Director: Chester N. Turner
Not Rated (Mild Language, Extended Scenes of Possesed Doll Fornication)
|It's a real nightmare.|
"You have never seen anything like this."
It's something as a fan of the obscure and strange that I encounter quite often. However, saying this about Black Devil Doll from Hell is the only time I feel that actually using this phrase truly applies.
I went in to viewing this film thinking it would be a Pre-Chucky killer doll flick. Holy Hot God Damn. . . I was more than wrong. I was completely unprepared for what I saw.
|"She's foxy, classy, ohhh, sexy, sassy. She's heavenly, a treat for the eyes to see."|
Helen Black is a sweet, overly religious woman with sin surrounding her at every turn. Her friends want to set her up with men and leave church early, she can't walk down the street without having people try to sell her stolen goods. She is the sole shining holy light of the South-Side of Chicago.
|A sample of Helen's Home Decor.|
So she wanders into a curio shop and buys a doll that looks like Rick James. The shop owners gives Helen a story about how she's had the doll in her shop on several different occasions and how it grants it's owner it's deepest darkest desires.
As a hyper religious zealot, Helen represses all of her desires. After bringing the doll home while singing "Jesus Loves Me" she sets the doll on the toilet and proceeds to shower. The doll "makes her" touch herself. Annnnnnnnnnd the following 30 minutes of the 70 minute feature, the doll forces itself on Helen sexually, after while, Helen digs it.
The doll eventually disappears and returns to the curio shop. Helen is lost. She no longer has the power of sex to get her through the day. She was victim of the doll, now her insatiable desire for sex must be satisfied. She has sex with some dudes and nothing but the abusive and violent doll can hit the spot.
|Member of the Dazz Band|
Is this a comment about repressed desires? Is it a "Be Careful What You Wish For" story? Is it a comment about the state of Christianity? Is it about addiction? Is it a comment about Rape and sympathizing with the attacker? Is it about demonic possession? Is it a comment on inner city crime? Is it a comment about dolls that look like Rick James? Is this really even a movie? Surprisingly, it's something, and that's what makes it interesting.
Sing it STEVIE!
Being a Shot-On-Video production, it's about what you would expect. It's shot in about 4 locations: A house, a bar, a church, and the curio shop. There's one character and two other dudes. The music, while fantastic, is nothing more than a Casio and a broke ass Stevie Wonder Singing into a cassette recorder. It looks like garbage, it is honestly one of the worst looking SOV movies I have ever seen. It's shaky, washed out, and questionably edited. I wouldn't want it any other way.
|Aww Hell Naw.|
THE BACK STORY:
The New York Times wrote a piece that covers the background of this film quite well. It offers real research and quotes of those who have had a hand in making this movie. as well as finally making it available again. I highly recommend checking it out: CLICK HERE TO READ A GOOD ARTICLE.
If you don't want to read that, here's a quick background:
|Negative Art = Art|
Basically after Turner made his follow up to Black Devil Doll, Tales From The Quadead Zone, and VHS collecting became a thing a few years back, the rumor was spread that Turner was dead. He isn't and he is currently doing Q and As around the Nation with his films.
If you enjoy Shot On Video or bizarre movies, Black Devil Doll from Hell should serve as the foundation of the sub-genre. It is truly an experience that will never be duplicated. Now that it has been officially released on DVD (along with Chester Turner's SOV masterwork, Tales from the Quadead Zone), I recommend everyone purchase this truly bizarre piece of movie history. Click Here to check it out on Amazon.
John and I recorded a podcast about the film during the time I was in Minnesota in early November which should be posted in the coming week.
- M. McSlam