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In my recent interview with Charles Band, it was obvious that Band was excited about his latest release from Full Moon Pictures, Dangerous Worry Dolls. It was their first digitally filmed movie, and he was proud of the film, which was produced on a relatively small budget.
While no means a perfect film, having seen the film, I understand his excitement. This is the best Full Moon film I’ve seen in a while, and one of the few in recent years that takes itself seriously. Lately, the Full Moon films have been mixtures of comedy and horror – The Gingerdead Man movies and Evil Bong being prime examples. Dangerous Worry Dolls is a much more serious affair, though it could have been a pretty hilarious film. It really kind of walks the line.
The film takes place in a woman’s prison. It’s not really stated why anyone is there, but Eva (Jessica Morris) is trying to get out soon on parole so that she can be with her daughter. There’s a few problems though – the lady warden is an absolute racist b*tch, one of the guards likes to rape the prisoners with a strap on, and the other inmates aren’t really all that keen on Eva, who’s unwilling to be a “mule” for their drugs. Her daughter gives her some worry dolls – an old Guatemalen tradition states that sleeping with them under your pillow with take your worries away. The stress of everything going on gets to Eva and she puts them under her pillow one night…and one crawls into her head and, essentially, lives in a giant zit on her forehead. I know how ridiculous it sounds and, to be honest with you, it does look kind of silly. But you buy into it.
When Eva wakes up the next morning, not only worry-free, but ready to kick @$$, the little skull worry doll in her head is guiding the way, poking out of her forehead and urging her on to kill people in the prison and do some pretty dirty deeds. It’s over-the-top, sure, but, oddly, the film in general isn’t. It’s a slow burn, for sure. I was actually thinking the Worry Dolls would be played more like the Blood Dolls or the Puppet Master puppets (good for merchandising), but only one is really prevalently seen, and, even then, he’s just a little skull head poking out of Eva’s forehead. It’s not like this film was made with an obvious eye for marketin the hell out of its title characters. For a film set in a women’s prison, it does get sleazy, but avoids some of the stuff you’ve come to expect from all those women’s prison Skinemax films you watch on Saturday night (coughcough).
The film isn’t for everyone – it’s definitely DTV. It’s low budget, but that isn’t what makes it so obvious as a DTV. It’s the subject matter – there’s some pretty off-the-wall and kind of horrible things that happen in the film and it definitely pushes the boundaries of good taste. You will definitely not see anything like this playing at your local Regal Cinema.
Still, if you’re in Blockbuster, or looking for something unique to watch on a rainy Sunday, check out Dangerous Worry Dolls. Charles Band referred to the upcoming Skull Heads as having similar themes, and that one has Robin Sydney (yum), so I’m definitely excited.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 6 out of 10!