Dolls

1987

Action / Fantasy / Horror

32
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 64%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 51%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 7112

Synopsis


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Downloaded 23,229 times
December 20, 2014 at 01:58 PM

Director

Cast

Stephen Lee as Ralph Morris
720p
694.28 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 17 min
P/S 2 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by TonyDood 8 / 10

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore

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.

Reviewed by fertilecelluloid 8 / 10

Better than Chucky or Puppetmaster

Under-appreciated gem from director Stuart Gordon and screenwriter Ed Naha, who in a previous incarnation wrote film review books such as 'Horrors - From Screen To Scream'. Ed may have learned a thing or two from the turkeys he encountered in his reviewing days because his script for "Dolls" is rich in homage and character. The film borrows its structure from "The Old Dark House" and realizes its ambitions with a cast and crew of highly talented individuals.

Gordon, who directed the entertaining "Re-animator" and perverse "From Beyond" brings a deliciously eerie and playful tone to this novel story of a group of adults who are sentenced to death for losing the child-like aspects of their personalities. The "dolls" of the title are the executioners and they love their bloody work, which is depicted in fine, crimson detail.

The special effects sequences featuring the dolls are realized with stop motion animation and puppetry. For the most part, they are extraordinarily convincing. A scene in which various doll characters huddle together to discreetly discuss the fate of a human character is priceless.

Mac Ahlberg's cinematography is moody and beautiful, perfectly capturing a toyland ambiance within a house of horror; and Lee Percy, who cut the Americanization of the "Baby Cart" films, "Shogun Assassin", delivers another tight, intuitive piece of work here.

Hats must come off to Gordon for the casting of Mr. Sardonicus himself, Guy Rolfe, as Gabriel Hartwicke, the eccentric, twisted toymaker and owner of the film's pivotal location where the nasty events transpire.

Producer Charles Band has made dozens of horror films, but none are as classy as the three above that he made with the talented Stuart Gordon.

Reviewed by gridoon 6 / 10

Generally entertaining

This movie is too minor and too short (runs only 75 minutes) to escape the two-star rating category, but it's still recommended to any casual horror fan. Entertaining, well-made and well-written (especially regarding the ultimate fate of all the victims), it's filled with characters that are (intentionally) so dislikable you can't wait to see them killed, and yet the dolls are so vicious that you won't be rooting for them, either. Only problem is that the stop-motion animation is a little clumsy at times, and the dolls' movements aren't always as smooth as they should've been.

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