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.
Here is an entertaining little piece of UK slasher horror that will sure be appreciated as well as thrilling. “Slasher House” had finished filming and was wrapped up in a nice bow two years ago but, finally, made an appearance on DVD just last year in the UK. A whole another year later and “Slasher House” hits retail shelves this past Tuesday in the States – about damn time – courtesy of Sector 5 Films. In all honestly, the good old USA missed out on releasing “Slasher House” as this English film’s crew and cast were the highlights of turning a run of the mill survival film into a great little unknown gem of a movie.
Red wakes up stark naked in a cell of a grungy rundown prison. Plagued with amnesia, she can’t remember who she is let alone how she how she got here. When her cell door opens up, Red discovers she isn’t alone as their other captives, but these captives are not so innocent. Within these iron bars and walls, she is trapped with notorious serial killers who are being released from the cells one by one. With no way out in sight, Red must elude the killers as they hunt for her in the corridors. There are more sinister means behind this game, but she must go through the players first to find out why she’s here and who she really is.
Leading lady Eleanor James was labeled one of Britain’s new age scream queens. Though she delivers no real scream here in “Slasher House,” James’ character resembles more of Milla Jovovich’s Alice character in the Resident Evil series – more so with the red dress, calm demeanor, and feistiness with less kung fu, ESP abilities. Her performance as Red has you rooting for her all the way because she is the first and last “last girl” in “Slasher House” against a handful of murderous sonuvabitches.
Each notorious slasher has a trademark and a unique personality – a child killer, an operator, a brute, a dual personality – leaving no room for boring characters. Their backstories are briefly told in a flashback anecdote just short enough to give you their whole persona. The plot is a bit more complex than it’s unique cast of characters. I like the idea of bringing a lineup of serial killer allstars into a dirty old prison and letting them face off. I wish there was more of that. Half of “Slasher House” was trying to find an exit and the other half was escaping the maniacs. No real dull moments plagued the film, but with a premise that involves a battle royal amongst the worst of the worst, you would think you’d be up against a blood spattered wall and heads would be constantly rolling. The other half of my mind says the slowed down story goes better with a film like this to build the characters up for a great and glorious downfall.
“Slasher House” plays out like a graphic novel and could be well turned into one. A great one in fact. “Slasher House” also delivers a twist ending that you won’t see coming until the very end! Speaking of the movie’s end, the open ending doesn’t explain much to the character’s situation. One could only guess to the purpose behind the game, but none of the plans are plainly explained.
“Slasher House” is a must buy from Sector 5 Films. Two years have I waited for a film like this that could entertain me on a budget while pulling off major production status. I’m very impressed by director MJ Dixon and his vision and his future is bright with indie pictures and possibly get a gig in Hollywood if he keeps turning out good films. If you have a fear of clowns you may want to stay away; other than that, pick this DVD up that was released this past Tuesday the 26th!
Eleanor James – Brief Topless / Butt
Anna Murphy – Possibly covered topless
Tired of trying to comprehend a director’s secretive meaning behind his scenes? Tired of trying to solve the mysterious puzzle that opens the life or death box? Tired of the reverse scenes that attempt to tell the story without having to be linear? Sometimes these filmmaking artistic techniques become too tiresome leaving you weary eyed and frustrated. Sometimes scenes just need to be clear cut, plain-jane simple, and meticulously mindless. You’re in luck because Repligator is just that – no hidden meanings, no twisted edited, and no problem solving that requires a T-Model calculator.
A classified military experiment, involving the idea of a G.I soldier being replicated to double the military infantry numbers without recruitment, has gone array as the replicator turns the strong, gun-ho male privates into brain-washed nymphomaniac women who much rather expose their privates. Also, when these women experience the slightest orgasm, they transform into scaly, mutant alligators and once bitten by one of these alligator women, their victims turn into homosexual zombies! Wait…what?
Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the premise of this erotica laden, senseless film (if you want to call it that) by budget director Bret McCormick. I had pre-determined that Repligator had a simple plot – military experience turns women into alligators – but I was incorrect. And just for the record, the alligators are more like rejected raptor prop heads from Jurassic Park resembling nothing like an alligator. The writing is so over the board that I’m pretty sure the amped up hyper Richard Simmons wrote the script.
I’m still trying to comprehend the gay zombies; at least I’m pretty sure the gator-bitten victims were turned into gay zombies as they ignored the advances, and pretty much everything else, of the half naked women and not the male leads. Speaking on the subject of half naked women, the legs with breast weren’t too shabby for this mid-90s late night creature feature that might have once been given a showing or two on the Syfy channel.
I shouldn’t pass on discussing Gunnar Hansen’s role in Repligator; Hansen may headline the movie, but his role is minimal as scientists telling a story of how everything went wrong. He isn’t wielding any Texas Chainsaws here even though there was a little homage for him in the opening credits. Scream queen Brinke Stevens also didn’t have much of a starring role. Stevens scene was rather pointless toward the whole of the plot, but I’m not surprised considering the film is called Repligator.
Plain and simple, Repligator bares nothing special, yet somehow manages to bare all at the same time. You won’t have to think too hard to get the concept, yet you’ll be confused at the end. This enigmatic movie challenges all the laws of physics without even spitting out a correct mathematical formula. See what I’m talking about by purchasing your copy today at MVD Entertainment Group!