THE SECRET KINGDOM
THE TINY KINGDOM
The result is a modestly effective childrens film. It has the appealingly imaginative concept of a miniature kingdom that exists under the kitchen sink nestled in between the household cleaning products. The streets of the kingdom are filled with a bizarre menagerie of makeup creations (that are better than usual for the Bands) people with no eyes, guards with steel masks that cover the eyes, a human bulldog and there is the bizarrely imaginative concept of a kingdom where people are surgically altered to fit their intended roles in the world. (Although there is not quite the bizarreness to it that the Bands head-spinningly surreal fantasy kingdom childrens film Magic in the Mirror  had). There is also the wonderful climactic image of the war being solved by one of the children throwing a can of peaches under the sink, which gracefully flies to land in the lake like a giant spaceship crashlanding.
David Schmoeller shoots on location in what looks like the grounds of a Rumanian palace, which more than ably gives The Secret Kingdom the flavour of a Teutonic fantasy kingdom. Jamieson K. Price gives a nicely cold and double-dealing performance as the regent, while Tricia Dickson plays with a degree of amusing believability the pouty and self-absorbed sister trying to deal with the fantasy world she is thrust into. The lightning rod salesman who appears at the beginning and ending is a clear homage to Ray Bradburys Something Wicked This Way Comes (1963).
Director David Schmoeller is a director of low-budget sf/horror films, usually for Albert and Charles Band. His other works include: the strange Tourist Trap (1979) about a backwoods motelier and his living mannequins, the stalker film The Seduction (1982), the psycho film Crawlspace (1986), Puppetmaster (1989) the first in the popular video series, the alien vampire film The Arrival (1991), Netherworld (1992), Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice (1993), Search for the Jewel of Polaris: Mysterious Museum (1999) and Little Monsters (2012).