Whether you consider Charles Band a low-budget genius or a scourge to film-makers everywhere, he certainly has an active imagination. "Blood Dolls" blends several of his favorite themes killer (and marketable) dolls, freaks, and rock music into a trademark memorable twisted film.
"Blood Dolls" certainly sports an odd cast of characters. There is Virgil (Jack Maturin), eccentric billionaire, his right-hand man Mascaro, an assassin with clown make-up, and his butler, little person Phil Mascaro. Virgil also has a faithful band in a cage, a rock anti-Spice Girls (each member of the band has a `Baby' nick-name) who play dark, death-themed background music on command or get shocked. When Virgil runs into any trouble, he sends Mascaro and his own personal strike-force, the Blood Dolls Pimp, Sideshow, and Ms. Fortune. The film's antagonists, though much more normal (with one notable exception), may not be as weirdly entertaining as the film's bizarre protagonists, but they are well-acted (they have to be, since they don't have a gimmick to fall back on) and still great characters (they just have incredible protagonists to contend with!), with enjoyable lines, albeit some fairly standard death scenes.
Though they are the title characters, the Blood Dolls are, surprisingly, not the film's main focus. As the film continues, it turns from a simple killer doll film to a twisted romance. The transition is smooth, and adds a sense of freshness to the story; there are even two endings, one for the romantically inclined and another, more typical ending. The plot innovations are believable because of Maturin's great facial expressions and delivery during his interactions with other characters. Unfortunately, the practical effects budget barred Maturin from being in any shots other than close-ups; a well-used puppet head (it's not totally apparent, and is used sparingly from careful angles to prevent it from becoming so) takes his place in a couple shots. Like many Full Moon releases, CG-effects were ditched in favor of practical effects, and though they worked well for Virgil and the rest of the film, the Blood Dolls are not as animated as their fellow killer-puppets in the Puppet Master series; they look fantastic but move more stiffly. Perhaps this is partially why Band made this film more story-oriented than death-oriented.
Though not all professional musicians, an original idea was for the actresses playing Virgil's band-in-a-cage to record a soundtrack CD and go on tour after the film's release as The Blood Dolls. This was scrapped, but the majority of the movie's soundtrack is provided by the band (along with a music video on the DVD), is quite good (it could certainly fit in with some of today's bands). The themes and lyrics are quite dark, but are presented in an almost pop-music manner, catchy and relatively up-tempo.
Charles Band has remarked that by the time Full Moon has made 500 pictures that he hopes "Blood Dolls" will be one that truly stands out. "Blood Dolls" is a unique and entertaining film that definitely fits Band's hopes as one of the best Full Moon releases.
Action / Comedy / Horror
Action / Comedy / Horror
Virgil Travis is a wealthy, soulless psychopath who lives in seclusion in his mansion home with his dwarf butler and maniac right hand man. Tortured and forcibly mutated as a child by a woman who put him through body transforming procedures, Virgil has an abnormally sized head. Basking in the suffering, degradation, pain, and death of others, Virgil has already killed, and kidnapped a female rock group that he keeps imprisoned in his basement to help satisfy his constant need for perverse amusement. Never satisfied, though, Virgil decides that he will once again try to fill the emptiness that exists within him, and so creates a trio of deformed, living dolls to systematically murder any and all people who have ever wronged him. What Virgil doesn't anticipate, though, is meeting his match and finding love, both of which come in the form of a woman who is even more evil and twisted than he is. —Duke Savage
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 20, 2021 at 12:25 PM