Dolly Dearest

So, do you think the killer doll movie genre begins with Child’s and ends with Play? Why so stubborn, hypothetical blog reader? Open your mind because we live in a world where 1991’s Dolly Dearest exists. Sadly, this isn’t a movie about killer Dolly Parton.
The movie starts in the night at an archaeological dig in Mexico Get used to that, there’s a lot of night-time archaeology going on in this movie. An archaeologist dies trying to break into the tomb of the Sanzia people. This releases red squiggles of evil into the defunct “Dolly Dearest” factory.
Luckily–or unluckily, I guess–Eliot Wade (Sam Bottoms) just bought the factory, sight unseen! Seriously, he never visited the factory before and is completely surprised when it’s completely derelict. He still thinks he’s going to rake in the dough with “Dolly Dearest,” a doll that looks like a low-rent Samantha doll from American Girls.
Eliot’s daughter, Jessica (Candy Hutson), takes a shine to the doll. She’s lonely since her dad uprooted them all from Los Angeles to the middle of Mexico. Soon, she’s drawing weird pictures and locking herself into her creepy playhouse alone with the doll.
Initially, the only person who’s suspicious is Camilla (Lupe Ontiveros), the housekeeper. Jessica has a crazy freak-out when Camilla hires a priest to bless the house. Jessica also pushes Camilla when she sees her wearing a rosary. According to Dolly, Camilla has to go.
Dolly stabs Camilla and pushes her down the stairs (If you watch carefully, you can see the actress’ knee-pads), then electrocutes her in the random pool of water in their basement.
Mom (Denise Crosby) pays a visit to the local “arqeologia” department and talks with Karl Resnick (Rip Torn.) It turns out that the Sanzia people tried to create a devil child by sticking a goat head on a baby and feeding it the blood of sacrificed children. I don’t think they thought it would work, though, because they killed it when it turned out to be evil.
Jessica is increasingly possessed by Dolly. She cuts her hair to resemble the doll’s hair and tells Eliot that Mom is trying to take away her doll. This could have been a really interesting movie about everyone thinking Mom is crazy and how the doll breaks up their family. But Dolly reveals her true evil face.

It turns out the face of evil belongs to a cigarette-y diner waitress named Vi.

It turns out the face of evil belongs to a cigarette-y diner waitress named Vi.

And since the devil child spirits invaded a factory there are multiple evil dolls running around and making evil doll faces.
This doll looks strikingly like Coleman Francis.

This doll looks strikingly like Coleman Francis.

Despite having evil demon connections, Dolly can be killed by old-fashioned fire. Dad, Resnick, and Jessica’s older brother, Jimmy (Chris Demetral) blow up the factory.
I’m not saying this movie is a good movie. This movie is pure, cheesey fun, especially if you watch it with a friend. Dolls will always creep people out. I say this as someone who grew up in a room full of porcelain dolls.
I just really like the idea of lots of these dolls running around. I guess that’s why I like this better than Child’s Play. Sure, Chucky is creepy but he’s also really little and there’s only one of him. My idea to destroy Chucky would be to force him into a doggy carrier and throw him in an incinerator. One of my friends thinks it would be a good idea to replace his arms with his legs and his legs with his arms. That would incapacitate him pretty well.
I also like the idea of Jessica being possessed by the Dolly spirit. That’s not something you see a lot in your killer doll genre.
Oh! Did you know that Mark Snow, the man who composed music for The X-Files did the music for this movie? It’s true!


About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1990's, cults, killer kids, possession and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dolly Dearest

  1. I remember staring at this one on the video shelf along with Child’s Play when I was a kid, but have still yet to watch it. However I don’t want to sound like a smarty pants, but the composer’s name is Mark Snow and not Frost. So take that! Wham! Another bombshell dropped.
    I think that my way of defeating Chucky would be to melt him down and recycle him as a potty.

    • scarina says:

      I also remember this one at the video store but I never picked it up until now.
      Damn, you’re right, I was confusing Mark Snow with Mark Frost, one of the creators of “Twin Peaks.” Thanks for the truth bomb.
      That would really make Chucky mad.

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