Dolls is a very peculiar antique from horror maestro Stuart Gordon. This film saturates the screen with horror "no-no's" and comes out on top victorious and blood-soaked. There was a boom in the 80's consisting of rental dominator's. This little genre was Toy horror. Not limited to: Puppets, Dolls, Toys, Dummies, and many many more.
Dolls is a film that I have always meant to see, but time was of a factor when I was in high school. I finally devoted an hour and 17 minutes to watching this film and I was pleasantly surprised. I went in expecting a moronic debut of drivel wrapped tight around a story that drives people (like me) giddy in ecstasy. I wasn't kidding when I said I loved killer toy films. There's this essence lurking amongst the idea that a child's vice could have "killer" psychological side-effects.
Dolls follows the same formulaic response to weary travelers that most of the genre seem to encompass. Picture this; A couple with a child is broke down outside an old house, they go in to find creepy old people that are immensely hospitable. Soon, the party van arrives with more victi-err..., more guests for the fun night that never seems to end, which is a recurring line in this film. "The longest night"
Dolls has certainly created a kind eye towards horror. Dolls went as far to inspire Sprackling's cult horror-comedy Funny Man (or at least I assume.) The main doll of Dolls is named Mr. Punch (A jester doll) and is later called a "Funny Man" which, 2+1 = obvious. The cast is quite alarming when you're first introduced. You have Ralph, the hero man-child. Judy, the heart-warming child in distress, and our very favorite Guy Rolfe aka Andre Toulon.
Dolls is an effective horror film that features a fairy tale like environment that eventually culminates into that creepy house where endless deaths occur. The shining light here isn't the actors, creepy casio themes, or the setting, but rather the amazing special effects consisting of masterful stop-motion animation. I can imagine the crew spending endless hours capturing every detail flawlessly to create that fluid movement that was only evident in the first Puppet Master.
The ending of Dolls, to me, is the happiest ending I've ever seen. Every one of the vicious parasites was exterminated and added to a mausoleum of horror while the two survivors hint towards a possible future and family together. This wasn't the happy scene, the real show-stealer was the fact that the "villains" happened to harbor a beautiful philosophy and managed to seem so nice. Truly a pair of more memorable movie maniacs.
This films scare factor hasn't aged so well. Only Isabel's death managed to unnerve me a bit. That "Dollman" scene from Child's Play 2 still manages to freak the fuck out of me. Dolls is a very surprising find for me. It's a killer doll film that has some artistic integrity hiding behind the script. This film's a keeper. From now on, I'll be glad to sleep in a room full of "antiki" dolls.