A pair of procrastinating college students decide to make an aged old legend of a local serial killer named Dorchester Stewart, aka Crinoline Head, into their final research project, knowing that their teacher, Professor Paul Donner, was traumatically to close to being one of Crinoline Head’s fatal victims. With other invited and uninvited students tagging along, the trip to the isolated Stewart lake house grounds turns into a booze and sex filled getaway for most with an irritable and lustful female grounds keeper maintaining an ever close eye on them. As those interested in the legend of the doll obsessed Crinoline Head become closer to whether the infamous murderer still exists, students are disappearing one by one solidifying Crinoline Head’s homicidal come back.
“Dollface” is the latest all-American slasher parody film from director Tommy Faircloth and is the long awaited sequel to Faircloth’s “Crinoline Head” in 1995. Now, I’ve never experienced the first “Crinoline Head” film myself and reviewing the sequel might be challenging to undertake. Any time when solely working with sequels, portions of the sequels go unexplained because they assume that audiences are all caught up on the original premise. Tommy Faircloth really tries to put an effort into catching viewers up on the 20-year-old story with a classroom monologue told by the first film’s surviving character Paul, who is now a college professor. A backstory introduction also recounts the reason on how young Dorchester Stewart becomes the monstrous murderer with the untimely death of his doll-making and over protecting mother, but the exposition becomes boggling and doesn’t necessarily feel like enough to warrant Stewart’s homicidal tendencies.
For a campy horror-comedy slasher flick, “Dollface” comes off slightly conservative with the death scenes, leaving much to the imagination with quick scene cuts and off screen kills. Practical effects are left in the dust while the use of blood splatter becomes a hot commodity and I’m not positive how much special effects and makeup supervisor Michael R. Smith was involved except for a obvious dummy head in a crab trap, a knife planted in someone’s chest, and a cocaine snorter stuck up a strangled one’s nostril. Crinoline Head, portrayed by former pro-wrestling body guard John Kap, appears minacious enough being a giant lumbering individual in a jumper suit while sporting the half broken porcelain doll mask and Faircloth’s kill scenes seemed interesting enough in concept, but why they’re not fully developed and executed to revel in shock value is beyond comprehension.
The horror-comedy does live up to being extremely campy and stars the one and only legendary B-horror movie scream queen Debbie Rochon to headline as the raunchy and bored grounds keeper held up in an old RV, propositioning the young male students. “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” star Jason Vail portrays Prof. Paul Donner and with alongside Debbie Rochon, the veteran actors are sprinkled into the story to offset their rather fresh faced co-stars. However, raw talent lies within the silver lining with lead male Christian James who brought strength aspects and an even keeled mentality to the lead character David and also with Jim, David’s friend played by the naturally funny man Gunner Wills, was another character that was a joy when on screen. Despite some solid performances, the cast comes and goes to make body count and are not able to expand and develop on their characters, leaving a teetering feeling about whether the character should be liked or disliked when finally receiving the ultimate axe.
Breaking Glass Pictures and Vicious Circle Films brings “Dollface” to DVD home video in a brilliant widescreen format, providing a clean picture with only a hint of aliasing during more action scenes and one off-colored scene that went completely into a blue tone as if to convey the twilight hour, but the next scene was bright daylight again. The audio is way unbalanced with the metal genre soundtrack goes overbearing the dialogue; LFE oppresses much of the other audio tracks, causing the dialogue to be nearly inaudible and moot to the story. “Dollface” has the basic slasher attitude and gets the slack and hack job bluntly done, but it’s not pretty nor perfect when considering prior slasher parodies. Once I experience Tommy Faircloth’s first film “Crinoline Head” and get the full effect of the fictional serial killer, maybe then this sequel of the doll-faced killer will bare more inauspicious teeth. If anything, Debbie Rochon screaming, “Can you pop a fucking squat!?!?” is well worth the viewing.
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