Friday, April 07, 2006

my new video and... Doll Graveyard is amazingly bad!

First of all, I recommending the new Doll Graveyard to fans of 80's horror, but it is awful. You say this should be no surprise. I should have expected it to be terrible. Well I didn't and in a moment I'll explain why.

My new video is online - it stars not dolls, but bunnies. Here is the link and url:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2P5wFNZ5Fls

That's Cub of 'cub speaks' as the bunny owner.

It screened in class 2 days ago and no one criticized it. The class can really rip into things, my big fear is that they did not rip into mine only because they feel sorry for me. My videos that screen are always a little off and I think they are pretty deserving of a critique or two, but maybe there is something about them that seems very sincere or something about me that screams too sensitive. Actually neither of these things are true - the videos make fun of themselves and I don't actually put myself out there enough to be really hurt, but I think people get quite the opposite impression.

One kids video about Satanism really took a beating from the class. I think the piece itself was fair and balanced, between Christians and the hooded Satanist, but the kids took offensive mostly to the filmmaker's running commentary, which was full of profanity and him dropping info about being friends with lots of Satanists. It was kind of tacky. Ok, it was very tacky, besides, this kid hates me, why am I holding back?

When my tape screened I offered no running commentary for a change. It's hard to keep your mouth shut when your work is playing.

I talked to a classmate today who said my mini-doc was totally different from all the others. I should have asked for more specifics.

Doll Graveyard (2005): I've sung the praises of Charles Band many a time in this blog. He brought the world the direct-to-videostore movie. He is also the Producer who has brought us the most death via small monster or killer toy. The Ghoulies, Troll, Stuart Gordon's Dolls, the Puppetmaster series, Subspecies, Demonic Toys, Ragdoll, and many more. This movie is directed by Band as well. Around the turn of the millennium, his Full Moon Pictures went to shit (shot-on-video movies), and eventually died, but in the past three years it has returned with promise of higher quality material.

He brought back Wizard Video, in name only, as Wizard Entertainment. I'm not sure why, but I do know it's not to release the old Wizard Video classics. If they were Charles Band originals they are probably currently available from Full Moon. If they were not, say they were European exploitation movies, or whatever, it is very unlikely that he still owns the rights to any of them.

So is Full Moon back and kicking ass? Well, I just watched all the new trailers and a bunch of them were for compilation DVDs of old Band video store classics. Of course, most of you have heard of The Gingerdead Man with Gary Busey as a killer... you know what.. well at least the effects look good in that one. Doll Graveyard? Not up to par with Puppetmaster movies. No stop motion animation. The weirdest thing. The dolls' blinking is done with CGI. Man that looks weird.

But plot wise this movie is must see! It's strictly 80's by-the-book horror with the dorky brother at home and the older sister having boys over when she is supposed to be baby-sitting. The bickering is right out of The Gate. You will swear the ironic 90's never happened!

The first scene is the best. It's 1919 or something and little Sophia is playing with her dolls and breaks a vase. She is then confronted by the most evil father of all time. Instead of whipping her like usual, her makes her dig a grave for her precious dollies, who are the only friends she has. When she stumbles into the grave and breaks her neck, he looks around to make sure no one took notice, and fills in the hole.

Of course Full Moon movies has always been aimed at kids. They are Rated 'R', but written at a level for 14 year olds. Preteens are not gonna mind stock characters, which is just what this movie is full off, but so what, the dolls are the stars. Sure the effects somewhat lacking and by that I mean that dolls don't have enough moving parts. Some are hand puppets most likely - I did not watch the extras so can't be sure. Still, I like to watch the guys in action. They all talk to themselves as well, muttering nonsense words quietly. Very interesting. One kill is just like one performed by Tunneler when he got a guy between the legs in a later Puppetmaster sequel. Here too it comes from a doll with a spiky helmet.

I expected the movie to be good, a return to the form of the Full Moon glory days when they shot on Film. It's not shot on film, but it's considerably better video quality than the movies they put out from 1999-2002.

Any one could write this movie, it's short as shit, and the ending sucks beyond belief, but we had a good time watching.

Next up, a review of Class Reunion Massacre from 1978, a truly weird movie, long out of print.

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