Doll Graveyard (2005)

Doll Graveyard (2005)

Reborn for revenge

It’s 1905 and twelve year old Sophie is playing with her four dolls when she accidentally breaks a vase. Her abusive father is annoyed and forces him to go and bury the dolls in the back garden. However Sophie slips and breaks her neck and her dad quickly buries her along with the dolls. 100 years later and the house is now inhabited by the Fillbrook family. The youngest son, Guy, finds the buried dolls whilst playing the garden and takes them inside. Later that night, his sister has a party in the house and invites over her best friends. Two teenager boys gatecrash the party but not before bullying Guy and tying him up so that he won’t call the police. With the party getting out of hand, Guy is possessed by Sophie’s spirit and brings the dolls to life to teach the boys a lesson.


If you’ve seen one of Charles Band’s ‘little monsters on the loose’ flicks then you’ve seen them all. Not content with cranking out Puppet Master and numerous sequels, Blood Dolls, Hideous! and Demonic Toys, here’s another one to add to the collection. With pretty much the same plot as the other films – killer dolls/puppets/little monsters wreak havoc and get revenge for various misdeeds against a hero – this isn’t going to win any originality awards. In fact it won’t win any awards, save for maybe the worst film ever to feature killer dolls (it’s a pretty big sub-genre let me tell you and Mr Band is responsible for about 90% of the films).

I don’t like whining about films too much because I’d rather these reviews be critical enough to look at the whole picture. But when the film in question is a steaming turd like this, there’s only one thing I can do and that’s hammer it to hell! The entire film is virtually pointless. The opening with the girl and the abusive father looks ridiculously forced. Both of them seem to be reading off the cue cards. And why does he just bury his own daughter in the garden? There’s no real showing of anger or hate from him towards her, just a shrug and then starts burying her in the dirt. Surely for the sake of an extra couple of minutes worth of film, they could have expanded this a bit more to give us a bit of meaning later on? The flash forward to the future doesn’t start well with bickering siblings and more cue card reading. Again there’s not a great deal of point to the proceedings. The kid finds the dolls and the sister organises the party. There’s still no reason for me to be watching the film.

Whoopie do – a party! Oh wait there’s only three guests. Guess they couldn’t afford to hire any more people to fill the cast. Two teenage boys show up which brings the total body count possibilities to a meager 4 (come on the brother and sister aren’t going to die). And then finally, after what seems like an eternity, we get the killer dolls strutting their stuff. Blink and you’ll miss them though. The special effects for the dolls in these flicks are always reasonably good and they never look overly expensive so why don’t we get more of them? The dolls look like altered versions of their counterparts from the Puppet Master series and you get a German soldier, a Samurai, a Native Islander (?) and a girl’s doll. Each one has a mere minute or so of screen time but they’re the best parts of the film whilst they’re around.

One of my pet hates about these films is their running times. Granted I don’t want to sit for two hours and be bored silly because they haven’t got the budgets to keep the dolls on screen for that length of time. But when the title is a pointless couple of minutes long and the final credits show us scenes of every actor by name first and then roll the slowest-moving traditional text credits ever, it soon becomes a joke. Padding at its most pure form and taken away, the film would be on for no longer than an hour! Even some more story, some character development and general build-up would have been worthwhile here because the film is so short, straight-to-the-point and directionless that it might as well not exist. Surely films like this can’t get the green light on purpose? What would happen if they stopped making these pointless short flicks, saved their money and invested in bigger projects? I shudder to think.


When the highlight of any film is the sight of a German soldier doll impaling a guy’s genitalia with his spike helmet, you know you’re in big trouble. Doll Graveyard is a fitting title for what has become a tiresome rehash by Charles Band. These killer doll flicks should be consigned to the graveyard themselves.


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