Doll Boy: 2010, 27 minutes
Written and Directed by: Billy Ho Pon
Synopsis(From the back of the DVD): When a brutal daylight massacre leaves them bound and gagged in a remote abandoned warehouse, eight young West Texans soon realize their minutes are numbered. Dropped deep into dark corridors, these captives quickly find themselves in a game of predator and prey with a merciless killer brandishing a sledgehammer as his choice of judgment. The dilapidated structure once the address of an old Tex-Mex flea market now houses a hell especially ready to deliver these unwitting souls a horrific fate they never dreamed existed.
I bought this movie after seeing the trailer on YouTube, knowing full well this was a short film. The trailer itself hyped me up enough to buy it, and I'm glad I did. It starts off showing two fake trailers: Circus of the Dead, and Mister Fister...but in Grind house fashion. I was interested right then. A throwback to gritty cinema? yes please. In my opinion, that is one of the problems with movies today. They are over produced, polished to perfection. I prefer the faded, beat-up, gritty feel to the films of before. Billy Pon carries this feel throughout the movie, and that immediately won some admiration from me, and added a point to the pro column.
It starts out fast, and doesn't slow. We hit the ground running, and there is no looking back. I guess you really can't when it's a short film. But the time constraint doesn't take away from the film overall. A van pulls up to an abandoned building and there are eight people inside, bound and gagged. The driver, a large, menacing man in clown paint heaves the victims into the building one by one. Outlook, not so good. Soon after, we are introduced to Doll Boy (Sergio Gracida), a beast who dons a creepy doll mask...except this doll doesn't want to be played with...he wants to play with you. Doll Boy's weapon of choice is a deadly sledgehammer, and he uses it like a champ. Kind of made me think of Tyler Mane as Michael Myers- Gracidas mannerisms made the character terrifying, his walk, his stature...very intimidating. The merciless and unrelentless intensity he shows while slamming his hammer into the skulls of his victims wet my appetite for violence. It's a typical game of cat and mouse, advantage-Doll Boy.
The abandoned building is a character in and of itself. Very dark, mysterious, cold and desperate. Being a short film, there isn't room for character development, and there is no time to really sympathize with the characters. I have a feeling that may have been Billy's intentions though, highlighting Doll Boy and spoon feeding his monster. That would also be one of the two negative things I can say about this. The lack of depth to the characters, although what can you honestly do in 27 minutes? There is so much packed into these minutes, this can easily be forgiven. My second issue...its dark. I understand that's the point behind an abandoned warehouse, but I would have liked it that much more had there been just a little bit more lighting.
I would definitely like to see this turned into a full length movie, as Billy Pon has talent. I can quote him saying "Doll Boy was just practice." If this was just practice, then I can't wait to see his feature Circus of the Dead starring Bill Oberst Jr. I'd love back story on Doll Boy, the driver too, what there relationship is, so on and so forth as the movie leaves you wanting more.
I give Doll Boy 3.5/5 Skulls on grounds of it being to dark for my liking, and the lack of character development. I will definitely watch this again. It's fun, it's remorseless, its ruthless and I recommend it to anyone who seeks out villain who likes their slasher vicious and unmerciful.
You can pick it up at www.bloodybill.com