Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Dangerous Worry Dolls (2008)
Full Moon Video | Buy at Amazon | Review by Sinferno

Another Full Moon feature about evil dolls, toys or some variant thereof. And yet this one actually brings some new play value of its own to the tired women in prison sub-genre. While the dolls in this one are not as unique, powerful or unforgettable as the ones from say, PUPPET MASTER, this one wisely chooses instead to focus on the character development, storyline and ultimate fate of the human protagonist, instead of the usual toy commercial of the damned you might expect thus making a better film in the end.

Eva is condemned to a woman's prison for acting as a getaway driver for a gang. As such she is condemned to a brutal women's detention center where everyone in her life seems to have nothing better than to break her using all forms of abuse, both legal and otherwise. Not only is the warden a corrupt bitch who punishes the inmates personally, using electric shock and certain tricks never seen in an actual prison since Guantanamo Bay, but she also lets one of the guards rape prisoners on camera all so she can sell the footage to the internet. Couple this with the fact that poor Eva seems to have run afoul of the three women gang who uses the prison to run drugs and it seems she will not live long enough to last her six month sentence, much less the eighty minute running time. But luckily for Eva there is one person in her corner who is on her side and it's her young daughter who gives her a small tiny box filled with South American worry dolls. An actual charm that is said to actually help one deal with the worries in their life if they sleep with them under their pillow. But these tiny totems are bad mojo indeed as after just one night the worry dolls climb into her ear and that's when she starts really repaying her debt to society, as only a scorned, violated and wronged female protagonist in a woman's prison movie can, and in this case payback is a bitch.

The rest of the film is Eva striking back at everyone who ever hurt her, using some super strength, a fearless attitude that only the insane or truly wronged can manage and perhaps most importantly, a fun, fearless upbeat personality that is such a stark contrast to her character before the day the dolls crawled into her cochlea. This is the real reason DANGEROUS WORRY DOLLS works better than most, the girl who plays Eva (Jessica Morris) brings a sexy savagery to this film which still somehow makes you actually delight in the beautiful and often grisly revenge she inflicts upon her attackers. Moreover, much as in the original CROW film, the exact method of revenge she picks for any one of her foes is exactly what they so callously inflicted onto her in the previous half of the movie so in the end the punishments do fit the crime, even in this den of inequity where none of the laws of civilization (or the penal code) seem to apply. My one thematic problem with the film is that they showed her daughter giving her no less than five tiny dolls, each one dressed in a different style and a color from his brothers. Yet in the movie they all just seem to muddle together, manipulating her from the inside as a joint effort, causing revenge and random chaos. I don't see the point in showing so many different little colorful characters crawling into her ear, if they all did the same thing; had the exact same personality. In this case, one doll would have done the trick, but it's a trite point at best because Eva herself is doll enough for anyone and her antics delight and excite as much as you could hope.

 

Sinferno Says...
Yucko/Neato Factor: The only failing here is I wanted more. This film is unrated, the violence and nudity of this film would have easily been contained in an R rating. Eva's antics much like Eva herself was never meant to be contained and confined to any code of conduct, next time let me see her truly "unchained".
Production Values: Actual computer graphics and CG work. Proof that Full Moon features is coming of age. I wish the dolls would have been as varied and specialized as they seemed.
Realism: The guard has a sex dungeon/camcorder in the basement and half the female cast seems to disappear halfway through filming. That's gonna look really bad on the next state inspection.
Value for Price: For $14.98 this is average priced.
Plot: Small toys control a hot woman's every waking thought and antisocial impulse? The plot is predictable but the action figures...


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