these toys can walk, talk, and even KILL! DOLLS [1987] review:

Imagine the following scenario: you, along with your significant other [or if you don’t have a partner: imagine a close friend] are with a group of travelers on a trip, when you realize you need to find shelter due to a storm. Thankfully, just up the road; there’s a pricey looking mansion belonging to an elderly couple who happen to be doll-makers – who agree to allow you to stay the night until the storm settles.. Would you agree? That’s essentially the main plot in the movie Dolls, except for one significant difference: these “dolls” are actually humans that the couple has miniaturized and turned into tools for their evil plans!

Dolls is an underrated film from Director Stuart Gordon, who horror fans will remember as the man behind Re-Animator and From Beyond. Dolls is eerie yet playfully entertaining, especially in it’s tone. The movie follows a group of adults, [the “travelers” from earlier] who are basically sentenced to death for losing the child-like aspects of their personalities. But being as the people sentencing them is an elderly couple, they use their “Dolls” to do their dirty work for them. Being exactly as it sounds,  this film follows some obviously killer dolls that makes the movie fall under the same vein as Puppet Master or Demonic Toysas they should, since Charles Band produced this movie as well!

I would have a heart-attack being surrounded by this many dolls.

as a whole, Dolls isn’t that scary of a film, since it’s more cheesy than anything – even if the Dolls are scary as hell. The special effects are one of the biggest standout elements of the movie, and the way that the dolls move gives the film more of a creepy vibe, as opposed to something terrifying. Unlike Child’s Play, [a film I actually enjoyed] A film about killer dolls really shouldn’t work as well as it did in Dolls, but it did – which is definitely a good thing! The film has a very short running time, running at only 77 minutes, and for that reason; it’s not all that surprising it’s so short – considering the amount of time and effort the animators must have took to get those fucking dolls to move!

Unfortunately, The fact that the centralized plot idea is never really explained makes the film lose quite a bit of credibility, which could have worked if there had been an explanation. The theme of the movie – which is ‘not losing your inner child-like spirit’ – an awesome concept, but can also be seen as strange, or even silly. Gordon as a Director, gets my respect the way he adds suspense, makes us worry for the characters, [even just a little] I just hope that if we do get a remake in the future, the writers add a slightly better explanation than “don’t lose your inner-child”. I’m hoping more for a reason for not losing it. [just me?] Dolls isn’t a terrible film, it’s just trying to do a thousand things at once: especially in such a short film-time. Either way, the giant killer teddy bear in the movie is worth the price of the film alone!

Shout! Factory also released a fucking awesome re-release of the film!

So is Dolls a worthwhile flick? I’m going to go with a solid “YES”. As I’ve said a few times above, it’s not terrible – it’s just a “busy” film. So to make this film review short, I’d say it’s worth watching, just to say you did, at least once or twice – unless you’re into killer toys and evil old people.

THANKS FOR READING.

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2 comments

  1. Good post.

    I was originally made aware of “Dolls” thanks to a documentary I watched on Netflix titled “Nightmare in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film.” After the documentary was over, I found the movie on youtube.

    The effects for the time period are well done.

    I also liked how the movie was directed, which, shown from Judy’s point-of-view, gives it a dark fairy-tale quality.

    Like

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