Macabro | Buy
LIVING DOLL at Amazon.com
| Review by Dan Taylor
those of you who didn't get enough corpse-loving
fun from CORPSE BRIDE, NEKROMANTIK or its
sequel, Mondo Macabro has unleashed
the oddball LIVING DOLL (the second installment
of its Dick Randall Collection), yet another
tale of the living loving the dead. (Check
out our review of Dick
Randall Collection Vol. 1: FRENCH SEX MURDERS.)
Howard (Mark Jax) is a shy,
med student/morgue assistant obsessed with
Christine (Katie Orgill), the gal who runs
the hospital's flower shop. Though he longs
to ask her out, his life is complicated
by fellow morgue attendant Jess (Gary Martin)
and Mrs. Swartz (Eartha Kitt), his loud,
mean, aging lesbian landlord. Oh yeah, he's
also a total dork ass nebish.
When Christine turns up dead
in the morgue, it's all too much for Howard
to take. He digs up her body, transports
her to his pad (in the passenger seat of
Jess's Trans-Am no less), and starts having
the life with her that he had always imagined.
They "eat" dinner together, share
the happenings of their day, watch the tube
and even cuddle on the couch. Hell, it'd
be the perfect relationship were it not
for the fact that Christine is grotesquely
decaying, giving off a rank odor, and attracting
everything from maggots to rats.
Supremely sick and twisted
(a gooey, open-mouthed corpse kiss is but
one skeevtastic moment), LIVING DOLL comes
off like a too long episode of HBO's 'Tales
from the Crypt.' The whole flick is packed
with a sleazy 80s/90s vibe, from Jess's
Trans Am and 'Little Shop of Horrors' jacket
to the shots of Times Square the way it
used to be, complete with flashing marquee's,
XXX bills and go-go joints. More than that,
though, the whole flick has a moist, sickly
feel to it.
Quite frankly, everybody in
the film dead and alive is
pale with a ghastly complexion and seems
to go through some sort of transformation.
Howard becomes more alive as his relationship
with the dead gal progresses (they even
"formalize" their relationship
by taking part in a TV wedding), Jess becomes
less of a prick and more like a true friend,
and the sweet Christine turns into a vengeful,
LIVING DOLL is tough to recommend.
Sure, it's a sick and sleazy slice of cinema
that I probably would've loved to have seen
on the screen of some inner-city shoebox
back in the late 80s or early 90s. But sitting
at home and watching it on my TV, though,
sorta depressed me. The word "melancholy"
comes to mind as you're watching it, as
there's very little emotional or visual
kick to make the film enjoyable.