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Doll Graveyard

Year of Release: 2005
Genre:  Horror
IMDB Rating: 4 / 10
Level of Awful: High

WHAT ITS ABOUT:

A little bit like Blood Dolls but only worse, director Charles Band has managed once again to rehash a concept that was better left untouched after they got it right with Puppet Master. To be fair, the movie probably could have been saved if it was about 20 minutes longer (the entire movie clocks in at 71 minutes), had better actors, a higher budget, better locations, a different script and a different plot line. The acting especially left me cold on this one; the characters are SO bad and irritating that you land up being cheerleaders for the dolls just so that you have one less irritating college cliché to deal with. The tagline may be ‘Reborn for Revenge’, but looking at the acting in this piece of cheese, I vote that it should be changed to ‘Reborn to do us all a favour’.

We start our magical little tale of pint-sized murder in Chicago, 1911. Little Sophia sits on the floor playing with her handmade dolls before accidentally breaking an antique vase. Her bat-eared abusive father hears the vase break and comes downstairs to investigate. After threatening to beat her he decides that the only punishment that will fit this crime is to force Sophia to dig a grave deeper than she is tall and bury the dolls. Once she has finished the task and begins to climb out she loses her footing and falls back into the grave, breaking her neck. Her father, presumably not wanting to be caught for murder, buries her alongside the dolls, where the 5 of them enjoy delightful afterlife tea parties until they can be set loose on the world.

Unfortunately the movie decides to skip ahead 94 years so we can see what happens when the dolls come to life. In 2005 the property is now inhabited by dad Lester, older daughter Deedee and young son Guy. Guy’s your typical b-movie geek who likes to sit in his room, collect mint-condition action figures and hide Hustler magazines under his bed. To add to his collection of collectible collectibles, he stumbles across one of Sophia’s dolls while out raking the yard and decides to bring it inside to be cleaned. Meanwhile Lester is preparing to go on a date and Deedee is planning on having some friends over. Deedee and her two girlfriends Olivia and Terri make up the time-honoured b-movie female trio: Deedee is the bitch, Olivia is the blonde slut and Terri is the embodiment of virginal innocence. Added to this mixture are the two usual jocks: Jock # 1 (Rich) is the misogynistic, beer-drinking, sleep-with-anything-that-moves kinda guy, while Jock # 2 (Tom) is the more sensitive and sensible kinda guy, as well as Deedee’s boyfriend.

Unfortunately for our group of friends Jocks #1 & #2 decide to tie Guy up when they crash the girl’s party, unleashing Sophia and her dolls’ fury who then go after everyone in the group in order to defend Guy against being hurt in the same way that Sophia was. The group of dolls is made up of a tribal warrior, a samurai, a baby girl in desperate need of a dentist’s appointment and a German soldier who together lead the audience through surprisingly few murders, completely stupid antics and the spirit of a little girl who only wants to possess the body of a little boy and live for all eternity while commanding her army of 4 brutish little dolls.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED:

  • A girls’ night out actually involves staying home.
  • You should only phone 911 as an absolute last resort.
  • 911 doesn’t take you seriously if you tell them you’re being attacked by dolls.
  • Dolls and children should always be buried separately or else the dolls will become possessed.
  • Despite being made of plastic, dolls drool a lot.
  • The sounds of screaming don’t carry in a medium-sized house. AT ALL.
  • Once you have hit a doll that has attacked you, the best plan is to sit down and wait for it to scurry away.
  • Not wanting to sleep with 814 men makes you close-minded.
  • When a doll is about to shoot you, it would be very considerate if you could stand up straight to give it the best possible shot.
  • Never run out of the house when you know the killers are in the same room as you.
  • When a killer doll is staring you in the face, compliment him on his physique.
  • Despite the fact that the dolls only come up to your ankles, don’t try to kick them out of your way to make your escape. Rather stand in a group and wait for them to just take you out.

Blood Dolls

Year of Release: 1999
Genre:  Comedy / Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 3.3 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium

WHAT ITS ABOUT:

This was a great disappointment for me. Having been directed by Charles Band, the man who produced Puppet Master and Demonic Toys, I was hoping that this movie would have brought me some of the same somewhat-perverse joy at seeing a group of toys going off on a little killing spree armed with little weapons that they use with great creativity. Sadly all that Blood Dolls manages to succeed at is rehashing an old idea and ripping it to shreds. That said, the movie does get points for having a little bit of something for everyone: racism, BDSM, rock music, scary clowns, killer toys, female empowerment and dwarf tossing, to name but a few.

Our story centers around multi-billionaire Virgil Travis, a deformed recluse who is now incredibly pissed off that three business competitors have managed to screw him out of a billion dollars. As all good reclusive mad scientists do in times such as this, Travis begins plotting his revenge against those that dared to cross his path. To do this he creates three killer dolls out of the people who failed him the most:  the prosecutor, the judge and the lawyer that failed to defend him. The dolls are accompanied on their various missions by Travis’ henchman Mr Mascaro (supposedly a human version of Jack Attack from Demonic Toys), a seemingly competent individual who likes to wear clown makeup. But while the dolls take Travis’ revenge on his nemeses and the midget butler keeps the encaged rock band playing, everything is not as it seems and there is a player in the game that Travis has not considered.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED:

  • When exposed to a vacuum, the human body naturally converts itself into an action figure.
  • Being turned into an action figure makes people evil.
  • People are capable of having fully functioning brains even when their heads are the size of a kiwi fruit.
  • When not killing people, evil dolls just like to play around like kids.
  • Electronic gates open without electricity.
  • When using a guitar like a golf club, midgets can be thrown great distances.
  • Saying “nothing human can touch you, I’d bet my life on it” means that you will be attacked by some otherworldly creature.
  • Clowns frequently have a side job as a minister.
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