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Stuff I Love: Scaring You With Dolls & Killer/Scary Doll Movie List

 I’ve been re-reading Borderlands: La Frontera this week and have been preoccupied with the passages describing the Shadow Beast. This morning I wondered why that was and then I realized that Halloween is coming up, a time when I tend to focus on the macabre.

Since I’ll probably seem more creepy if I do this another week, I figure a quick blurb on the art of Justin Aerni tonight is as appropriate as it’s going to get before Christmas.

Justin Aerni is a young artist living and working in Spokane, Washington. According to his bio, most of his art has been symbolic in dealing with what he (and other humans) fear most, Death. His work reflects the fragile human condition we are all held in. Most of it could be described as “Abstract Depressionism.”  Yay!

Not to worry folks, he also creates non doll-that-will-haunt-your dreams work. Check out this cheery Obama piece on Justin’s flick. He was also featured in this week’s episode of Epic-Fu.

In honor of Justin’s assemblage of petrifying playthings, here’s some history about scary dolls in cinema + a list of scary doll movies:

Wanna Play? after the jump…


The Lair’s List of  Killer/Scary Doll Movies

1. Trilogy of Terror (1975) – Three bizarre horror stories all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing tormented women. The “Amelia” segment features Karen Black running for her life from the armed Zuni Hunter doll.

2. Magic (1978) -  Starring Anthony Hopkins, “Magic” features a ventriloquist dummy taking control of his master.

3. Tourist Trap (1979) – A group of young friends stranded at a secluded roadside museum are stalked by the owner of the place, who has the power to control his collection of mannequins. This was remade as House of Wax in 2005, starring the serious thespian Paris Hilton. Yes, I know there aren’t actual dolls in here but mannequins are kind of like dolls. Think about it.

4. Poltergeist (1982) – The scary clown that drags the little girl under the bed still haunts my dreams.

5. Gremlins (1984) – A boy inadvertantly breaks 3 important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. The gremlins became dolls that kids bought in stores, so this counts too.

6. Dolls (1987) – A charming doll collection turns into an unstoppable army of killers in this terrifying tale.

7. Child’s Play Trilogy (1991) – Serial killer Brad Dourif’s ongoing quest to possess the body of a young boy while being trapped in cute Good Guy doll. In the last chapter John Waters gets involved (Seed of Chucky) and it all becomes campy performance art.

8. Demonic Toys (1992) – A botched bust on a pair of arms dealers inadvertantly leads to the raising of a sixty-six-year-old demon with the power to bring toys to life as his personal minions. The demon is looking for a body to inhabit so he can increase his powers, and it just so happens that one of the police officers is pregnant with the ideal host. As the murderous toys close in on their victims, the officer must not only fight for her life, but for the soul of her unborn child.

9. Dolly Dearest (1992) – Dolly Dearest is downright evil. An American family moves to Mexico to make dolls, but their toy factory happens to be next to a satanic grave. Creepier than Chucky because she offers zero comedic relief.

10.  Pinocchio’s Revenge (1996) – A mother brings home an evil Pinocchio wooden puppet that supposedly caused a man to kill his son. Her little girl finds the doll and takes it as her own. They go along causing accidents until the real killings start and the doll takes over the little girl.

11.  Doll Graveyard (2005) – An abused girl ends up dying in a pit filled with the dolls she was forced to bury.  Around 100 years later, a 14 year old boy finds one of the dolls in the yard of the house that his family bought. His older (mean) sister throws a party and a bunch of resurrected dolls wreak their hellish brand of terror.

12. The Dollman/Demonic Toys (2005) -  A botched bust on a pair of arms dealers inadvertently leads to the raising of a sixty-six year old demon with the power to bring toys to life as his personal minions.

13. Dead Silence (2007) – Billy is a naughty puppet. Previously owned by Mary Shaw, a ventiloquist who was murdered by local Ravens Hill villagers for kidnapping a boy to turn him into a human puppet, Billy houses Mary Shaw’s spirit while she gets revenge on all those who killed her.

14. Puppet Master Collection- All 7 Puppet Master movies must be watched in a row to fully appreciate it’s legacy of horror and gore.

15. Triliquist (2008) -  I have not seen this yes but a user comment on the IMDB page looked promising:

Seriously warped horror comedy about an unlikely trio, a demented family of weirdos driving across the desert wreaking havoc on whoever they meet. A mute, seemingly autistic brother, Norbert who communicates through his ventriloquist dummy, Dummy…


What other killer/scary doll movies can you think of?


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