27th Sep2019

‘Doll Factory’ DVD Review

by Chris Thomas

Stars: Justin Herman, Nicole Elliott, Andy Palmer, Eric C. Schneider, Boo Gay, Tracy Collins, Milo Rubi, Will Allday, Chris Fender, Patrick Sane, Nasir Villanueva, Larry Wade Carrell | Written and Directed by Stephen Wolfe


Send in the dolls… Doll Factory is in the fine tradition of campy, low budget horror comedy films that leans heavily on stereotypes and wears its cheesy sensibilities on its sleeve. Baby dolls are attacking people! If you need ask “why?” this film is not for you.

We kick off with a flashback sequence, 2 cops and their ‘ethnically insensitive’ acquaintance are in an abandoned factory, ostensibly fighting for their lives but really just giving ‘banter’ and, aside from the racial stereotype situation, it is not terrible. We then flash forward to the present… Sexy teens at a Halloween house party are casually talking about sexual activities and the like (we have some terrific drunk acting) and suddenly one the girls, dressed as a witch, casually gets out a budget version of the Necronomicon (helpfully someone has written “spells” on it).

“Why don’t we all go to the abandoned factory, and see if we can conjure up some ghosts?” “I am down” is the slightly unnatural response. Before we know it, we are in a confrontation with lothario-bad boy Ian, and then we are at the abandoned factory sitting around a pentangle. Hey. Did they stop on the way to get the candles or did they just find them in the abandoned factory?

It is interesting to me how, even such low budget films now look crystal clear with the prevalence of low price, high quality video recording equipment but the camera work still makes it instantly recognisable as a cheap film.

It is the enthusiasm that the cast throw into the camp action that makes Doll Factory (just about) work. It is hard not to like a film when the (limited) actors are trying this hard. There is very little in the way of technology-based effects or puppetry tricks, for the most part it is “actor holds doll to their neck and screams” and I find this incredibly disarming. There is “enough” effort to flesh out our characters, so they don’t feel entirely interchangeable. The racial stereotype character makes me feel uncomfortable, however.

Initially Doll Factory does a good job at moving on a at a good pace, but then it’s bogged down in the second act with a series of predictable murders and a pot-smoking doll. The third act then (avoiding spoilers) becomes something else entirely, as dolls give way to a quasi-lightsabre duel.

If you need ‘killer dolls attacking sexy teens’ to make any kind of sense or political point then you might be disappointed here but if you want to take a camp, bloody horror comedy at face value then Doll Factory just about fits the bill.

Spoiler alert… Doll Factory ends with the lines: “What happens now?” which is answered with “We hope they don’t come back.” Ten four good buddy, 1 hour and 20 minutes was enough.

Doll Factory is out now on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.


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