Dolls  (1987)

Octoblur 2014 - #17: Dolls (1987)

 
By dorrk, October 13th 2014

Director Stuart Gordon's follow-up to the classics Re-Animator & From Beyond is the lesser-known Dolls, a fun, unpretentious, low-impact niche frivolity.

Two groups of strangers take refuge from a storm in the secluded mansion of an old dollmaker and his wife. Who wants to bet the dolls are more than just playthings?

Right way — beginning with that old trope of victims driven into a danger zone by an unweatherable storm — Dolls announces that it has no interest in narrative novelty. For the most part, this is as run-of-the-mill as 1980s horror movies get. You have a conceited step-mother who disapproves of everything; a spineless father who defers to his wife over his daughter; two abbrasive "punks" who dress like Madonna, sneer like Johnny Rotten and affect thick cockney accents; and a menace in a dark mansion that picks them off one-by-one.

However, at a scant 77-minutes, Dolls is as objectionable as a light breeze, ruffling the edges of those well-worn cliches with neat & creepy stop-motion animation and great teamwork between the production designer and the FX department to conjure up a variety of subtly disturbing doll designs.

While Dolls doesn't come close to the striking originality of Gordon's and producer Brian Yuzna's Lovecraft-inspired previous movies, and doesn't do enough to deserve the pop-culture cache that was earned by the following year's Child's Play, it's not a bad way to indulge the child within for an hour-plus.

Trailer for Dolls (1987)

Beware: Galleries may contain spoilers.
Dolls-1987-00
Dolls-1987-01
Dolls-1987-02
Dolls-1987-03
Dolls-1987-04
Dolls-1987-05
Dolls-1987-06


PopGap
Wire Creative Web Site Management
Dorrk
Dorrk Dot com
Santa's Li'l Gimp
The Godfather

The Top 20 Movies of All-Time

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#2: The Godfather (1972)

#2: The Godfather (1972)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#3: West Side Story (1961)

#3: West Side Story (1961)

Dir: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
#4: Manhattan (1979)

#4: Manhattan (1979)

Dir: Woody Allen
#5: The Graduate (1967)

#5: The Graduate (1967)

Dir: Mike Nichols
#6: Tootsie (1982)

#6: Tootsie (1982)

Dir: Sydney Pollack
#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Dir: Irvin Kershner
#9: Star Wars (1977)

#9: Star Wars (1977)

Dir: George Lucas
#10: The Exorcist (1973)

#10: The Exorcist (1973)

Dir: William Friedkin
#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Dir: Peter Jackson
#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

Dir: Martin Scorsese
#13: Annie Hall (1977)

#13: Annie Hall (1977)

Dir: Woody Allen
#14: Vertigo (1958)

#14: Vertigo (1958)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Dir: Steven Spielberg
#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Dir: Tobe Hooper
#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

Dir: Frank Capra
#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
#20: Zodiac (2007)

#20: Zodiac (2007)

Dir: David Fincher