This movie came out in the wake of Stuart Gordon's ground-breaking
"Re-Animator." It was pitched as yet another low-budget 80's
"pseudo-horror" video-rental, along the lines of the PuppetMaster
series; not scary, NOT ground-breaking but generally entertaining. As
such I resisted it for years even though I like Gordon's work. The
cover looked cheesy and the premise too silly. Pre-CGI effects, you
couldn't expect much from a low-budget movie about dolls, certainly
nothing more than a diluted rip-off of Gremlins or its host of copycats
("Munchies" "Ghoulies" "Critters" etc). You have to be in the right
mood to watch a movie where the entire budget probably went to B-movie
creature effects you'll only see fleetingly, at the end of the film.
I'm not saying there's no value in such movies, you just have to be in
the right frame of mind.
Just saw "Dolls" and it's great fun. It's fun from frame one. Remember when horror movies used to be fun? When it wasn't just about pouring as much fake blood and prosthetics and torture and quick-cutting in as possible? Remember when monster movies were cool because, pre-CGI, you didn't really know exactly HOW they'd done it? This movie delivers on those levels, but more too.
It starts out great with a hateful, abusive couple driving in the rain with the adenoidal-voiced daughter of a mean-spirited father in an un-named remote locale somewhere in England. You know you are in good hands the first time the bitch step-mother spews invective. The dialog is consistently fun throughout, the whole thing is consistent. A fun "macguffin" (Hitchcock term for a misleading plot turn) happens next and then the plot kicks in. It's nothing new--a play on "The Old Dark House," but there's comfort in familiarity. The setting isn't important, it's what happens.
Remember horror movies that had a "moral code?" Where lots of nasty things happen but ultimately the good guys, the people who demonstrate courage and honor, "win," and those who are rude, unpleasant and nasty, "lose?" You don't see that much anymore, even Gordon's films aren't usually so "moral," for want of a better word. It's refreshing now and then--"Dolls" is even inspirational in a way. I won't spoil the message but there is one, and it's not a bad one.
The acting is over-the-top, generally--everyone is doing "Herbert West," and it's a flaw--yes, but the nasty "Madonna-in-the-80's" girls are deliciously horrible and the little girl, though she verges on being insufferable, is actually pretty good. It's difficult to ride the line between cartoony and straight horror. "Re-Animator" did the combo of cartoony/serious so well, but then, that's a very unique film. The puppets are, by today's standards, ridiculously unconvincing, but there's some neat work here all the same. There are some wonderful bits of grue and gleeful violence, all the moreso because people get what's coming to them. And the performances by the spooky old dollmaker and his wife are beautiful, they remind you how satisfying it is to watch a good actor at his or her craft, even in an exploitation film.
I don't know that this film gets looked at anymore or that it even needs to be, but I'm glad I finally saw it, it was worth a quick rental. And it proves what anyone who saw and liked "Re- Animator" already knows, that Stuart Gordon hit the ground a genius and has been running as one ever since.
Action / Fantasy / Horror
Action / Fantasy / Horror
A group of travelers spend the night in the mansion of an elderly couple who are dollmakers. However, one of the travelers' children discovers that the dolls the couple makes are actually humans that the couple has miniaturized and turned into tools for their evil plans.
Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 23,229 times
December 20, 2014 at 01:58 PM