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Don't you hate it when you move your wife and kids to Mexico in order to run a doll factory, only to discover that your business is located right next to an ancient Mayan crypt that houses the evil spirit of a "Sanzian devil child" who promptly takes up spiritual residence in your daughter's new favorite dolly, thereby turning her into a freaky satan-loving little lunatic?
Yep, it's that old story again, courtesy of Dolly Dearest, a truly terrible little Child's Play ripoff that's as overtly low-budget as it is eye-scratchingly stupid.
Sam Bottoms and Denise Crosby (remember them?) play the two most clueless parents on earth; the pair are frequently seen searching for their kids ("Jimmy? Where's Jessica? Jessica? Where's Jimmy?"), and when little Jimmy and Jessica are around, they're running the roost. Jessica is, at first, a sweet-faced little angel; Jimmy is, throughout the movie, an outlandishly dorky archeology uber-geek.
Good thing for Jimmy that his dad's new business venture is located right next to that evil-ensaturated Mayan crypt, eh? Said crypt comes complete with its own exposition-spouting archaeologist, as played (with a hilariously bad British (?) accent) by the clearly embarrassed Rip Torn.
Slowly (ever so slowly) the two dangling plot threads are clumsily tied together:
Mayan crypt containing the spirit of a "Sanzian devil child" + Dusty doll factory full of really ugly dolls = Possessed devil-doll who entrances little Jessie and terrorizes basically every Hispanic person onscreen.
To say much more would only serve to imply that Dolly Dearest is somehow worthy of intense contemplation. It is not. Suffice to say that in the "killer doll" sub-genre of stupid horror flicks, Dolly Dearest may very well be the most moronic -- and this is a line of movies that includes titles like Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, Blood Dolls, Pinocchio's Revenge, five separate Chucky misadventures, and more Puppet Master sequels than you can possibly imagine.
Video: It's a half-watchable Fullscreen transfer from the "we'll now release anything" folks at Lions Gate Home Entertainment.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0. Dialogue is clear ... and hilarious.
Extras: The old Dolly Dearest trailer, which is a vast improvement over the 90-minute version.
This one's three parts Child's Play, one part The Omen, and eleventy-million parts of plain old terrible. Worth seeing for the unintentionally amusing acting performances, but that's hardly any sort of endorsement.