It burns us! It burns us! Ow… just ow! I am a humongous fan of “Puppet Master” and as someone who grew up with early nineties cable where they did nothing but play crappy C grade horror, I basically was spoon fed a diet of Troma, Full Moon, Monstervision, and anything with the title “Marilyn Chambers” as my midnight naughty entertainment and I just flat out enjoyed almost anything I could get my hands on that was bargain basement including “Puppet Master” which is admittedly silly and surreal, but still a lot of fun. Hell, I sat through “Prehysteria” three times!
Around the late nineties, Charles Band of course tried to recapture some of the camp glory by creating knock offs of his former films that were his claim to fame and brought us “Blood Dolls.” Directed by Mr. Charles Band himself, “Blood Dolls” feels like a fan film directed by a Full Moon fan who one day decided to create his own version of “Puppet Master” with his own array of lame cheap ass puppets who were just copies of the originals, and… this movie happened. I can take a movie that involves people being overpowered by cloth puppets but this movie doesn’t even try. It just doesn’t even seem to want to try. For example I’m still trying to find out why the main villain has his very own female rock band throughout the movie who plays music to everything he does. And I’m still trying to figure out why the villain has a sidekick named Mr. Mascaro who does nothing but wear clown make up.
Proof that the movie isn’t even trying to remotely make sense is when villain Virgil manages to confront his soon to be bride Moira who proceeds in killing him and stopping the puppets. Then for no reason whatsoever, Mr. Marscaro breaks the fourth wall, speaks to the audience like Elmer Fudd in “A Corny Concerto” to explain to us that he was always a fan of happy endings and just for his own satisfaction he’s going to show us the happy ending. So we not only have to sit through villain Virgil dying off, but in the alternate ending where Virgil marries his hostage and bride to be Moira with the rock band playing his music and his trio of puppets watching like kids as they perform their vows to one another. Why? I’d be lying if I told you I knew, but all I can chalk this is up to is that Band wanted to kill Virgil, but at the last minute wanted to leave the door open for a sequel, so he offered an alternate timeline for an excuse for a “Blood Dolls II” hoping we wouldn’t care. I did.
I remembered watching this on cable one night and sitting up from my chair thinking “Are you kidding me with this crap?” It’s not even funny bad, it’s just bad. It’s not even trying. If I wasn’t so painfully aware that Charles Band directed this, I’d peg “Blood Dolls” as a rip-off of the “Puppet Master” series with a slew of small killer puppets who represent edgier versions of their predecessors (a killer pimp puppet… wow) except they’re not the least bit interesting or fascinating. They’re just pale carbon copies in a movie severely lacking in quality and or entertainment value. I’m one of the many folks who loves a good killer puppet movie as Charles Band has pleased me before, but “Blood Dolls” is yet another poor excuse to sell new dolls by wasting time and money on a movie that’s shrill, pointless, painful, and ridiculous even for Charles Band standards.