They're cute, they're cuddly...and they kill! From horror director Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) and screenwriter Ed Naha (Troll) comes this "fiendish nightmare" (The Hollywood Reporter) that combines the pint-sized playmate... more »s of childhood with bone-chilling fun, resulting in "a bloody bonbon you chew with relish" (Los Angeles Times)!A precocious girl, her nasty parents, two punk-rock losers and a weak-kneed salesman inadvertently become the guests of two ghoulish senior citizens in their dark, haunted mansion. The old couple make and collect dolls that, when not sitting still like good little mannequins, creep around in the night, offing the guests one by one! You may laugh at first, but if they turn on you, you'll regret it...for the rest of your short life!« less
Cartoonish horror from Stuart "Re-Animator" Gordon about a group of stranded travelers who take shelter from a storm in a mysterious old toy maker's mansion. Their host's specialty is making old fashioned ceramic dolls...that come alive at night and start picking off the newcomers one by one.
The script is painfully dumb but there's some really cool stop-motion puppetry in this one. As an added bonus, sharp-eyed geeks may recognize the cute chick from a-ha's classic "Take On Me" music video as one of the victims (she's the one in the full-on Madonna Wanna-Be gear)!!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL Reviewed on 10/12/2009...
One of those 80s 'classics' I'd get spooked by as a child. Revisiting this one, it lost a little of its "scaryness", but still manages to be quite effective!...something about "evil" dolls has always spooked the human psyche to a degree...the same way some are spooked by clowns! Don't watch it alone!
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Fantastic 80's horror
Scully1888 | Glasgow, Scotland | 08/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was terrified of the video cover for Dolls when I was a boy, and never got round to watching it because of this until about 4 or 5 years ago, now a fully-grown horror-loving adult.
Well, it was worth the wait. Dolls is Stuart Gordon's tale about those porcelain dolls that always look so real, because they are.
Stuart Gordon was also responsible for directing the magnificent Re-Animator, but believe it or not I personally think Dolls has more of a charm about it than the film Gordon's perhaps more well-known for.
Dolls has fantastic stop-motion and puppetry special effects for its time, and blows the other killer doll film of that era, Puppet Master, clean out of the water.
This is highly recommended, especially at the usual MGM budget price."
"Toys are very loyal... and that's a fact"
Boggman! | Laguna Hills, CA | 10/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been a fan of "Dolls". It's a horror story and somewhat of a kids story all rolled up into one.
When little Judy (Carrie Lorraine) and her nasty father and stepmother (Ian Patrick Williams & Carolyn Purdy-Gordon) get stuck in the mud on a little road in England during a horrific storm, they decide to hightail it out of the car and stumble across a mansion owned by Gabriel & Hilary (Guy Rolfe & Hilary Mason).
Gabriel is a doll maker whose house is filled room by room with his creations. Soon they are joined by some other weather stranded folk: punk rockers Isabel and Enid (Bunty Bailey & Cassie Stuart) and nice childish Ralph (Stephen Lee) whose happened to pick up the stranded girls as well.
So Gabriel puts them all up for the night. Isabel decides she is going to loot the place, and immediately takes off looking for valuables. Of course, Gabriels dolls don't exactly find this to be acceptable- and soon take matters into their own hands.
One by one the Dolls take their revenge on the house intruders, and only little Judy knows whats going on. Of course, being that she is a child- know one believes her.
Except of course for Ralph, who after some disbelief realizes that something "not quite right" is going on around them.
The killer dolls in "Dolls" are surprisingly creepy and effective, which facial expressions and movements that are either bound to scare you, make you laugh hysterically, or both.
The movie is quite well done overall- and remains a classic in this reviewers book. Dolls is an underrated and under seen little gem, and it's nice to see that it has finally made its way onto DVD for us horror fans.
If you haven't seen it recently or have never even heard of it at all, "Dolls" is worth a viewing or even a second viewing for sure.
"A little girl without a doll is somehow incomplete."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 09/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a dude and all (and not having any sisters), I never really had much of an opportunity to play much with dolls (I don't count action figures), which may have been a good thing as I've learned from the film Dolls (1987) that some dolls are not only alive, but harbor homicidal tendencies. Written by Ed Naha (Troll, C.H.U.D. II - Bud the Chud) and directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dagon), the film features Guy Rolfe (Ivanhoe, Mr. Sardonicus), Hilary Mason (Robot Jox), Ian Patrick Williams (TerrorVision), Carolyn Purdy-Gordon (Re-Animator), Cassie Stuart (Slayground), Stephen Lee (RoboCop 2), Carrie Lorraine (Poltergeist II), and Bunty Bailey, whom many may remember as `The Girl' from the popular A-ha music video `Take on Me'.
As the movie begins we see a couple of skankily dressed punk rock chicks hitch-hiking along the side of a lonely road, to which a Jaguar blows past them (the car, not the animal), occupied by the Bowers, father David (Williams), daughter Judy (Lorraine), and stepmother Rosemary (Purdy-Gordon). After a storm quickly develops, their car gets stuck, and the trio make their way towards a large, lonely house occupied by Gabriel and Hilary Hartwicke (Rolfe and Mason, respectively), the former an old world toy maker whose specialty is in one of a kind dolls, which seems to populate nearly every room. Shortly after the Bowers' arrival a man named Ralph (Lee) shows up with the two skankily dressed punk rock chicks we saw earlier in tow, whom we learn are named Isabel (Bailey) and Enid (Stuart)...ah, more fodder for the gristle mill...anyway, given the poor weather outside, Gabriel and Hilary put everyone up for the night, which works well for Isabel, as the place seems filled with valuable antiques begging to be nicked. As Isabel prowls the house and eventually makes some new friends, Judy witnesses what she believes to be elves or something, but her father and stepmother, a snottier pair you'd be hard pressed to find, pass it off as Judy's overactive imagination. Judy does manage to convince Ralph something's going on in the house, to wit the pair investigate, resulting in one of my favorite exchanges in the film, as Judy tries to show Ralph where she witnessed some hinky activity...
Judy: I think it was around here... Ralph: You're not sure?! Judy: What do you want from me? I'm seven years old.
Anyway, Ralph ends up being accused of being a murderous pervert, Rosemary, the wicked stepmother, finds the accommodations not to her liking, Enid discovers a creepy, little secret about the dolls (among other things), Isabel is eventually discovered in the attic, old lady Hilary roams the halls with a baby carriage, which contains one hell of an ugly, little doll, and David gets into a fight with a `Punch' doll, all leading up to a fairly interesting finale.
I thought this a pretty entertaining film, one that plays out like a fairy tale, complete with a moral element (never lose touch with your inner child). There are a few gruesome parts within the movie (the teddy bear mauling sequence in the beginning for one), but there was a lot less gore than I would have expected, especially from a Stuart Gordon production. The aspects I really appreciated were the creepy sequences, of which there were a few, including the old woman with the baby carriage, Isabel in the attic, and the dolls, especially their facial expressions...at certain points in the movie we'd see dolls sitting on a shelf, motionless, that is until their eyes move, along with displaying a sinister grin. I didn't feel the film was soaked in atmosphere, but there was definitely an effort, one that pays off if given a chance. One element that stands this movie apart from others featuring killer dolls is there's not much focus given to any particular doll, the exception being perhaps the `Punch' doll. There are hundreds of dolls in the house, and all seem to be of the same mind, driven by the same force. My favorite part of the film comes when Judy and Ralph are checking out the attic, and a lightning flash provides enough light for those of us watching the movie to see something that the characters don't, a figure blended into the background. As far as the performances, I thought most everyone did well, my favorite being Guy Rolfe who brought with him a whole lot of class. I only wish he and Hilary Mason, who played his wife, had more screen time as we see them mainly in the beginning and at the end, but not much in the middle. I did feel the punk girls were a bit over the top, and I thought it odd the character of Enid should come on as strong as she did later in the film, especially given the fact she seemed nothing more than a meek, servile sycophant in the beginning, but whatever... Carrie Lorraine, who played the character of Judy, skated a fine line between cute and annoying, managing to come across the former over the latter, more often than not. As far as Stephen Lee, he seemed mainly there for comic relief, which he fit the bill adequately. The film doesn't run that long (about 77 minutes), but Gordon uses the time well, keeping things moving along at a decent pace, the end result being dark, creepy, slightly gory and sometimes humorous tale that stands out within the killer doll genre.
The picture quality, presented in both fullscreen (1.33:1) and widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16X9 TVs (the DVD is double-sided), looks very clean and the Dolby Digital stereo Surround audio comes through well, with no complaints. There are few extra features including two audio commentary tracks, one with director Stuart Gordon and writer Ed Naha, and a second with cast members Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Stephen Lee, Carrie Lorraine, and Ian Patrick Williams. Also included are storyboard to film comparisons, a photo gallery, an original theatrical trailer, and subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
"Toys are very loyal"
M. Ryan Fairbanks | Cleveland, Ohio | 03/17/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Out of the swarm of killer doll movies that came out of the late 80's, Stuart Gordon's Dolls is easily ranks as one of the better ones. After encountering car troubles, a couple and their daughter take refuge at a nearby mansion belonging to a kindly old doll maker and his wife. Little does this family and the other guests know that the dolls the old man creates come to life and claim the lives of the mean-spirited or those who commit wrong.
Dolls could be considered a light hearted horror movie. It uses a lot of comic relief and purposely over the top characters that creates and almost fairy tale-like feel. The horror aspect of Dolls seems to be based solely on the notion that dolls creep people out, and in that respect it succeeds with some very eerie looking dolls. The little ceramic faces twisting into evil grins and scowls make for some very memorable imagery. Good old fashioned special effects are put to great use here concerning the death scenes and the dolls in general. The kills are far and few between, but each one is unique and is sure to satisfy those in search of some gore.
At a mere 70 minutes or so long, Dolls really flies by. It's a fun movie with some likable characters, a great music score, and some unique special effects. Nothing groundbreaking, but it's solid 80's horror all the way through, and I much prefer it to the similar Puppet Master. Highly recommended for Stuart Gordon and killer doll movie fans alike."
Dolls are scarey
Anna_Vash | A Dark and Lonely Basement overlooking the bay | 03/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is great. It has everything you could ever want.
Dolls [Aggggggh, they're alive!!!!]
An evil Stepmother [Boo!!!]
A mean daddy [Bad!!!!!!]
A little girl [Aw]
A nice fat man [what a sweetie]
An older couple [aw, again]
And two british hookers dressed like Madonna [Har de har har har]Guess what the dolls do? They kill everybody who is mean. I wish they worked for me."