All Dolled Up: Two TZs + One NG = A Good Scary Movie
Want to see a good scary movie? Skip the multiplex. I have something better. Spend the evening with some dolls.
Before you chuckle TOO loudly, perhaps I’d better introduce them. You really don’t want them to hear you.
First up is Willie. Yes, a ventriloquist … well, I hesitate to say “dummy,” but that’s what these wooden sidekicks are usually called. He’s been known to resist whenever his owner suggests changes to the act. How can a stick of wood object, you ask? Oh, he has ways. And they don’t end well for people who oppose him. Just ask Goofy Goggles. Not that he can give you much of an answer. Goofy’s part of the pavement now, thanks to Willie’s little games.
Next to him: Talky Tina. Quite a smile on that one! Here’s a tip, though: when she says anything other than “I love you”? RUN. Trust me. Don’t bother arguing with her, and for pity’s sake, don’t drag her to the garage and try to use your circular saw to decapitate her. (Note the word “try”.) Just steer clear, or you might take an unscheduled trip down the stairs in the middle of the night.
Then there’s that nameless doll next to them. She doesn’t talk, at least not to us, but don’t assume she’s any less threatening than her companions. In fact, she may be the worst of this lethal trio. Very much the jealous type, and she has a rather sharp set of teeth.
But just because you have to watch your step around this gang, doesn’t mean they can’t help you out when you’re looking for a little entertainment. My suggestion: Use them to make your own scary movie. Watch the Twilight Zone episodes “The Dummy” and “Living Doll” and the Night Gallery episode with a segment called “The Doll.”
The fact that these episodes were made more than 40 years ago makes no difference. They all offer good, creepy fun. Top-notch acting, writing and directing is timeless, and that’s what you get here. If you think you need today’s ADD-style of editing, or loads of over-the-top gore to get goosebumps, these episodes will be a real revelation. A good shiver beats a good grimace any day.
You won’t be shaken up. You’ll be entertained. There’s a difference. Right, Willie?
Willie? Tina? *gulp* C’mon, guys …
“The Dummy“, “Living Doll“, and “The Doll” are available on Hulu. “The Dummy” and “Living Doll” are also available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. All three are on iTunes as well. Yes, you can sometimes find them on YouTube, but the copyright hunters keep posters on the run.
Wherever you locate them, I suggest a dark room and some popcorn. And maybe a heavy, blunt object. You know, just in case.
Think I’m kidding about “The Doll”? Check out what Guillermo del Toro, director of “Hellboy” and “Pan’s Labrinth,” has to say about it here.
Photo illustrations courtesy of Wendy Brydge. For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post. Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!