BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Dolly Dearest (1991) - Blu-ray Review

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Dolly Dearest

Put down that burrito, my friend, Satan is back on earth!  That’s right, Dolly Dearest has returned to finish the job it started back when it was originally released in 1991!

"Tense and full of some surprisingly effective practical effects, Dolly Dearest has the right tone and the right structure"


Starring Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Denise Crosby, The Last Picture Show’s Sam Bottoms, and The Larry Sanders Show’s Rip Torn as an archeologist concerned about finding the last whereabouts of the Sanzia Devil Child, Dolly Dearest takes its Child’s Play inspiration to a whole different (and insane) level thanks to the possessed dolls at the center of this Mexican toy factory.  

Sure, writer/director Maria Lease’s movie takes a page or two from the screenplay of Child’s Play but the whole Sanzian grave angle coupled with the nuns’ response gives this take on possessed dolls something different to enjoy by rabid Hell Hounds.  There’s that and the change in the gender of the child’s doll that works in Dolly Dearest’s favor, creating something unforgettable as the spirit of the devil child seeps into the local toy factory and takes each and every toy straight to Hell. {googleads}

As bodies start piling up, it turns out that the "Dolly Dearest" doll becomes something that seven year old Jessica (Candy Hutson) can’t live without.  For most people, to look into the face of this doll is to walk away with an experience of evil.  I mean, it’s fucking creepy, but the little girl is changing in response to her proximity to the doll.  The doll walks and talks and Jessica, already supernaturally bonded to the damn thing, doesn’t want to be away from it for ANY period of time.

But only Marilyn Wade (Crosby) seems to be keen on discovering just what is happening to her daughter.  Her husband (Bottoms) thinks she’s nuts and Karl Resnick (Torn) is more into the discovery of the super beast more than he is rooting for the exorcism of it.  The nuns at the local convent tell her that it is too late, but Marilyn refuses to lose her daughter to a 900-year-old goat head.  

Unfortunately, this pre-Mayan curse isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Dolly Dearest

Tense and full of some surprisingly effective practical effects, Dolly Dearest has the right tone and the right structure to be more than what far too many people are dismissing it as: a knockoff of a far more popular horror film.  There are some interesting kill sequences, solid one-liners, and an effective build up of suspense as the dolls start plotting to kill everyone that stands in the way of Satan’s return..  

Newly remastered by Vinegar Syndrome in 2K, the sole Horror film directed by veteran exploitation crew-woman and actress, Maria Lease, and produced by Dan Cady (Grave of the Vampire), is on blu-ray for the very first time, in a brand new 2K restoration.

Dolly Dearest has once again escaped the tomb to pave the way for Satan’s return.  Play with this, Bitch!

3/5 stars

Dolly Dearest

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Exclusive / Limited Edition of 4,000 / Blu-ray + DVD

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- April 28, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free

American family Elliot and Marilyn Wade, along with their young children Jessica and Jimmy, have just relocated to Mexico, where Elliot has taken over a doll factory. As they settle into their fresh surroundings, Jessica forms a special bond with her new doll, spending hours with it in her large playhouse. But soon, her mother and older brother sense that something isn’t quite right with the sweetly faced toy. It’s not long before strange and frightening events start to occur, and members of the household begin turning up dead in a series of apparent ‘accidents’.  A special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kessler Jr.) is limited to 2,500 units and is only available at VinegarSyndrome.com. There’s also a Standard Edition, both have been remastered in 2K.

Video:

Newly remastered by Vinegar Syndrome in 2K, the sole Horror film directed by veteran exploitation crew-woman and actress, Maria Lease, and produced by Dan Cady (Grave of the Vampire), is on blu-ray for the very first time, in a brand new 2K restoration.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that sparks with strong colors.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  This is, after all, a dark film. There are lots of night scenes; thankfully, the lines hold their edges. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen and the location comes alive in this sparkling new transfer from the film’s 35mm interpositve.

Audio:

There is a DTS-HD stereo track with which we get to hear Satan speak through the lips of the dolls in the film.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Sadly, there is none.

Special Features:

There are only two for this release, but that’s probably enough as both Denise Crosby and Ed Gale are interviewed.  A special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kessler Jr.) is available to own, but it is limited to 2,000 units

  • Playing With Dolls: An Interview with lead actress Denise Crosby
  • Dressing the Part: An Interview with actor Ed Gale

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

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Dolly Dearest

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: Maria Lease
Writer:
Maria Lease
Cast:
Denise Crosby, Sam Bottoms, Rip Torn
Genre
: Comedy | Drama | Horror
Tagline:
This is where the fairy tale ends and the nightmare begins.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh, goody, we're going for a ride!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Trimark Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 18,1991
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April, 28, 2020.
Synopsis: A toy manufacturer buys the 'Dolly Dearest' factory in Mexico, where the malevolent spirit of Sanzia, a devil child, has taken refuge in one of the porcelain dolls, and eventually takes control of his daughter.

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Dolly Dearest

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