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Dead Doll
2004 - R - 78 Mins.
Director: Adam Sherman
Producer: Adam Sherman
Written By: Adam Sherman and Azazel Jacobs
Starring: Romi Koch, Goran Dukic, Matt Boren, Ernst Gossner, Chris Karmiol
Review by: Joe Rickey
'Dead Doll', Adam Sherman's combination of horror and comedy tells the odd (to say the least) tale of a sex doll as it passes from owner to owner after each successive proprietor dies mysterious (and bloody) deaths. Expecting more? Well, there isn't anymore as the aforementioned is the plot of what is an absolutely dreadful film in a nutshell.

In the limited marketing I could find regarding 'Dead Doll' there exists a schizophrenic approach one most often finds with some theatrical releases (a recent example is 'The Longest Yard', which started out being marketed as a typical Adam Sandler comedy before switching to a more dramatic tone in television spots). Lions Gate Films, its direct-to-DVD distributor in most territories, wants you to believe that 'Dead Doll' is a horror-thriller in the vein of its other efforts involving dolls ('May' and 'Love Object', two vastly superior films - who thought there existed the market for not one, not two, but three films concerning dolls that indirectly kill, thus distinguished from the 'Child's Play/Chucky' franchise).

Meanwhile, director Sherman plugs the film as a "Horrible Comedy" in the film's end credits, making one believe that he along with co-writer Azazel Jacobs intended the film as some sort of bizarre dark comedy with horror bits thrown in here and there. The actual film is more along the lines of the latter but awful is awful no matter what its ingredients. Perhaps the film would have been more tolerable had it been a straight horror film.

'Dead Doll' is terrible on so many levels it is difficult to decide where to begin the metaphoric beat-down. Well, might as well start with the way in which Sherman and Azazel's script and Sherman's direction come across as nothing more than a bunch of loosely connected scenes lacking anything resembling coherence. The film starts by detailing a man who has a naked woman (Romi Koch) chained-up in his apartment surrounding by a various sundry of avant garde art pieces as he works on a plaster of Paris model of said woman while mumbling a bunch of incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo. Then the film inadvertently switches to a pair of repairmen who stumble across the title doll, a rather harmless looking creation. Well, one of them proceeds to attempt to "make love" to it and but promptly dies in an undesirably painful fashion while the doll tells the man that he shouldn't have done that (shown by focusing the camera on the doll's lips as words come out without it moving at all). What follows from here is a cadre of similar scenes as different men (and women) are seduced in an unexplained way by the doll and all die horrible deaths as a result. Oh yeah, the film sometimes cuts back to the man making the model while molesting and beating trapped woman. Oh joy.

The production values do anything but aid the filmmakers as the film looks like something created by a group of (perverted) high school students on their spare time, from the unfocused cinematography (if you can even call it that) to the obviously recycled sets (the same room is used as the home of five unrelated people) 'Dead Doll' is about as far from a polished production as one can get. Not to mention the acting which is also high school level at best as the actors all act with the unfounded belief that they are making a Broadway musical or something similarly grand, shouting their lines with annoying gusto. As the trapped and continuously tortured prisoner, Koch whines each and every line like a five-year-old who was just told that he or she couldn't get the toy he or she wanted at the store.

Don't come within 100 feet of 'Dead Doll.' If you do, run in the opposite direction as if your life depended on it.
Movie Guru Rating
Offensive and completely without value.  Should never have been released.
  0 out of 5 stars

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