Plot: What’s it about?
Virgil is a very strange man, but since he is also a billionaire he can do pretty much whatever he pleases without consequence. I don’t think this is the kind of guy you want to watch your kids or be responsible for your pets, but hey he’s rich, right? In any case he is involved in some rather unusual and probably illegal activities, including owning his own four piece band. But of course this band is all female and they’re locked into a cage, so the normal sense of ownership is skewered. He doesn’t own the rights to their music, he owns the actual band. So he can have them strike up a tune whenever he wants, whether they want to or not. He also wears a bizarre mask over his face, so I suppose he has something he wants to hide under there. In addition to having his own enslaved female rock group and being an all around creepy fellow, Virgil also dabbles in biological inventing. Yeah, he loves to tinker around with various things and try to bring them to life and oddly enough, he has succeeded. His newest creations are like dolls, but they harness lethal weapons (not the Mel Gibson variety) and abilities. Of course Virgil could use these for good purposes, but since someone just crossed him I think he’ll be more inclined to use them in a revenge plot, what do you think?
If you’re a Full Moon fanatic or just happen to love flicks that feature dolls that come to life, Blood Dolls is a movie you’ve got to see. I liked the Puppet Master series a lot and while this is in a different direction somewhat, I think this satisfies on the same level since it’s in the same vein. I miss Pinhead, but what better replacement than a clown that dressed like a pimp, really? I love the dolls chosen in this film and while the clown is my favorite, all of them have a unique and appealing look to them. I think the movements and articulations of these dolls are better than the puppets, which is a high mark in my book right off the bat. This film is also loaded with good old nonsense type fun too, such as the enslaved female band and some of the more unusual characters to be found. I like that idea though and I think this movie is so fun because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still puts some effort into the main draw, the dolls. So the acting isn’t terrific and the movie won’t win any golden statues, but it is a fun ride if you’re into movies of this kind. The disc has a nice anamorphic transfer and some nice goodies, so whether you rent or purchase all your bases are covered.
This film was directed by Full Moon founder Charles Band, who seems to have obsession with living dolls since he also produced many of the Puppet Master movies. I don’t think that’s a bad thing either, as I liked those movies and I also happen to like this entry in the living doll genre. This isn’t the type of movie you watch for innovative directing by any means, but I think Band delivers an entertaining movie on what had to have been a low budget. Band uses a simple, but effective technique that frames all the need image well, but never distracts us from the film itself. Band might not win any awards for his work here, but genre fans will be pleased with what he has done. If you want to see more of Band’s films I recommend Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, Trancers, Trancers II, The Creeps, and Parasite. The acting is film is pretty bad, but then again you don’t expect much in films like this. So while the actors do seem wooden at times, it’s all part of the experience. The cast includes Debra Mayer (Microscopic Boy), Warren Draper (Other American Fables, Virtual Girl), Jack Maturin, and William Paul Burns.
Video: How does it look?
Blood Dolls is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a very solid transfer and while some flaws emerge, I doubt fans will be disappointed in the least with this effort. I did see some edge enhancement at times, but this was minimal and never distracted me at all. If I wasn’t looking for them, I might have missed them. The colors look bold and rich, with no signs of smearing and flesh tones appear warm and normal at all times. The contrast is also up to the task, as shadow depth is accurate and detail level is high in even the darkest scenes. This is a wonderful transfer and I hope Full Moon continues with this level of quality in the future.
Audio: How does it sound?
As you might imagine, this movie doesn’t call for much audio power, but the included stereo track still offers a fine experience. The eerie music comes across well and shows no distortion, while the sound effects also emerge in good form. The dialogue sound clean and at a proper volume also, which is always good. This mix isn’t active or memorable, but like I said everything comes through like it should, which is what matters in a stereo mix. Rest assured if you need to hear it, this mix will make sure you do.
Supplements: What are the extras?
If you like trailers then this release is right up your alley, as the flip side of this disc includes over forty trailers for Full Moon titles. Wow! But this disc also contains a wealth of supplements specific to Blood Dolls, including the trailer and some extensive talent files. You’ll also find an amusing blooper reel, Pain music video, and a VideoZone featurette on the film. The VideoZone piece runs about twenty-five minutes and contains interviews, special effects shots, and even behind the scenes footage. It’s basically a promotional tool, but it does have some nice content. Next is another featurette which runs about six minutes and contains even more interviews, which are always welcome in my opinion. The final supplement is an audio commentary with director Charles Band and actors Jack Maturin and Debra Mayer. This track is very fun to listen to, but also contains a nice selection of information as well. All in all, this is a loaded disc!