Friday, December 23, 2016

'Parasite Dolls' in an underdeveloped disappointment

Dangerous Worry Dolls (aka "Parasite Dolls") (2008)
Starring: Jessica Morris, Cheri Themer, Dilio Nunez, Deb Snyder, and Meridith McClain
Director: Charles Band
Producers: Charles Band, Joe Megna, and Dana Harrloe
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

When incarceration in a women's prison ruled by a corrupt warden (Snyder) and a violent gangleader (McClain) becomes unbearable for Eva (Morris), she wishes her troubles onto a set of "worry dolls" that her daughter gave her while visiting. The dolls, however, are more than just vessels for wishful thinking, and they swiftly begin to eliminate all of Eva's troubles.

Like so many Full Moon movies, "Dangerous Worry Dolls" is brimming with potenial and overflowing with promise... potential and promise that for the most part remains unrealized. Quite honestly, it feels like they used a partially fleshed-out outline as their shooting script and even then didn't bother completing all the scenes.

We are introduced relatively well to Eva, the main character, but no other character gets even the slightest bit of development; everyone is a cookie cutter "women in prison" stock character--and even Eva's character is paper thin in the depth department. Worse, however, is the fact that only one of the worry dolls in Eva's box gets to do anything in the film. Why only that one is magical is never explained... although one gets the feeling that they were ALL supposed to be magical if the film had been compelte.

With the overlong opening and end credits are removed, the movie barely runs more than hour... and what happens in that hour feels incomplete and there are a number of severe continuity issues, such as a confrontation that was supposed to happen at 10:30pm ends up taking place after an event that was supposed to happen at Midnight. There's also an issue with Jessica Morris' make-up once she becomes possessed by the worry dolls and goes on a rampage; the discoloration on her skin that can be seen in the still above comes and goes for no real reason other than maybe scenes are not in the order they were originally supposed to be according to what passed for the script.

The only bright spot here is Jessica Morris, and possibly Dilio Nunez. Morris gives a decent performance all around, considering what she has to work with, and Nunez does some nice foreshadowing of the "big reveal" regarding his character's secret. None of the other cast members give bad performances, but they aren't especially good either. Then again. one has to excuse them to some degree, because they are spitting out some of the most cliched dialogue imaginable while portraying characters that are woefully underdeveloped.

"Dangerous Worry Dolls" is only for people who absolutely must see every single movie in the "women in prison" subgenre of trashy films, and for those who enjoy that off-kilter, undefinable quality present in almost all of Charles Band's films--even the ones that feel as unfinished as this one. It's not his worst effort, but it is far, far from his best.


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Thanks for sharing your opinion. I love seeing what fellow fans have to say!