Toss of the Coin
The beginning of Toss of the Coin is a real shocker. A middle-aged man (played by Reg Land) is soaking in a tub with a wet towel over his face. His pet cat starts playing with an electrical cord, and causes a radio to fall into the tub. A series of shots shows the horrifying electrocution that follows. We see the water boiling and steaming, the man's skin lighting up in a reddish glow, and boils collecting on his face and arms. It's an awful death, captured in a horribly realistic manner.
The movie never quite lives up to that stunner of an opening, but the makeup, costume design and comedic dialogue make it well worth watching anyway.
An angel (Steve Salge) and a demon (Morgan Lund) arrive to collect the man's soul. They soon discover that there's been a mix up, and one of them has been sent there by mistake. They come up with a number of possibilities to resolve the situation. The demon suggests seeing who can disembowel the other first. Eventually, they decide the simplest solution is the best, and the angel tosses a coin.
Director Patrick Steele's script (adapted from a story by Bart Everson) creates an amusing little nightmare. The idea of a clerical error and, ultimately, the toss of a coin deciding where you will spend eternity is a frightening one. Costume designer Josh McKewen and makeup effects artist Josh Pinkerton have created a wonderful look for the characters. The angel is dressed in flowing white robes, while the demon has horns sticking out of his forehead, which is stamped with the number "666". They look convincing enough to keep the story from lapsing into camp.
I don't really get the last shot of the movie. If Steele wanted to finish with a stylistic flourish, he should have shown the cat again. The credits scroll on forever, which doesn't always mean good production value, but it certainly does in this case.