Sunday, June 11, 2017


Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics, and give you our thoughts, good or bad. This week's pick is the 2015 Rene Perez penned and directed slasher flick...PLAYING WITH DOLLS.

The opening sequence of Playing with Dolls makes it look like this movie is going to harken back to the slasher movies of the late seventies and early eighties. A terrified, beautiful young woman is running barefoot through the woods attempting to elude a killer with an edged weapon.  Of course, we all know how these things go; no matter how fast the victim (played by Alanna Forte) runs away screaming or how slow Metalface, the killer (played by Charlie Glackin), walks, eventually she gets caught and killed in gory fashion.

Playing with Dolls, however, has a twist to it that is not like your typical movie of this genre. Metalface lives on the private grounds of a sick and twisted billionaire named Scopophilio (played with absolute creepiness by Richard Tyson).  Scopophilio pays his staff to go out and find young women who are in desperate need of a job and place to live and bring them back to his heavily guarded compound under the guise of being a new addition to his staff. These women, or ‘dolls’ are actually brought there so he can watch Metalface hunt them down and kill them. Scopophilio likes to watch people die.  When he needs a fresh ‘doll’ for Metalface to ‘play with’, Scopophilio sends his lovely female lawyer (played by Allisun Sturges) to fetch a young girl named Cindy (played by Natasha Blasick). Cindy can’t believe her good fortune to be chosen for a job that not only provides her place to stay, but a brand-new wardrobe to boot.

Little does she know that she’s being served up as a plaything for not one, but two deranged psychopaths without compassion or remorse; one loves to watch carnage and death happen, the other likes to mete out carnage and death, taking gruesome trophies from his victims. All of which makes Playing with Dolls sound like a good slasher flick right up there with Friday the 13th or Halloween, right?


In my opinion, after having sat through this movie, Playing with Dolls doesn’t belong in the trash bin, it belongs in a toxic waste dump it’s so bad. I mean everything about this movie is bad, from the barely fleshed out script, written by Rene Perez and Barry Massoni, that subjects the viewer to such tedious ‘padding’ like fifteen minutes of Cindy dancing around while trying on different sexy dresses and gazing adoringly at herself in the full-length mirror. The movie is also directed by Perez, who attempts to give it a voyeuristic feel that doesn’t quite hit the mark, especially with the use of scenes of Metalface lurking around making several semi-comedic attempts to kill ‘the oblivious to his presence’ Cindy.

Usually, even if the script is bad and the characters poorly created, things can be brought up a notch by the actors in the roles. The acting in Playing with Dolls is not the best and does little to elevate the story. I am left seriously wondering how an actor of Richard Tyson’s caliber ended up in this low budget film where he plays a character that does nothing but sit around watching monitors and looking sinister every now and then.

There is one bright spot as far as an actor elevating a character goes. David A. Lockhart, who plays Burnette, a law enforcement officer investigating the strange disappearance tied to Scopophilio’s compound. He manages to bring some depth to a basically cardboard character.

As for Metalface himself, as a masked slasher/killer, he is so far out of the same league as Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers that he shouldn’t even be playing in the same genre sandbox. Metalface does a lot of lumbering around or retreating to his trophy filled ‘lair’ to pout like a moody child. Jason or Michael never pouted and they never allowed themselves to be played for comic relief.

If you want to kill some time watching a bad movie, Playing with Dolls can do that for you.

On a final note to this review, I don’t know what’s worse, finding out it has spawned not one, but two sequels-- Playing with Dolls: Bloodlust and Playing with Dolls: Havoc -- or realizing I might be compelled by curiosity to watch them!


Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 20%
IMDb: 2.4/10
Amazon: 2.6/5


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