Dangerous Worry Dolls (2008)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Jessica Morris, Deb Snyder, Dilio Nunez, Meredith McClain, Cherie Themer, Ker'in Hayden, Paul Boukadakis, Susan Ortiz
Directed by Charles Band
A new movie from Charles Band about killer dolls? Who'd a thunk it? Band has given us killer puppets, killer toys, all kinds of killer dolls, and even a 13-inch cop known as Dollman. Now he's giving us a movie about killer dolls small enough to climb inside a person's ear. I think it's safe to say that unless Band plans to make a movie about killer microscopic nano-puppets then he's got nowhere to go but up with the size of his killer dolls.
This latest entry in Charles Band's killer doll film fetish is titled Dangerous Worry Dolls. I have no problem saying Dangerous Worry Dolls may be the single worst movie title Band has ever come up with.
What are worry dolls, you ask? Worry dolls, from what info I've gathered, are these tiny dolls that are usually about half an inch tall and made from cotton, wood, and card. They're not so much children's playthings as they are the focus of native folklore - the concept originated in Guatemala. A person who cannot sleep places a worry doll under their pillow and the doll is believed to worry in the person's place, permitting the person to sleep peacefully.
Or in the world of Charlie Band, a woman having a rough time in life places a worry doll under her pillow before going to bed; that doll comes to life, crawls into her ear, and takes possession of her. She wakes up the next morning feeling great, so great she becomes a sociopath ready to take revenge on everyone who has been wronging her. When it comes to our lead character, a young single mom named Eva serving a light sentence for armed robbery in a detention center for women who just wants to do her time and clean her life up, that constitutes just about everyone within arm's distance.
For starters, there's a bitch who wants to use her as a drug mule to smuggle heroin into the prison. When Eva refuses, she and some of her cohorts try to shred Eva's hand in the garbage disposal.
Then there's the Leona Helmsley wannabe functioning as the detention center's warden. This snotty bitch seems to have the utmost contempt for Eva simply because Eva was raised in a trailer park and she loathes trailer trash. When you really piss her off she breaks out an electroshock torture device that looks like something Dr. Frankenstein would be using if he were brought in to interrogate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Eva's aunt isn't helping things either by telling her she's worthless, will always be so, and bringing her Eva's daughter for a visit just to let Eva know she intends to seek full custody of the little girl regardless of when she gets out.
On top of all of that, one of the guards is a total pervert (with an even sleazier secret to be revealed) who uses the incarcerated females to film pornographic movies in the basement. He eventually forces Eva down there where he'll rape her on camera with a strap-on dildo.
About the only thing missing at this point is Wendy O. Williams going kamikaze atop a speeding school bus.
But all of Eva's worries are about to go away when one of the worry dolls her daughter gave her during their last visit comes to life and crawls into her ear. Funny, neither Eva nor her daughter looked the least bit Latino, let alone like they're someone who would know anything about worry dolls, the concept of which has to be explained to us by a Hispanic inmate. And despite the plurality of the title, there's only one worry doll at work here - a very unmemorable little skeleton doll.
Eva awakens the day after her raping feeling great and "ready to take on the world". The only telltale sign that something is not normal with her is a nasty zit-like blemish growing in the middle of her forehead. That skin blemish becomes increasingly silly looking as it goes from looking like a zit to a boil to looking like a sign of an infectious disease that's ready to pop and shoot puss everywhere. Instead of puss the skeleton head of that worry doll pops out of it like a third eye in her forehead to hiss and make its eyes glow while Eva takes violent revenge on everyone who has been giving her a rough time.
Dangerous Worry Dolls wasn't very good nor was it particularly bad. The material's so thin that it barely, just barely, sustains itself for 70-minutes. That short running time is pretty much the saving grace; the film moves along just brisk enough to keep from getting boring. Still doesn't change the fact that this is just another one of those horror movies about a meek person who becomes possessed by an object that taps into their desires and leads them to get murderous payback against those that have crossed them and a rather uninspired one to boot. We've seen this material a million times before and the worry doll gimmick barely factors into the film other than to occasionally pop its head out of her head. If anything, Dangerous Worry Dolls feels like it could have easily been Charles Band's Masters of Horror episode. It probably could have stood shaving off another ten minutes or so.
I also don't recall there ever actually being any explanation as to why this little girl's gift to her mom came to life or why it was evil or how it went from crawling into her ear to popping out of her forehead like a cuckoo clock. That seems like a major oversight to me.
2 out of 5
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