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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Doll Graveyard

Back in the late 80's/early 90's, there was this production studio called Full Moon. Their movies were almost always cheesy, often terrible, but also quite fun. The vast majority of the movies tended to feature dolls and toys that were evil, such as the Puppet Master films, or Demonic Toys. Today's entry, Doll Graveyard is one of the newer efforts, having been released in 2005. Is it any good? Let's prepare to be SPOILED, and find out...

The opening scene takes place in 1911 in Los Angeles, where we see a young, lonely child named Sophia. She playing with a group of dolls that represent various ethnic stereotypes, including a savage named Ooga Booga, and an Asian warrior named Samurai. Nice. Piss off most of the audience with offensive crap right at the top of your movie.

So, cute little white supremacist Sophia is so preoccupied with pretending to commit genocide, that she fails to realize how close she is to other objects in the room. She bumps into an end table, sending a vase crashing to the floor. That gets Sophia pretty worked up.'s not like your dad's going to see the mess, force you to bury your dolls in a mass grave, then add you to the pile, because you have an accident that snaps your neck! What's the worst thing that could possibly happen?

Oh. Um...oops?

Yup, Daddy comes downstairs, and starts out by calling his daughter names, then threatening to whip her. As Sophia tearfully apologizes, he forces her to gather up the dolls, then follow him into the yard. They dig a deep grave, then Sophia says a special farewell to each doll.  All while her father chews the scenery and berates her for having feelings.

As she starts to climb out of the ditch, her feet slip, and she falls into the hole, dying on impact. Dear ol' Dad quickly decides to cover up the  grave, then go find someone else's life to ruin. Best part of this whole scene, is how he doesn't hesitate for even a second to bury her like that. I hope the screenwriter never had kids.

Ah well...after that nonsense and the opening credits that look like something you'd see on a silly late-night horror show, the main story kicks in. Now it's 2005, and the place is being occupied by a single dad and his two teens. The father's Lester, the older sibling is DeeDee, and our protagonist is Guy. After Guy irritates DeeDee, she asks for permission to go out with some friends. Lester(who looks an awful lot like Sophia's father...) needs her to babysit Guy, because Lester's got a date. Yay.

Aha! Lester IS a direct descendant, because he also has the pocket watch that Sophia's father carried. See? Me AM has brains! And gud speler, tu! The scene ends with Lester staring off into space, possibly trying to figure out a way to get both of his kids to dig a pair of ditches in the yard, then throw themselves in.

The next scene has this distracting song that sounds like the intro to Sympathy For The Devil...but it isn't. Mick Jagger should sue. Guy leaves the house, walks about 40 miles, then finds a pile of tree branches blocking his path. We get to have the honor of watching him move the branches and do yard work.

While raking, he stumbles upon a bunch of items that once belonged to Cyril, Sophie's father. He puts aside a liquor bottle and a letter opener, then he uncovers the DOLL GRAVEYARD!!!!!!!! Which really should have been named Doll Hole, seeing as there's only a single grave, but whatever. Maybe there was already a porno with that title.

Using a paintbrush with fine bristles, Guy meticulously cleans up the various dolls when he gets them to his room. DeeDee bursts through the door, nearly having a bird when she spots the grotesque dolls. She tries to terrorize her brother with blackmail to get him to do all of the chores in the house, but he calmly blackmails her as well. Isn't it great when families show how much they love one another?

Lester seems mesmerized by his antique watch, until his daughter snaps him out of it. As soon as he leaves to go on his date, DeeDee whips out her phone, and gleefully tells her best friend to gather up some guys and head over to her house for an impromptu party. She figures that Guy will most likely just stay in his room, giving her and her friends a wide berth.

Guy finishes cleaning up Samurai, then puts the doll on a special shelf in his room. When Guy turns his back, we see Samurai blink, and his doll eyes become human eyes. Guy's not very observant, is he?

DeeDee answers the front door, and greets 2 friends, Terri and Olivia. They have food and drinks with them, but no guys. This could get kinky! *leans forward*

Guy walks into the kitchen, reminding DeeDee that their father never gave her permission to have friends over. When Olivia insults him, Guy asks her if she know what the difference is between her and the Eiffel Tower. The answer? Guy doesn't know any guys who've been on top of the Eiffel Tower. Heh, score one for the geek!

As they exit the kitchen, Terri lingers behind to speak to Guy for a moment. It turns out that she's a bit of a geek too, and she flirts with him, before giving him a quick peck on the cheek. He promises her that he'll keep their visit a secret from Lester.

Back in DeeDee's room, the girls light candles and get drunk.  Guy just sits on his bed, pawing through an old porn mag. Then he picks up Samurai again, telling the doll that he thinks Terri is hot. He hears a voice whispering out in the hallway, and decides to see who it might be.

It's Rich and Tom, a pair of jocks that DeeDee invited over for her little shindig. They assault Guy, carrying him into his room, where they threaten him with bodily harm, break some of his action figures, then tie him up. After they leave, Guy hears another voice whispering something, and he can see that the dolls are no longer on their shelf.

As a typical thunderstorm kicks in, Ooga Booga, a Nazi-looking soldier, and a deformed Baby Doll are all summoned forth by Samurai. Inside, the partying teens get drunk and stoned, although Terri abstains. She also doesn't feel very comfortable once the jocks enter the room. Olivia tries to hook up with Tom after Terri rejects him, but he makes a joke similar to Guy's earlier remark, so I guess she's going home alone tonight. Unless Rich wants her, but he's busy grabbing beer in the kitchen at the moment.

Guy hears the voice a little clearer, and it is Sophie. She promises that the dolls are there to "help" him, and he sees that they are now lined up and ready to begin their attack on the party. Anyone else think that this one is moving a bit fast? I mean, we barely know all of their names, so now they're going to die?

The party itself is in full swing, which means that it's boring as Hell. Olivia gets jealous after seeing DeeDee and Tom going at it, and she suggests a possible 3-way with Rich and Terri. Terri wants no part of that action! Then DeeDee and Tom get up, prepared to get more intimate in a private setting.

Rich scares Terri in the kitchen, and quickly apologizes. He offers to help her clean up the kitchen. Hey, maybe he's actually a nicer guy than his buddy. But I doubt it...

Olivia changes the music that's on, then light a joint. Meanwhile, DeeDee and Tom are getting ready to screw like bunnies, but not before DeeDee cuffs his hands behind his back. She steps over to her closet, then orders him to close his eyes.

True to his word, Rich helps Terri to clean up the kitchen. Then he ruins the image by moving in for a kiss. She pushes him away, then exits the kitchen.

DeeDee promises Tom a surprise, then the kaiser doll pops up on the bed. It engages Tom in a staring contest for a few seconds, then uses the sharp point on its helmet to destroy his crotch. DeeDee knocks the doll off of the bed, then sees that Tom is drenched in blood.

Then we head back to Olivia. Um, okay. We were right in the MIDDLE of a scene, but let's jump around at random. That makes sense. So, screw DeeDee...what's up, Olivia?

Turns out that the answer is "not much". She's dancing to the music by herself. Oh, and one of the dolls sneaks in to have a peek. But we don't even get to see which one it is. Lame...

DeeDee watches Tom die from blood loss, then backs away from the bed. Still not content to let a scene finish at a logical place, the movie shows us Rich getting drunk by himself. Olivia struts into the room, sitting on his lap. Gee, I wonder what message she's trying to convey with her subtle signals?

Removing her shirt, Olivia asks Rich why he's not with Terri. When he reveals that she rejected him, Olivia rejects him as well, then leaves him drunk and confused. I get the impression that many, many things leave this guy in a constant state of confusion.

Olivia puts her shirt back on, then shuts off the music. Shouting for her friends, she gets worried when no one responds. Then she just meanders back to the hallway. This movie has all the energy of a coma victim.

DeeDee sees the kaiser doll watching her, so she screams for assistance. Olivia rushes in, sees Tom's body, then spots the killer doll. The tiny Nazi raises a teeny-weeny gun and tries to shoot at the girls, who flee out of the room.

They hurry downstairs, where Olivia grabs her purse. While she looks through it for her phone, DeeDee discovers Rich passed out on the kitchen table. She manages to revive him, then she goes off in search of Guy and Terri.

Terri finds Guy, who has been in and out of consciousness, and she gets him untied in a jiffy.Guy finds out that she wasn't enjoying her time with the others, but she seems kind of interested in him. Like, "To Catch A Predator"-level of interest. Weird, man.

When Terri sees what Rich did to the collectible action figure, Guy suddenly notices that Samurai is missing. He tells her how he found it in the yard, then he blacks out again as Sophia whispers in his head. Terri eventually snaps him out of it, but they're both frightened by the incident.

DeeDee and Olivia tear apart the living room looking for the cell phone, then it starts to ring. They locate it across the room in a chair...being held by the Baby doll. Baby turns to stare at them, then bites Olivia on the hand as she reaches over to take her phone back.

DeeDee screams at the caller to come rescue them, and Terri hears all of the commotion from Guy's room. When she suggests that they go see what happened, she finds Guy in a trance again, speaking as Sophia. Terri shakes him out of it again, then she nearly gets ambushed by Samurai. Guy picks him up to  examine the doll closer, and he and Terri both conclude that the dolls must be alive, possessed by some kind of evil entity that can speak to Guy as well. The doll keeps his opinion to himself.

Rich, determined to be useless, is still drinking. He briefly considers screwing a melon with a hole in it, but changes his mind. Thank God. He bends down to pick of some litter, then comes face-to-face with Ooga Booga when he sits up again. When he leans closer to talk to the native doll and offer it a beer and some snacks, Ooga Booga plucks out one of his eyes with the tiny spear it wields. then it slashes his throat and watches him die.

Olivia and DeeDee are afraid to leave the room, fearing that it will open them up to another doll attack. DeeDee then finds Rich, and Olivia gets injured in another quick skirmish. Believe it or not, but the running time for this one is less than 90 minutes. How did they manage to make it feel endless?

As Guy and Terri try to leave his room, Guy falls down against the stairs. As Sophia, he tells Terri that the dolls are seeking vengeance for her demise. Then Samurai slashes at Terri's ankle, until Guy snaps out of his possession and orders the doll to stop.

As DeeDee and Olivia decide to call 911, Nazi doll reappears. He fires his gun at them, and they duck behind a sofa, screaming like ninnies. DeeDee waits for him to pause between shots, then knocks him over with a pillow. As they try to back away, Terri and Guy run into the room. They briefly discuss what's happened so far, and start to make a run for the door.

Olivia insists that she needs her purse, and runs back to retrieve it. She reaches for her phone on the floor, and the Baby removes another chunk out of her face with those crazy teeth. Luckily, DeeDee comes to the rescue, but now they're trapped by Baby.

DeeDee prepares herself to attack the doll, but Guy, possessed again by Sophia, stops her. After a brief struggle, they realize that Ooga Booga has entered the room as well. Terri asks Guy to call off the dolls, but Sophia's in control of him now, and she sees the teens as a threat to her precious toys.

After Guy stomps away, the Nazi doll also suddenly pops up. Surrounded by all of the killer dolls, the girls realize that they might never leave. Terri gets away to check on Guy, who collapses again. Then Lester returns from his date.

Except that he's no longer Lester. He's now also possessed by Cyril, and they have a bitter reunion right then and there. As Lester/Cyril threatens to whip Guy/Sophia to death, Samurai stabs Dad in the ankle. A second hit makes him fall to the floor, and the killer dolls all move in to kill Lester/Cyril.

Terri tries to appeal to Guy for mercy, but Sophia won't let him go yet. When Lester manages to fight his own possession though, it causes Sophia to momentarily lose her focus. Guy orders the dolls to cease their attack, and he and the others re-bury them in the yard. As Guy backs away from the grave, a flash of lightning reveals that he has now become Sophia entirely. THE END...?

Ugh. I can remember back when these Full Moon movies were fun and creative, but this was horrible. I swear, this guy just recycles the same concepts and designs over and over again, and honestly thinks that the audience won't notice. And 80 minutes? Really? I sit through this crappy movie, and it's barely even a movie at all! 1 out of 5 killer trees. And here comes the hard part...

And what did I learn from Doll Graveyard?

-Possession can run in the family.

-Kids love racist toys!

-Nice girls like to rob the cradle.

My next SAW entry should be either Dark Floors or Pinata: Survival Island. We'll see what comes in first. As long as neither one features killer dolls, I think we're good. Yeesh.