Dangerous Worry Dolls (2008)
AKA Dangerous Chucky Dolls, Deadly Chucky Dolls – Puppen des Todes (Germany)
Starring Jessica Morris, Meredith McClain, Cheri Themer, Deb Snyder, Anthony Dilio, Susan Ortiz, Ker’in Hayden, Paul Boukadakis, Renata Green-Gaber, Rebekah Crane
Directed by Charles Band
Expectations: Very low.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
Full Moon regularly trades in all kinds of depraved genre cinema, but for some reason I never expected a “women in prison” film from them, let alone one in 2008! And it’s a well-made film that doesn’t lean too hard into exploitative nudity? I’m shocked! Dangerous Worry Dolls is that and more, as I found it to be an effective and adequate horror movie as well. All I knew going into this one was the skull-headed doll coming out of a box on the cover of the DVD, so I had no reason to expect anything other than yet another variation on Puppet Master. But it’s surprisingly not like Puppet Master at all, instead pulling something of a bait and switch and delivering a possession horror flick rather than the 1,983,348th Full Moon film about killer dolls (although, it is kind of about killer dolls).
As the film opens, a group of inmates led by Kim (Meredith McClain) torture our lead, Eva (Jessica Morris). They want her to run drugs for them, but Eva is resisting. Kim always gets her way, though, and Eva’s life in the slammer is anything but rehabilitative. This all changes one day when her daughter comes to visit and gives her a small box containing Guatemalan Worry Dolls. You’re supposed to tell the dolls your worries and place them under your pillow before bed, and then the dolls take your worries away. In the film, Charles Band takes this idea and runs with it, creating one of his most cohesive and fun films of the 2000s.