Triloquist, this week's movie came in the mail just under the wire, arriving Friday afternoon. It's the story of a brother and sister ventriloquist act, and their crazy delusions. And it's narrated by their dummy, named Dummy. Expect some damn strange SPOILERS this week!
Thanks to the opening narration, we find out that siblings Norbert and Angelina were raised by an abusive mother who had once been a famous ventriloquist in Vegas. Once the fame vanished, she became a junkie, and tormented her children whenever she could.
That didn't last too long, though, as the mother was evicted right before she overdosed. Norbert and Angelina were then passed from one foster home to another, after a sleazy uncle couldn't keep his hands to himself. And you thought YOUR home movies sucked...
When they became adults, they formed a strange family, and learned to get by. Norbert grew up as a mute, while Angelina grew up to assume the leadership role in everything they did(like stealing, murdering, torturing....you get the idea). Ironically, though, it was Norbert who was put away in a mental ward, leaving Angie and Dummy to break him out.
Angie seduces a guy in charge of Norbert's file, then mutilates him during a sexual encounter. Then she drives over to visit Norbert, and attempts to convince her brother's doctor to release him to Angie's care. Then she sneaks in to see him.
That night, using Dummy as a distraction, an orderly is bitten in the throat, and Norbert gets away. In the car, Dummy continues to insult Angie, and she shuts him up by showing the dummy a lighter. Travelling cross-country proves to be difficult, and the trio end up hitching rides.
Oddly enough, Angie discovers that showing off her "goods" doesn't make anyone stop and offer a ride. She settles on a different approach, lying down on the solid center stripe. Sure enough, the next car stops, and it's a convertible being driven by Larry Manetti, who played Rick on Magnum, PI.
While Angie tries to negotiate a ride from Larry and his wife, Dummy recognizes him. Larry humbly admits that he is from the show, then Dummy tells him how much he hated watching it. Mere seconds later, we see Larry and his wife dead, being dragged away from the road. Geez, why couldn't they have killed Higgins instead? Or Tom Selleck?
While Angie takes a picture of herself with Larry Manetti's corpse, Dummy is in the front seat of the convertible having a driving fantasy about picking up topless hitchhikers. Angie snaps him out of it, but he keeps whining that he wants to drive, until Angie flings him out of the car. When Norbert picks him up, Dummy tells him that Angie is losing her mind.
They stop at a roadside restaurant for hot dogs, where Dummy reveals that chili dogs give him gas. Then Angie accuses some men who were ignoring her of wanting to screw her, and some cops approach them. Angie and Norbert give off so many "we're guilty" vibes that it borders on ridiculous, but the cops merely wanted to tell them that they have a broken tail light. That's another slasher/horror/suspense cliche that needs to be retired. Why is it always a broken light? Just once, I want to hear a movie cop say, "Hey, your rear bumper fell off 5 miles back", or "We saw flames and smoke belching forth under your vehicle"...anything but a busted light.
Anyway, Dummy almost botches the conversation by being mouthy, but the cops ignore him. After the officers move on, Angie proposes that they should find a woman to kidnap, so that Norbert can get her pregnant. We then see a woman listening to the radio. When she switches it off, she can still hear singing, because Dummy is sitting on her backseat. The young woman pulls over and rushes out of the car, but Norbert and Angie catch her. Oh, and Norbert performs the world's worst dance moves.
Somehow they knock her out, gag and bind her, and stuff her in the trunk. The next time we see her, she's jolted awake by Dummy's off-key singing. Angie warns her not to make any noise, then they drop a sheet over her. Oh, and Angie tells her that Norbert's going to rape her soon.
The movie then briefly goes B&W, as we see Angie pull over and enter a convenience store. She picks up a few groceries, then lures the clerk to the back office to have sex, but she murders him instead. When she's done, Angie calmly picks up her groceries and exits the store. Uh, dumbass, why didn't you also grab the money in the register? Geez, do I really need to do all the thinking here?
The car gets pulled over, and Angie warns the girl in the back that if she doesn't stay quiet, Dummy will eat her eyeballs. Oh, and now the victim is in the backseat. Anyway, she makes noise, and the cop looks at the backseat, and finds her. Norbert does a dance to distract the officer, while Dummy sneaks up behind him. Then he gets his neck bitten by Dummy, and tries to run down the road. Angie shoots him twice, and they just leave the cop's body in the spot where he died.
Then Angie pulls over at one point when she sees a stranded motorist trying to fix his car engine. He's glad to see the trio, until Angie ties him up. She gets his truck working again, robs the guy, then sends the truck sailing down the road. Yikes!
That night, Dummy again tries to convince Norbert to abandon Angie and drive away. Angie overhears him, then does a Wonder Woman spin and sends Dummy flying again. When she asks Dummy for a good reason not to rip him apart, he tells her that she has nice breasts. Amazingly enough, that actually works.
They fail to notice that the police have caught up to them. Thinking swiftly, Angie rushes towards the cops, claiming that she was kidnapped. No one buys the story. The cops split up Norbert and Dummy, and one of them(played by Brian Krause, who was in Sleepwalkers) finds and rescues the kidnapped woman. Wait, did the movie end early?
Nope. As the police vehicle carrying Angie and Dummy speeds toward HQ, one of the officers comments on how creepy Dummy looks. While Angie makes one of her typical dumb statements about sexual harassment, Dummy's eyes begin to glow red. Detective Kislow(the character played by Krause) and the rescued girl then find the police car crashed, with Angie and Dummy gone.
Gone, but not for long. Kislow calls in the crash to the station, then sees Dummy in front of him. As he's distracted, Angie bashes him from behind several times, while Norbert grabs the girl again. They storm a bar, and Angie lets a handful of people leave. Then she asks a rap group onstage to play a song for her. She and Norbert "get down", while Dummy, the abducted female, and any survivors still in the bar look on.
The three of them leave the bar at some point, and find a motel. Following that, Angie decides to go through the girl's belongings. We finally discover that the girl is named Robin, and Angie taunts and threatens her until she cries. Then Angie orders Norbert to screw Robin, while Angie ditches the stolen police car. As usual, everyone forgets that Dummy is even there.
Dummy speaks up after Angie leaves, though. He tells Norbert that if he doesn't rape Robin soon, it'll tick off his sister. Robin pleads with Norbert to release her, but Dummy cautions him against it. When Robin asks for her phone at least, she and Dummy negotiate a deal: if they help her escape, she has to help them get away from Angie on a permanent basis.
Angie, who stopped on her way back to grab a soda from a vending machine, is seriously pissed when she finds Robin using the phone. She knocks the girl aside, then makes Dummy tell her what happened. After she knocks Robin around for a bit, she tortures Dummy by holding a lighter up to his tongue. Then she ties Robin up again, and cuts her hair.
When Robin wakes up, she asks Dummy how his tongue feels. Then she begs him again to help her get away. While that's going on, Angie gets drunk, talks to Norbert about "magic" that they were taught as children, and seduces him into having sex with her instead of Robin. Geez, I hope they have mutant flipper-babies!
After the deed is done, Dummy and Angie debate over what it means to be alive, and whether or not Dummy has a soul. Then it looks like another dream sequence kicks in, as Dummy finds himself in a strip club, surrounded by half-naked women. As expected, Angie wakes him up and drags him outside. She uses his head to smash an emergency axe out of a glass case, then starts to chop off his limbs.
This also turns out to be a dream sequence Dummy is having. He sits up in bed, gasping, until he realizes that he was just having a nightmare, then he goes back to sleep. In the morning, he and Angie have their usual insult-fest, then she leaves to check on the now-very-expendable Robin. Things don't look so good for the kidnapped lady, do they?
Lucky for her, a knock at the door distracts Angie. It's the maid service. The "maid", a rather large male, enters the room. He hears Robin trying to speak past her gag, and mistakenly thinks that someone in the room is having sex, so he leaves the cabin/room/whatever alone.
While Robin panics over her predicament, the cleaning guy sneaks back in and finds her. He tells her that he'll rescue her, then someone throws a noose around his neck. Robin watches as he gets dragged out of the room. Norbert, Angie and Dummy take him outside, where Dummy rides him like a horse, but the noose chokes the guy to death.
As Angie lectures Dummy(and throws him again) about killing too many people(wait, SHE lectures HIM???), she finds a newspaper article about their killing spree. After seeing photos of herself and Norbert in the article, Angie decides that they should kill Robin that evening, bury her in the middle of nowhere, then drive directly to Vegas.
They all get in the car, and Angie tells Robin that she'll try to kill her as painlessly as possible. Then, before they drive off, she decides to get another soda from the machine. While she tries to get the stubborn machine to spit out a soft drink, Dummy once more begs Norbert to kill his sister, so they can be free of her. As usual, Nobert does nothing.
Angie drives them down a dark, deserted stretch of road, unaware that Robin has managed to get the tape off of her mouth, and is dialing her phone with her face. She connects to a 911 dispatcher and begs for help, but Dummy interrupts the call. Still, the dispatcher and another person listen carefully to the short call.
Angie pulls the car over, and forces Robin to run ahead of them, into the woods. They stop at a clearing, and Angie forces the frightened woman to get on the ground and dig her own grave. In the background, Norbert does another one of his goofy dances. Then he and his sister share a kiss, and Robin uses the momentary distraction to fling dirt in their faces and try to run away.
Angie fires the shotgun into the air to make Robin freeze, then points it right in her face. It's empty though, and Robin resumes her escape attempt. She eventually gets disoriented, and Dummy pops up from behind a tree to scare her. Robin takes off again, and Dummy appears to fly at her from the branches of another tree. Luckily, Robin is smart enough to dodge and run away yet again, and Dummy crashes into the tree she was leaning against.
She runs until she finds a small town, and enters a bar that looks like it might be occupied. Inside, she finds Detective Kislow bleeding on the floor. She asks him if he has a phone, and he tells her that it's in his pocket. She approaches him, only to find that he's dead, and that Angie was speaking through him, using the "magic" she and Norbert had been taught.
Angie orders her brother to kill Robin, and he drags her into a gameroom to throw her onto a pool table. She asks him to spare her, but Dummy tells her that Norbert has no soul either, and only does what Dummy and Angie tell him to do. In a last-ditch effort to survive, Robin tells Norbert that she loves him.
Well, that did the trick! He hesitates, and Robin gets him to kiss her. She takes the knife away from him, and plunges it into Dummy's eye, causing Norbert to cover his eye too and start bleeding.While Robin uses the chaos to try to get free again, Angie blocks the door, and knocks her out.
Then Angie corners Norbert, telling him that she made up the stuff about magic ventriloquism. She shows him how she can mimic all of the characters voices in the movie, and informs Norbert that he is nothing special at all. She pushes him up against a neon sign, and Norbert gets electrocuted.
Norbert may be dying, but he still staggers across the room to die next to Dummy. Angie prevents Robin from leaving, but they have a chick-brawl, and Robins gets away again. A very frustrated Angie tries to strangle Norbert, who has suddenly found his voice. They clutch at each others' necks, but Angie wins. Norbert rests next to Dummy as they begin to die, and Angie watches to make sure they're really dead this time.
Robin travels down the road until she sees numerous police vehicles heading in her direction. She takes them to the bar she wandered into, and they find evidence that Angie made good on her threat to dismember Dummy.
Then we get treated to another scene devoid of color, and Dummy reveals what occurred after Norbert passed away. He and Angie found themselves homeless in LA, and Angie was severely depressed over the death of her brother. She even seemed to resume her old life as a junkie and prostitute.
As Dummy tells it, Angie passed away immediately after having the baby that Norbert gave her. Dummy reveals that the baby looks like a distorted baby doll toy, and then it's THE END
This was a terrible movie. The characters were under-developed, the dummy looked horrible, the soundtrack was inane, and no one could act. But that could all have been forgivable, if the movie had given us a decent origin story for Dummy, along with more flashbacks to his creation. Instead we get a rip-off of Seed of Chucky, and a lame soundtrack. .5 out of 10 killer trees.
And what did I learn while watching Triloquist?
-Apparently, today's writers don't want us to be invested in their movies, because they refuse to ever show us any kind of explanation for anything you see in a movie like this.
-When you see a goofy-ass guy dancing by himself, run as far away as you can.
-Never help someone wounded by a monster, because he's already dead, and being used like a puppet.(and Dead Silence did it better.)
My next film is something called Dead in 3 Days. Sounds like a fun time for all. Later!