Blood Dolls

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When Virgil Travis, an eccentric billionaire with a peculiar deformity, is the victim of a betrayal that cost him millions of dollars he doesn’t get mad…he gets even, and he uses three blood thirsty dolls in order to carry out his vengeance.

What is it about dolls that scare people? Child’s Play, Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, all movies about killer dolls (or sometimes toys) terrorizing a menagerie of victims. Personally, those little porcelain dolls you see in grandma’s house are way more terrifying than anything any movie has ever come up with yet. Well, except for maybe those little hand puppets from Mr. Rodgers; those damn things scared the hell out of me…there was something that just wasn’t right about those painted on smiles, that fake happiness. You know that the minute Mr. Rodgers left the Land of Make Believe, there was utter chaos and horror. Puppets killing puppets, puppet prostitution, puppet drug use…wait, now I kind of want to go to the uncensored Land of Make Believe myself.

Our film starts off with two worried looking financial advisors showing up at the multimillion dollar estate of Virgil Travis, who is none too happy after losing millions in a deal brokered by a grouping of his business rivals. The financial advisors have every reason to worry too because Mr. Travis is a very eccentric individual with some rather odd tastes. His body guard wears clown makeup, he keeps an all-female band locked in a cage for his private entertainment, and the man himself wears a mask he never takes off (there‘s a reason for this, but for the sake of not ruining the surprise, I‘m not giving it away). The advisors’ fear turns out to be well placed when an angry Virgil Travis kills one of them for their failure (and in a most interesting way too) and uses the other one for a peculiar experiment. Mr. Travis has discovered a way to turn people into killer dolls using electricity, something he has already done twice before, a rather harsh punishment for disappointing a rather harsh man. With his set of tiny assassins now complete, those who’ve set themselves against Virgil are about to find out that vengeance sometimes comes in a small package.

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{Movie Science: Electricity = Magic}

The thing about most killer puppet films is they end up running together after a while and you feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Thankfully, every now and again, a movie comes along and manages to take a used up genre and twist it up enough to make something new and interesting. That movie this time around is Blood Dolls.

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{Our star players}

The characters here are what make this movie so interesting, my favorite being Mr. Mascaro (the body guard with the clown makeup). He considers the clown getup to be his real face, and taking off the makeup makes him extremely uncomfortable. He’s actually not a really bad guy, he just believes in doing his job to the fullest, even if that job happens to be doing the work of a twisted boss. His character is probably the one that is fleshed out to the fullest in the movie. The all-girl rock band locked in a cage is great too, playing some good music in my opinion, and Phil Fondacaro (best known as Vohnkar in Willow, or Chihuahua in Land of the Dead if you must) as their handler does a great job of being a real piece of shit. The only disappointment is that there isn’t a soundtrack for the film, I really liked the music (a combination of alternative rock and gothic industrial) and I looked everywhere for the soundtrack and turned up nothing, which is really too bad. Virgil Travis is a well written character as well, a really different kind of villain…in fact you almost can’t even call him that, or maybe you can. That’s why his character is so great, because you can’t honestly make up your mind about whether he is a true villain or simply a misguided soul. He’s definitely an evil billionaire but he also has a twisted, kind heart and a very deep philosophical nature that occasionally has you agreeing with him.

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{This is a body guard you would not want to fuck with}

What about the toys, after all, they are the main focus of the story…in a word, awesome. Each doll is very original, and more than a little racist, which you’re either going to find humorous or offensive depending on your nature. Each of the three is a caricature of a different race, the black doll is a pimp with gold teeth, the white doll is a pierced and tattooed meathead, and the Asian doll is a four armed samurai. The puppeteers imbue each one with a fair amount of personality which makes them so much more enjoyable, and each person the dolls off are killed in interesting ways (some of the deaths are highly creative and the effects backing those deaths are very well done). The one thing I have to complain about with the dolls is the poor animatronics; their movements are jerky and unnatural which bring them down a notch.

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{The love between a man and his puppet}

The story is great, the characters are great, and the dolls are near to great. All in all, this is one any horror fan can enjoy.


The Undead Review


Directed By: Charles Band (Head of the Family, The Gingerdead Man)

Starring: Jack Maturin (Crash and Burn, Hollyweird), Debra Mayer (Hell Asylum, Prison of the Dead), William Paul Burns (The Passover Plot, Lipstick), and Phil Fondacaro (Willow, Land of the Dead)

Released By: Full Moon Entertainment

Release Year: 1999

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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