[31 Days of Horror: Resurrection] Day 28 – Blood Dolls (1999)

Director: Charles Band
Cast: Jack Maturin, Debra Mayer, Nicholas Worth
Screenplay: Charles Band
84 mins. Rated R for horror violence and gore, language and some sexuality.

We don’t talk much about Full Moon Features, and this year, I want to change that. I could go the route of talking through all the various Puppet Master movies, but I wanted something I hadn’t seen before, so I perused my video collection, and I came across Blood Dolls, another of the killer toy subgenre, directed by Charles Band (Trancers, The Gingerdead Man). Hey, the poster looks cool, so it can’t all be bad…

Virgil Travis (Jack Maturin) is a wealthy and secluded psycho who has spent his youth being tortured with unusual body modification, resulting in a tiny head. He’s been wronged by a great many people in his life, and now he has plans in place to get his vengeance. Virgil’s created a few living dolls from the bodies of his victims, and these toys will exact his toll upon the others.

Sometimes, I wonder if people even believe the plots for these movies are real. How do I justify the time I just spent explaining this insanity? I don’t know, folks, but I watch a lot of crap for you all. Blood Dolls is part of that crap. I understand that a lot of Full Moon films exist in that campy silliness that is so endearing to so many people, and I have quite a few that I love within that realm. Puppet Master…The Gingerdead Man…but c’mon, people, Blood Dolls? Really? This was one of the longest 84 minute movies I’ve ever subjected myself to.

I can’t think of a single strength here. Virgil Travis is a terrible villain. He’s not intimidating, nor is he interesting, the tiny head thing is weird, and he honestly looks better in the creepy mask and should’ve kept that on the whole movie. That still doesn’t excuse the nasally voice throughout the movie. None of the victims, or cannon fodder, are developed enough to be memorable past the run time.

We have to talk about the ending, or lack thereof. We get to the abysmal finale, including a wedding that really came out of nowhere without any purpose. I don’t even understand how that’s an ending on its own…but then it isn’t. Mr. Mascaro, a random henchman character with supposed ties to Demonic Toys, comes onscreen to tell you that there is an alternate ending, but the way this new ending fits into the narrative doesn’t even make story sense. It’s just another scene with slight alterations to the story but it repeats elements that wouldn’t have happened twice, and it became all the more frustrating.

Blood Dolls isn’t even a complete film, and the wasted time is infuriating. It’s not just one of the worst movies I’ve seen this month; it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

-Kyle A. Goethe

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