DOLLS (1987)

A group of people stop by a mansion during a storm and discover two magical toy makers and their haunted collection of dolls.

Directed By: Stuart Gordon
Written By: Ed Naha
Cinematography By: Mac Ahlberg
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: Ian Patrick Williams, Stephen Lee, Guy Rolfe

This is a sick film. That keeps a creepy tone by showing disgusting graphic violence but keeping a child-like mood and innocence while it is happening. From the score to the colors of the background it is an achievement and scary at the same time. Which is why I openly admire this film.

I remember first hearing about this movie on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT at 10 years old. They showed an infamous scene, Where a character who is dead with no eyeballs holds up doll’s eyes as they’re own. A true show stopper in the film. It was shown on E.T. as a story about over the top violence in films. Which made me want to see it in the first place. I got my wish 5 years later when I first saw this film at first on television in a censored version and became so fascinated by it I hunted it down to see the full Uncut theatrical version. Watching it I was horrified but happy

It’s a very macabre film but for horror aficionados definitely a must-see.

The film Stars the very likable Stephen Lee. The film is about a little girl and her abominable Father and stepmother who get stranded on a trip and end up staying overnight at a bed & Breakfast until they can get they’re car fixed in the morning, As the night goes on another driver and two punk-rock British hitchhikers end up stranded there too. The elderly couple who run the place have a collection of antique dolls that the little girl adores, But the doll creeps everyone else out as do the elderly couple and as the night goes on, They’re fears come true as not everyone survives the night.

The film was actually filmed after RE-ANIMATOR but before FROM BEYOND and used the same sets but it came out one year after FROM BEYOND because the Doll Special Effects took so long to master that once it was done it was decided to keep it on the shelf for another year. The producers wanted more gore in the film and were actually filmed but the footage was thrown out once all agreed that it really didn’t fit the tone of the film. At one point Stuart Gordon considered making a sequel but unfortunately abandoned that idea as he thought this film spoke well enough for itself. Though he did really like the characters and felt a need to see what they were up to after all these years.

I find it funny that the films Screenwriter wrote not only other horror films such as C.H.U.D. II and TROLL but then went on to write Disney Films Such as HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KID and now writes biblical films. He did at least stay within that fantasy and Fairly tale world.

One of the reasons this film is enjoyable is it feels like a dark fairy tale. It takes a premise you have seen before and injects it with some originality. This is for the most part an unpredictable film. It’s not like similar films that followed in it’s wake such as CHILD’S PLAY and PUPPET MASTER. Both of these are fine films but in a totally different way as those films are more literally one line movie plots Killer toys. Whereas this film takes you into an otherworldly universe.

This is a film that deserves to be part of your film library.


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