Doll Boy (2010, Short)
Directed by Bloody Bill Pon
Written by Bloody Bill Pon and Lee Ankrum
Texas is quickly becoming a new mecca for horror. Starting with the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a tone was set for Texas horror that continues to flourish today.
One of the newest entries in this sub-genre is Doll Boy, a short film by Bloody Bill Pon. Shot entirely in West Texas in an abandoned building, Doll Boy is 20 minutes of old-fashioned Texas stalker goodness.
The short opens with a twisted clown opening his cargo van to reveal several people tied and gagged. After dumping them into the pitch-black of an abandoned building, they untie themselves and we discover they were kidnapped at gunpoint from a place of business. As the co-workers start to feel their way around the creepy building, they draw the attention of a very, very bad man.
Doll Boy is an extremely large man with a doll's face for a mask who really loves his sledgehammer. For the remainder of the film, our cast is pursued and assaulted by Doll Boy and his hammer while they stagger through his twisted home of circus relics and old cartoons, discovering evidence of even darker crimes in the recent past.
Doll Boy is what it should be: fast, unforgiving, and brutal. Shot over 12 weekends at an abandoned Mexican flea market in West Texas, this is clearly a labor of love that transcends most independent short films. While the acting betrays some of the performers' less-than-professional roots, we still come to care about some of the characters and come to hate one in particular who winds up the focus of the piece.
The mood is right, full of decay and twisted iconography of childhood such as toys, children's music, and cartoons. We never receive an explanation for Doll Boy or his jolly accomplice, Noodledome the Clown, and we don't need one. We know what we need to know: these people are trapped with a powerful predator who is only interested in annihilating them with his hammer.
It's a bloody good time, and from what Pon said after the film played at the Texas Frightmare Weekend, it's meant to be the foundation of an eventual feature film. I, for one, hope it gets made because the sick and gruesome world of Doll Boy out there in 'Waste' Texas is one I'd like to spend more time in. Visit them on Facebook!
4 out of 5
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