Let me say two things up front. First horror didn’t used to be my go to favorite movie genre and secondly, my kids and I played bit parts in the original Dolly Deadly (my daughter plays the little kid bully).
And third? Director Heidi Moore is a relentless, persisting badass.
What I really loved about the original is that it took the bullying that so many of us face as children and it demonstrated what that bullying and psychological torture could do if pushed to the extreme. The horror focused on what it could truly turn you into. A young boy–Benji–has a fascination with dolls that once belonged to his dead mother–dolls that stand in as his only friends (the only things around him that don’t belittle or hurt him). He breaks with reality and exacts some sweet horrific revenge on those that made his life miserable. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I was cheering for Benji and his murderous rampage because of the horror other people made of his life. When the movie ends but you do kind of wonder how Benji gets to his adulthood and his new identity.
Heidi Moore’s Dolly Deadly 1.5 “What Ever Happened to Benji?” Answers that question in a brilliant little mini sequel that revisits the horror of loneliness and outcast nature of Benji and a new character Simon who is in dire need of friends who ‘get him’–even if he has to ‘make’ them himself. I don’t want to give anything else away here.
I’ve come to appreciate the fairytale color-filled nightmare of Moore’s mind at work. The landscapes always make me feel like I’m seeing a circus the day after the circus has left town.
Life in the Time of Corona Virus 19 means you won’t be seeing this new film at festivals this year but it’s making its world premiere on TROMA Now http://watch.troma.com/!
It also gets us ready for Kill Dolly Kill! –The much anticipated musical sequel to the first Dolly Deadly.
It’s a must see for Dolly Deadly fans and anyone who likes their horror a little more complicated, and complex than marauding zombies or random slashings. DD 1.5 delivers–also one of my personal heebeejeebee moments is watching other people eat disgusting things on film. Thanks to DD 1.5 I had a “lost my appetite” moment.
Also? You’re stuck at home while the big bad corona virus is out there. Why not watch a short film and/or rewatch the first film–both available on Troma Now! Check it out. https://troma.vhx.tv/videos/dolly-deadly-1-5?fbclid=IwAR2JSD9pg-lwmf3gXW2BDUz7sU4N2Z2GsHakBuV92VNu38s7UTkO3-4MAy4
Also? My teen daughter who hates everything just watched it with me and liked it. Except now she’s afraid to go to sleep and be attacked by wrinkle cream…