Review: Doll Graveyard (2005)
So, Charles Band has released 3 movies under the new incarnation that is Full Moon Features cum Wizard Entertainment. All three are about 60 minutes long. All three have basically a single set. All three have minimal characters. And, of course, all three have small and marketable mini-killers: Marvin the Homunculus from the piss-poor Decadent Evil, the Busey-cookie from the piss-and-vinegar The Gingerdead Man, and finally the four little killer puppet dolls from Doll Graveyard.
This is the last of the three new releases that I'm reviewing and is the hardest review to develop. I'm completely wishy-washy about the film. There's so much good in the premise, there's some funny deaths, some lovingly crafted mini-killers, that I gravitated for a long time (I watched this one with notecard in hand about 3 months ago) towards a good, solid 4-full-moon rating. But, alas, there is too little in this film.
I'd start with the running time ripoff (60 minutes!), but I discussed that ad nauseum in my Gingerdead and Decadent reviews. I would follow with being pissed off that the cool killer dolls only get about 5 minutes of screentime, but isn't that every Full Moon feature? Finally, I could groan about the gore efx, or lack thereof, but then we're talking about a 100-grand flick here, aren't we?
There's enough promise in the premise to get the film going: little girl is mistakenly killed by her more-than-austere father and buried in a hole in the backyard with her 4 little dolls: samurai doll, baby doll, African tribesman doll, and kaiser doll. And, yeah the dolls are pretty racially denigrating, but Band's idea was that they look like something from the early 1900's or something...
The film then follows a motherless family about 100 years later who have moved into the house. Nerdboy finds doll and father goes on a date so slutty older sister throws a party (need to get some offables into the house). Mayhem ensues (and lots of fake thunder and lightning), though not much, but there are a few bits of inspiration which I'll leave for you to discover.
So, I've given a wishy-washy rating. If you're a Full Moon fan, rent the damn thing (although you probably already have). If you're not and the Puppet Masters flicks, Demonic Toys flicks, Blood Dolls, or any of the other mini-killers do not amuse you, stay away. Stay very away.