Starring Jared Kusnitz, Gabrielle Lynn, Kristyn Green, Anna Alicia Brock, Brian Lloyd, Scott Seymour, Ken Lyle, Hannah Marks
Directed by Charles Band
Expectations: Moderate. The puppets look interesting, but this is from the same year as the horrid Gingerdead Man.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
Doll Graveyard has perhaps one of my favorite and most fucked up setups in all of the Full Moon catalog. It’s also pretty implausible in the way that it turns into a horror movie, but that doesn’t really matter because it’s fun. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: fun overrides nearly everything in a low-budget movie. There are cases where the negative aspects are too overwhelming, but in Doll Graveyard the fun wins out easily. You can actively feel the point in the movie where the battle between good sense and fun collides, but thankfully Charles Band knew to keep this one short and sweet, so we’re in and out in about 71 minutes (12 of which are opening and closing credits).
So what’s that setup I started telling you about? Well, Doll Graveyard opens with a little girl playing with some exaggerated stereotype dolls in the entryway to her house. She’s got the full set: Ooga Booga, the African tribesman complete with a bone through his nose; a german soldier I took to calling “The Kaiser”; a shriveled-face, haunted looking samurai; and a porcelain baby doll. The girl breaks a vase and her father comes down the stairs, immediately verbally abusing her for playing in an area she’s been forbidden to play in. He takes her into the backyard and makes her bury her dolls. But here’s the kicker: the girl slips and falls into the hole she’s dug, hitting her head on the way down, and the father coldly looks at crumpled body and fills in the hole!