"Dead Doll"

Dead Doll (2004) is a direct to video comedy/horror no budget offering. It is amusing to imagine how this film might have come about. I envision a group of people who wanted to try their hand at making a film. They had the use of Romi Koch, who had no problem whatsoever with nudity, looked great, and was very good at impersonating a mannequin. They also knew how to use make-up to help with the illusion. This gives us a naked actress who can be either a doll, or alive, which leads to a horror or comedy genre effort. Now we need a central conflict. Let's start with the actress as alive, turn her into a sex doll somehow, then have one person after another become obsessed with her, and so meet a horrible end.

Up to this point, the idea is 24 carat. Script a series of relationships, and a way to transition from one to the next, then explain how and why she was made into a mannequin, and you are ready to start shooting. At this point, they could have used a little more ingenuity in the various methods of death, and put a little more thought into why everyone became obsessed with the sex doll, thinking eventually that she was really alive. They also could have been a little better about POV, and the ambiguity as to whether Koch was a strange woman or a doll. Nevertheless, at the end of filming, I still think they were on their way to good grade Z film.

When it came time to edit, a chronological approach seemed like watching several episodes of a serial one after another, so they elected to intercut the making of the doll with the various fatal relationships. Frankly, this didn't really work. It was nearly impossible to keep track of the time frame. They did use a blue tint for the flashback scenes, mostly.

My guesses above may or may not be close to the truth. I find the idea interesting, Koch a perfect choice for the role, but the editing jarring. The acting from everyone except Koch was over-the-top, but that could have worked anyway for bad movie ambiance. Koch shows everything, although sometimes it is hard to tell if it was really her, or a mannequin. I am 98% certain that all of my images are actually her. The fact that I am only 98% sure is a tribute to her performance. A very few IMDb readers have this at 6.6 of 10. Scoring is difficult, but I will award a C- based almost entirely on Koch's performance. I suspect a re-edit might bring the same material up to a solid C.

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  • Romi Koch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    The Amityville Horror (1979):

    With a remake on the immediate horizon, it seems like a good time to look back at the series, starting with this one, the granddaddy of them all.

    I guess it's been a mighty long time since 1979, because I simply didn't remember this film doing that well. Turns out it was a monster hit. It was among the top ten in the 1979 box office stats, and is also among the top ten 1979 performers in terms of subsequent rental income. It also spurred two theatrical sequels, four more straight-to-video classics, two TV movies, and now a remake. All in all, a deceptively powerful little franchise.

    It is also a franchise filled with very bad movies. The first film weighs in with a mediocre 5.3 at IMDb, and the second one scores 4.0. Those scores are poor to mediocre, but the first two films seem like Casablanca compared to the rest of the franchise

    If the re-make is to be a good movie, it has a long row to hoe. In fact, given the history of the series, even a mediocre movie will have to be considered a major triumph over the source material.

    The original film stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder in the semi-true tale of the first family daring enough to move into a house which was the source of six brutal and mysterious murders. You'd think they might have been suspicious when they walked through a monstrous, partially furnished three story house with waterfront property, a boat house, and a guest house, and their real estate agent told them they could obtain the house for any reasonable offer, probably even as a swap for a decent baseball card.

    They have read about the murders, so they figure the house's history is the reason for the low price. There's no problem living in a location with a past, says Brolin, because "houses don't have memories." They move in, never suspecting that the house is filled with ... (cue up Richard Burton from the Exorcist sequel ... take it, Dick ....)


    According to the DVD box, the house is filled with unspeakable evil, which is just as well, since haunted houses filled with speakable evil require me to type so much more describing it. And luckily for me, the evil was not only unspeakable, but nearly untypeable as well. I can only hint that it involves plenty of raspberry syrup dripping from the walls, toilets that back up with tar, and a giant red-eyed hamster in the window. The members of the family often stare at each other in silence. Occasionally a nun or a priest drops by to check the place out, but they end up skedaddling when they look around and sense the unspeakable ...


    If you are looking for some worthwhile 70s nostalgia in this film, you're lookin' in all the wrong places. This film is really not any good. There are times when I can recall what made a certain film as popular as it once was, but I just can't seem to time-travel back to 1979 and figure out what I or anyone else saw in this one. Given the tremendous box office appeal of the film, something in it must have clicked with its contemporary audiences, but whatever that was, it can not longer be sensed. I suppose this film must have done something first, or perhaps it did something better than it had ever been done up to that point. I just don't know. All the tension is mismanaged, there are no real effective surprises, and the film just ends with no catharsis of any kind. Certain promising plot points are simply ignored. For example, the wife in this family researches the earlier murders and finds that the picture of the killer is ... her husband. Interesting concept. Is it the same man? Two men possessed by the same evil spirit? The wife's imagination? At times her husband seems to be going over to the dark side, but then he snaps back to normal. At the end, he interrupts their escape to return to the haunted house, against the screaming protests of his family. Will he join Satan and all his minions? Hell, no. He rescues the family dog  and they all drive off to live in another state. Nobody is hurt.

    Man, unspeakable evil sure is overrated if it can't even take out a suburban family and a cute doggie. Maybe the author should have tried the speakable kind. Then at least the family would have had something to discuss over dinner.

    • Margot Kidder (1, 2, 3, 4)



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    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
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    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Jr's Polls
    This week's poll (Best Sex Scene in a Mainstream Movie ) was a close race but we do have a winner!

    I'll have the offical results and write up in a day or two.

    Here are the results of our most recent other polls...
    The Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2004
    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 80s
    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 90s
    Which actress has been the most convincing playing a stripper.
    Who has the best bum in Hollywood?
    Best All Time Television Comedy
    Best Nudity in an Oscar-winning performance.

    Email Scoopy Jr. with more nominees, comments or suggestions.

    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    "Blood Angels" (2004) aka Thralls
    Terrible horror about a bunch of vampire hoes. Stars funhouse favorite Lorenzo Lamas although he didn't have enough screen time to bed any of them. The only nudity was by an obvious body double despite a strong lineup of b-actresses who already doffed their tops in other acting roles.

    "Bad Apple" (2004) (TV)
    Crime-comedy starring Chris "Mr. Big" North.

    "Something More" (1999)
    Light romance comedy and buddy film.

    "Lucky Seven" (2003)
    Lightweight comedy-drama about a ally-mcbeal single-female-lawyer played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

    "Narc" (2002)
    Krista Bridges of Naked Josh has a supporting part. Naked Josh returns to Showtime coming June.

    Bliss III: episode Amazon
    Episode about some female chicks-with-sticks hockey players. Jessica Greco plays a non-lesbian goalie who does not mind letting a puck slip past her net. But the only real nudity was by a topless player in the changeroom.

    Godiva's: episode Having Her Cake
    Third episode and no nudity already.

    • Leah Cairns: cleavage.
    • Jenn Bird: brassiere giving blowjob. She's best known as the topless waitress from the Jeremiah cable pilot.

    Show Me Yours season II
    Returns to Showcase April 12.

    • collage: Rachael Crawford and some other unidentified guests stars from some upcoming episodes.

    'Caps and comments by Oz:

    "Passion Lane"
    First up with a bit of soft core - Passion Lane. This solved one problem for me, why do so many of the actresses work under different names. I've worked out it's because they and/or the person producing the credits can't spell. Dru Berrymore is mentioned 3 times in Passion Lane and yet, as you can see, it's spelled once as Dru Barrymore. If they can't get that right what hope is there. It's not helped by actresses deliberately trying to take off the name of legitimate actresses, such as Scarlett Johansing. Plenty of nudity in Passion Lane by Dru, Scarlett, Leah Riley, Gina Ryder and Mandy Fisher, and we saw the censored verion.

    • Dru Berrymore (1, 2, 3)
    • Scarlett Johansing...better known as Monique Parent (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    • Leah Riley aka Amy Lindsay (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Gina Ryder (1, 2, 3, 4,
    • Mandy Fisher (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    "Tony Rome"
    Frank Sinatra is Tony Rome and there's no nudity. Nice shots of Jill St John, Deanna Lund and some unknowns.

    "Wedding Bell Blues"
    The nudity in Wedding Bell Blues comes from Paulina Porizkova, but she is facing the wrong way. So we just see her and Illeana Douglas in their underwear.

    • Paulina Porizkova (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Illeana Douglas (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Myfanwy Waring Flautista takes a look at the Lloyd A. Simandl Czechsploitation flick, "Ripper 2: Letter from Within".

    Comments by Flautista:
    This is not a great movie, but it has some suspense and enough action.
    Nudity Review: Myfanwy shows the breasts and thong views while undressing.

    Buck Rogers babes
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    No nudity here, but nerds like my owe a thank you to Scorpion 'capping some of the hot babes of the future! This batch of 'caps features scenes from the DVD set of the late 70's-early 80's sci-fi series "Buck Rogers". We have series star Erin Gray, series regular guest villian Pamela Hensley plus assorted other babes dressed in spandex body suits and polyester.

    Marcia Gay Harden
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the Oscar winner briefly baring her breasts in scenes from one of her early films, "Crush" (1992).

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