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Making Contact (1985)

Joey (original title)
Believing to be able to communicate with his deceased father, a young boy develops physchic powers where he uses them to try to stop supernatural forces threatening his family and friends, especially a possessed ventriloquist dummy.


Roland Emmerich

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Morrell ... Joey Collins
Eva Kryll Eva Kryll ... Laura Collins
Tammy Shields Tammy Shields ... Sally
Jan Zierold Jan Zierold ... Martin
Barbara Klein Barbara Klein ... Dr. Haiden
Matthias Kraus Matthias Kraus ... Bernie
Jerry Hall Jerry Hall ... William
Sean Johnson Sean Johnson ... Bobby
Christine Goebbels Christine Goebbels ... Alice
Ray Kaselonis Ray Kaselonis ... Steven
Joel Kleinman Joel Kleinman
Berit Morrell Berit Morrell
Punky Punky ... Scooter
Christoph Lindert Christoph Lindert ... Sheriff
Axel Berg Axel Berg ... Parapsychologist Ralph


When Joey's dad dies Joey is starting to act strange. He's got psychic powers. He can talk to him on the phone! His red toy telephone! But what he doesn't know is that he is not talking to his dad. He is talking to an evil dummy and the evil dummy is starting to make Joey's world a living nightmare. Written by Matthew Chmiel <J0HNNYRICO@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An out of this world adventure. See more »


PG | See all certifications »



West Germany | USA


German | English

Release Date:

November 1985 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Making Contact See more »

Filming Locations:

Newport, Virginia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (US theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During a few scenes shot in Virginia Beach, the star was not available on set so the son of an Emmerich family owned business employee sat in as a double. Just a few scenes driving through a Virginia Beach Neighborhood. See more »


The name 'Josh' is written on Joey's backpack. 'Josh' is the name of the actor who plays Joey. See more »

Alternate Versions

US version runs ca. 20 minutes shorter than the original German version. See more »


References The A-Team (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great underrated supernatural fantasy! one of my all time favorites.
11 April 2009 | by TalesfromTheCryptfanSee all my reviews

9 year old Joey Collins (Joshua Morrell) is a sad and lonely kid living in the city of Virgina Beach with his mother after his dad died. He discovers one night he has gained telekinetic and psychic powers which makes his toys come to life and even gain the power to communicate with the spirit of his dad on a toy phone which gives him love and hope, he's a unfairly unpopular kid at school cause he told them his secrets yet they think he's crazy as he has only one friend and of course his pet robot Charlie. One night while walking his dog and robot, he stumbles into an old abandoned mansion that belong to a famous magician/ventriloquist named Jonathan Fletcher and finds an old yet creepy ventriloquist dummy named Fletcher (Voiced by Jack Angel in the U.S. version)as he takes it home with him only to later find out it's possessed by a demon. It terrorizes young Joey into not believing that the person he is talking on the phone isn't his father but the boy refuses to believe it yet the little creature threatens his mom, friends and even some of the folks in his city with demons from another dimension for only Joey can put an end to it's reign of terror.

Very entertaining, fantastic and highly underrated yet overlooked German supernatural horror fantasy drama from Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day", "Stargate" and "The Patriot") long before his Hollywood career. The film incorporates themes about life and death including the power of how to cope with it even though we sometimes can't wish that we need to bring that person back but how to live with it, i think the film's acting is surprisingly good even for the young lead. Some people accuse this of being a knock-off to some of Spielberg's and Lucas's movies like "Star Wars", "E.T.", "Poltergeist" etc. but IT ISN'T a rip-off, it's a tribute and homage as Mr. Emmerich uses playful non-mean spirited references that taps into the mind of a child's imagination on their obsession with movies they love on how sometimes they would like to have a special friend kind of like E.T. and how they could bring their Star Wars-esquire fantasies to life. The dummy Fletcher himself is one creepy little doll whom rivals Fats from "Magic" as the scariest ventriloquist dummy to hit the screen, i remembered watching this movie on HBO when i was young at the age of 5 in 1987 as it scared the hell out of me. Then later in my high school days i adored the movie yet the dummy still gives me the willies, i think it's a wonderful and kind of dark supernatural modern fairy that is a well done and eerie tale of death and magic. The German version of this movie known as "Joey" is the better version then the U.S. New World Pictures English dubbed version "Making Contact" for it has scenes that were cut out of the U.S. version and has a much better music score.

If you want a different yet imaginative movie that combines horror, fantasy and even drama that is also a tearjerker with a moral then i highly recommend checking out this fascinating underrated cult gem.

Also recommended: "Poltergeist", "Ghost", "Pan's Labyrinth", "The Gate", "The Shining", "House (1986)", "Silent Hill", "Magic", "House By The Cemetery", "The Exorcist", "Akira", "Spirited Away", "My Neighbor Totoro", "Star Wars Saga", "The Mummy Trilogy", "Dead of Night (1945)", "Tourist Trap", "Puppet Master", "Ghostbusters 1 & 2", "The Dark Crystal", "1408", "Twice Upon a Time", "The Devil's Backbone", "Pet Sematary", "Scanners", "Carrie", "Firestarter", "Suspiria", "Phenomena", "Inferno", "Mother of Tears", "Hellraiser 1 & 2", "Final Destination Trilogy", "Willow", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Stephen King's IT", "The Frighteners", "The Neverending Story", "City of Lost Children", "Harry Potter Saga", "Child's Play Series", "Trilogy of Terror", "Devil Doll (1964)", "The Monster Squad", "The Goonies", "City of the Living Dead (a.k.a. Gates of Hell)", "The Nightmare Before Christmas", "Beetlejuice", "Christine", "The Ring (Japanese and American)", "Hellboy 1 & 2", "Phantasm", "Dolls (1987)", "Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night", "Big Trouble in Little China", "Monster House", "Donnie Darko", "Escape to Witch Mountain", "Return to Witch Mountain", "Dead Silence", "Something Wicked This Way Comes", "Constanstine", "Pin", "Cat's Eye", "Ju-On The Grudge", "The Fog (1980)", "Prince of Darkness", "The Secret of NIMH", "The Last Unicorn", "Excalibur", "Howl's Moving Castle", "The Amityville Horror (1979 and 2005)", "The Omen (1976)", "The Phantom Tollbooth", "The Orphanage", "Krull", "The Dead Zone (1983)", "Watcher in the Woods", "The Haunting (1963 and 1999)", "The Legend of Hell House", "Burnt Offerings", "The Pit", "Dolly Dearest", "Twilight Zone The Movie", "Witchboard", "Visitors", and "The Ghost and Mr. Muir".

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