Better Viewing Through Cosmic Cognizance By Fred E. Frederick
(a.k.a. Cosmic Charlie)
Freddy Von Frederick here (Cosmic Charlie incarnate) with a review of one of the biggest little movies of all time, Dollman. A Sci-Fi/Horror/Action flick from the people at Full Moon Entertainment, another film where size doesn’t matter when it comes to kicking ass. Instead of puppets or toys being our little terrors, we get a cop with an attitude who’s from another planet, Brick Bardo (Tim Thomerson). Nothing very alien about this alien, besides his awesome laser gun, and the fact that he’s 13 inches tall, but other than that, he’s no different than a Tom Atkins or Dirty Harry type cop who’s ready to kick butts and and chew bubble gum, but who’s all out of bubblegum.
We start off on the little guy’s home planet and get to see some bad ass Demolition Man style handling of a hostage situation, as well as some hilarious dialogue about laundry and fat ladies. After we get the tone set from that small scene, we’re introduced to the main villain of the film, Sprug, but more on him later. We then take a spaceship flight through some sort of vortex and to a pale blue dot we call Earth. The situation enlarges as our hero encounters some Terran punks who are about 10 times his size, but luckily, lasers still do damage even if they’re from an inch long gun. From that point the movie kinda gets confused as to what it is.
We’re introduced to a hispanic woman, Debi, trying to make her neighborhood in the Bronx safe again by ridding it of the drug dealing gangs while she’s also raising a little boy. It’s a great emotional story that hooks you in, but I dunno if I really wanted this level of realism and heartbreaking hardship from a movie about a laser shooting doll sized cop. Don’t get me wrong, our female lead does a great acting job, and her interaction with our titular character as well as her son’s interest in this action figure sized man is interesting and entertaining, but I feel like they do too good of a job bringing you into a reality, that it feels awkward to accept the rest of the story.
Can’t forget to mention the practically immaculate Jackie Early Haley (it’s not his fault he wasn’t Robert Englund, so I’ll let the Nightmare On Elm Street remake slide) as Braxton Red. Jackie shines in such movies as The Bad News Bears and Watchmen and shows the same kind of completely convincing acting for a punk ass kid that we’ve come to love about him. I can’t say enough about how pathetic and unconvincing almost every street level punk in cheap horror films tend to be, and how that annoys me so immensely, but Jackie nails it. He’s scary enough that you wouldn’t want to meet him in an alley, but Bart Simpsony enough to make you kinda wanna join his gang. He runs the show in his part of town, but keeps Debi safe out of some misplaced affection. It’s his out-of-line gang members that Bardo shoots when he first lands and encounters them about to set Debi on fire, despite Braxton’s wishes.
So back to Sprug, a hideous looking head on a messed up hover car, who Braxton discovers in his little ship and befriends after being offered a special ubber-bomb of alien design, which, is kinda weird, but, necessary for the plot, so we just go with it. Braxton and his men go after this guy they’ve come to refer to as Dollman, and get the bad end of a big stick, or gun. Does that analogy work? I don’t care, cause I’m tired and it’s 2:30 pm and I have no excuse for the yawning that’s going on with me right now. So where was I? Oh yeah, Braxton(Jackie) makes it back to his place, but in bad shape, until he cuts a deal with Sprug, who heals him, and then tries to claim mastery over Braxton, but when you’re only inches tall, and only a head, I wouldn’t suggest making demands of New York gang members, ‘cause it’s not gonna go well. So more stuff happens and things blow up and believe it or not, the good guys win. SPOILER!
All in all, a very fun film that should be required viewing for anyone trying to make a cheap sci-fi/horror adventure, or anyone who loves dolls. Like I said before, I’m not so sure about the whole harrowing heroine in the Bronx story, even though it’s done perfectly, I just didn’t feel like it was what I signed up for when I bought a movie called Dollman. It’s also not a theme you would want in a pinball machine. Or I dunno, maybe a “The Bronx” pinball machine with Multiball gangbanging and Orbit Shots to back alley murders with Pop Bumper rumbles and Trapdoor street rapes. Orrr not.