The killer dolly movie is an interesting sub genre of the horror film. It is one that I find particularly scary. I do not like the idea of inanimate objects coming to life, especially in dolly form, although I often wonder in these films when people are doing battle with miniature menaces why they don’t just kick them away or stamp on them.
The idea of the evil doll essentially comes from films such as The Great Gabbo (1929) and Dead of Night (1945) where ventriloquist dolls turn evil. Child’s Play (1988) gave us Chucky, the first killer dolly superstar who is still going strong today. It also spawned a heap of insipid imitations that ranged from good to barely tolerable.
I have picked ten films that I hope you will enjoy reading about, and if the doll in the corner of the room starts giving you the evil eye, just grab her and chuck her out the window.
10) House of Evil (1968)
One of four dirt cheap Mexican films Boris Karloff made before he died, this is an uninspiring effort but it is notable for being one of the first films to feature killer toys.
Karloff is a rich, eccentric man who is dying. He calls his family together for a will reading. They are all despicable greedy jerks who are only after his money. After he dies, one by one, these d***head relatives are dispatched by Karloff’s murderous life-size toys. Then it turns out Karloff is alive in the basement and he plays the organ and the mansion goes up in flames.
Boris, bless his socks, tries to elevate it above the bargain bin in this amateurishly acted, ham-fistedly directed Mexican crap fest. The dialogue is terrible and doesn’t make sense. The dubbing is atrocious and renders the movie laughably campy.
There is not the slightest hint of logic and the whole film just becomes one giant snigger fest which is a shame for horror icon Karloff. He deserved to go out on a better note than this. Oh yes – and there are very lame killer dolls.
This article was first posted on March 11, 2013