Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moon Over Miami: Blood Dolls

We're back with another Full Moon picture and one of the first of three killer doll films.  How hard is to recreate a massive, series success?  As they can tell you, very hard!  In 1999, this quirky little film was made that throws together about five or six different crazy ideas and attempts to make an 80 minute film.  How does it end up?  If you guessed 'whacked out beyond all belief,' you're smarter than you look (good thing).  This did not stop the people from trying though and this movie is...something to behold.  It has dolls, a clown and what appear to be Josie & the Pussycats.  This is...
The film begins with a woman and a young man showing up at a rich person's house.  She explains to this BJ Novak-looking guy that the man is a bit eccentric.  To that end, he has an all-female rock band in a cage, an eccentric butler and always wears a mask.  He is a bit confused by this until a man looking like Heath Ledger shows up at the door.  Inside, they are berated by the billionaire- who is wearing an Easter Island-style mask- for a monopoly lawsuit involving him making the papers.  The guy also talks in an exaggerated Southern accent for no good reason.  Could it be that Full Moon was trying to replicate the one used by Kenneth Branagh in Wild, Wild West (both came out in 1999)?  Would you put it past them?  Before discussing his plans, the man unveils his big secret: he has a tiny doll head!  The man reveals that the whole $1 billion loss on his part was actually set up by three former-business comrades.  He has a secret weapon to use against them- killer dolls!  He kills the man via process of elimination (he picked the wrong chair) and turns the woman into a four-armed Chinese doll...after stripping her to her black underwear.  Is her doll in that outfit?  Nope.  That makes the whole T&A aspect- entirely pointless.
The first two people actually go down pretty easily.  The big guy (character actor Nicholas Worth) goes down after the power is cut to his house and the dolls break in.  The woman goes down when she tries to flee, but gets killed in her service elevator.  By the way, thanks for not showing us how it happened, movie!  Unfortunately, there is a lot more going on than our hero/villain thinks.  You see, the wife of the key man behind the theft is actually the person in charge.  The guy is apparently a schmuck who lets his wife tie him up and talk bad about him.  The woman- who looks like a slutty Tina Fey- plans for every fail-safe, including putting knee high flamethrowers on the lawn to take out the dolls.  She figures out the truth about the dolls by way of a still shot on a video camera.  I see dolls and immediately think 'oh, the guy has put human souls into them and made them killing machines!'  The movie likes to take time away from its non-plot for bizarre moments.  Case in point: our hero/villain's sidekick midget (everyone's favorite midget- Phil Fondacaro) taunts and tortures the rock band into playing.  It's interesting one or two times.  When you have at least six scenes of this, you're pushing it!
The film gets a bit complicated when the woman puts on an act of innocence to trick our hero/villain into underestimating her.  The dolls stow away in her trunk and get in the house, killing the 'human puppet' while the woman watches.  Off-screen, she captures the dolls and uses them as leverage.  With his killers caught and evidence piled against him, what will our hero/villain do?  The woman plays her hand too aggressively though and gives herself over to the man as part of a long-term plan to control him.  She convinces him to marry her and the ceremony goes off without out a hitch.  He unveils his true face to her and she has a minor freak-out.  The dolls attack her and tie her down.  The crazy man decides to end his life since he knows that he will never experience love (or some bullshit) & will take everyone with him.  The rock band is let loose by the dolls, the midget gets sent sailing across the room via a guitar shot (screw you, physics!) and they escape.  The End....
...actually, the clown-faced butler/priest (don't ask) explains that they actually shot two endings and that he prefers the other one.  In it, the band breaks off their escape attempt and the crazy people get married, dooming civilization in the process.  Now is it The End?  Okay.
This movie is pretty damn weird and it's also not that good.  Don't get me wrong, it is somewhat entertaining.  However, the film doesn't really know what to do with itself.  It's obsessed with its weird and random ideas (the band, the midget, the clown, etc) & not its plot.  Here's a thought: make a revenge film with more people to get killed.  When you only have two, the story has to bide its time on other things, such as a failed romance angle and some crazy, non sequitur.  The film ends up running about an hour and ten minutes & still struggles there.  You know who did the crazy, revenge film right?  The Abominable Doctor Phibes!  No matter how hard you try, you will not top that movie.  Stick to either making your usual crap or something completely different.  When you try to have your cake and eat it too, you end with something this odd and one-note.  Take 3, maybe?
Next up, a more recent example of Full Moon trying to make the killer doll film.  This time, we get a retread of Castle Freak...but with dolls.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. This was kinda poopy, I try liking it for the craziness but it just isnt anywhere near as fun as the Puppetmaster series