Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dolls (1987)

I think most of you can agree on that Stuart Gordon is one of the best genre directors from the US, and he’s career is filled with excellent, macabre movies - often with a nice twist of black comedy. One of the movies that was on my not-seen list until tonight was the Charles Band production Dolls, produced by Brian Yuzna. A fine trio of interesting filmmakers where Gordon easily stands out as the best and smartest of the bunch. When Band nowadays just writes “DUDE!!!!” on his blog and Yuzna travels the world to find new money to spend on his flops, Gordon still has integrity and continues to make smart movies for a smart audience.

A family on vacation is trapped by a violent storm and is forced to seek shelter in a big mansion far out on the countryside. In the house lives an elderly couple where the husband is a famous toymaker, specialized in dolls of all kinds. Within a couple of minutes a chubby nerdy guy and two punk girls arrives, also for shelter. But the little daughter of the family notices something she calls elves, but of course no one believes her. During the night one of the punk girls goes for a treasure hunt in the house, trying to find something to steal, but ends up being brutally attacked by something small... and very violent. And soon they are all in danger!

Holy mother of Fuck! How could I miss this movie for so many years? Yeah, probably because it was kinda hard to find in Sweden and it took a long while for a good DVD to show up. But here it is, from the people at MGM. What I really think is very cool with this one is that it mixes the black comedy of Gordon with the typical atmospheric production values of Empire Pictures. This is such a cool and visual movie with tons and tons of cool scenes and probably the freakiest dolls ever portrayed on the screen. I mean, come on! Dolly Dearest, Puppet Master, Child’s Play - they’re nothing compared to these little fuckers! What we have here is a clever mix of animatronics (I guess made by John Carl Buechler) and the classy stop-motion by the late Dave Allen.

Being almost a fairy tale, it also takes the genre to another level with adding a good amount of violence, blood and gore - just like a really good fairy tale, and it’s often very well done and have a great impact on us, the viewers. But Dolls is first of all another proof of the genius of Stuart Gordon who tells the story flawlessly even if the dialogue comes out quite stiff sometime. But the script is overall very good, filled with politically incorrect details and the best vision of a child’s imagination I’ve seen, I’m talking about the bizarre teddybear-monster in the beginning. That’s a truer description of the imagination than everything Disney Schmisney cooks up for their next movie to sell at McDonalds.

If I was a father this would be the first “real” and more graphic horror movie I would show my kid. After the Universal classics and the original Godzilla of course!


Jesper said...

I have totally missed this one, thanks for the reminder!

Ninja Dixon said...

I hope you'll like it. I was very impressed by it!