Thursday, October 30, 2014

TERRORVISION (1986) - Ted Nicolaou
& DOLLS (1987) - Stuart Gordon

What can you really expect out of a movie named TerrorVision from 1986? I'm not sure, but here's what you get: lots of hit-or-miss humor about metalhead boyfriends, survivalist grandfathers with fallout shelter bunkers, parents who are orgy-obsessed swingers, scrambled porn channels and early era ESPN. You get Warhol veteran Mary Woronov from Eating Raoul, Gerrit Graham from countless DePalma films, Jon Gries from Real Genius and Bert Remsen from just about everything else. What you don't get is anything remotely scary. But, hey, it's a horror comedy. You also get this guy (below)...

I've never been a fan of demonic doll or malicious toy movies. For me, that whole genre begins and ends with the creepy clown in the closet in the original Poltergeist. But I figured, hey, director Stuart Gordon...Re-Animator, From Beyond, even Edmond. There's got to something of interest going on here, right?

For most part, no. The killer dolls in Dolls have a certain old school stop-motion charm, but they don't get much action until late in this 78 minute film. When they finally attack, they are less than mildly threatening. The octogenarian mansion caretakers/evil dollmakers are kind of fun as Gordon treats them not so much as villains but benevolent old hippies. The child actor at the center of the film is not bad for this type of thing. She's no Gage from Pet Semetary, but she's got charisma and nails at least one line of dialogue that made me laugh out loud ("I'm only seven years old, what do you want out of me!"). She makes a valid point.

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