Short Review: Dolls

July 22, 2011

One thing sorely lacking in the 21st century is films about killer toys. A few turn up here and there, but most are extensions of the Puppet Master franchise. So we must turn to the 80s for our killer toys fix, and 1987’s Dolls doesn’t disappoint. It’s also one more film which validates my theory that Charles Band (Puppet Master) is a much better producer than a director.*

As the story goes, two groups of people find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere during a heavy storm, and take shelter in a mansion occupied by an elderly couple… and a massive amount of puppets. In typical fashion much of the group takes advantage of the situation rather than be grateful. Unfortunately for the guests, the puppets are alive and don’t appreciate how their owners’ hospitality is disregarded by thieves, punks, and all around rude people. As always, chaos ensues, and Dolls is not a kids’ film.

Sure it has its flaws, but Dolls is one of the most unsettling films I’ve seen in a while, and it has an ending which would make the Grimm brothers proud (Matter-of-fact, they’re given special thanks in the credits). I recommend giving it a watch, and as of this writing Dolls is available for streaming on Netflix. So if you have an account, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a chance.

Dolls is written by Ed Naha (Troll) and directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), with Charles Band as executive producer. Its runtime is a short and sweet 77 minutes, and again, I advise against letting your children watch it.

*No disrespect to Band, he wrote and produced some really good films in his early days. But the only saving grace behind The Gingerdead Man is Gary Busey, who can’t not be awesome.

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