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Drive-In Dust Offs: Dolls (1987)

The world of filmmaker Stuart Gordon is wide reaching in tone and content; crime thrillers to cosmic horror have filled the screen for decades. And then there’s Dolls (1987), which occupies a special place for lovers of fairy tales with dripping meat on its bones; it’s as weird as you expect it to be, but with a sweet underbelly that refuses to stay down.

Made quickly after Re-Animator (’85) but before From Beyond (’86) to utilize Charles Band’s Italian studios for Empire Pictures, Dolls didn’t see release until release stateside until March of ’87, and quickly came and went with little fanfare. Perhaps folks were still attuned to Gordon’s very specific Lovecraftian vibrations to appreciate something so different at the time. Time has been kind however, and the film is generally regarded now as one of his better efforts from a varied (and storied) filmography.

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