamie's shrewish mother Edna.
Also bringing forth some solid performances are Tiberia Mitri as the frail and vulnerable little girl incarnation of Jamie, and N.J. Osrag as jolly toy store owner Max Geunther.
Rolph Laube's competent cinematography and the brooding score by Cathy Lynn and Jacques Urbont are both up to par and 'Toys Are Not For Children' also features a beautifully haunting theme song too.
In closing, this is an unusual and interesting little curio, but isn't a movie that's going to appeal to everyone. The low-budget look of the picture does make it appear more raw, but overall I think you'll be amazed at just how damn captivating the film is. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain
Newly-filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower
Dirty Dolls: Femininity, Perversion and Play - a brand new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Original theme song 'Lonely Am I', newly transferred from the original 45-RPM vinyl single
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Vanity Celis
'Toys Are Not For Children' Original Movie Trailer