Year Released: 1990
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 94 minutes
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Howard is an introverted medical student, studying pathology, who’s in love with cute-as-a-cupcake Christine. Trouble is that Christine doesn’t know, or even care, who Howard is and before our lovelorn protagonist can make the “big” move his object of desire is dead. Howard finds out the devastating news while keeping the “red eye” at the morgue and is ordered to assist in performing the autopsy. From this point the tone of “Living Doll,” and Howard’s mental capabilities, take a discouraging turn and along with Howie the viewer tumbles and fumbles forever downwards into a pit of stark raving madness and mayhem.
Things seem pretty hopeless for poor Howard. His best friend can’t help him, his boss is a conniving slave driver and his landlady is constantly sticking her nose in his business. Howard’s only comfort is knowing he’s taken Christine’s corpse back to his rathole apartment and she patiently awaits him. The fact his paramour’s body is stinking and rotting hardly deters Howard from carrying on with their love life, and so he does. Howard talks with Christine and dines with Christine. Howard even marries Christine and summarily consummates the union as all good newlyweds should.
The more this craziness continues the more vexing things become for Howard and the film races to a shock and surprise ending. A surprise ending that will have fans of the genre tickled pink and wondering why they’d never heard of this little gem called “Living Doll.” One can only wonder what would have happened had Lucky McKee’s “May” met our new friend Howie the morgue attendant.
To no one’s surprise the exploitative details of “Living Doll” are glowingly obvious and painted all about; nudity, partying, gore, etc., are slathered, without pretense, across the screen. Regardless, the directors’ impressive trajectory, crossed with Paul Catling’s (“Hellraiser”) imagined and sickening special FX, coalesce fittingly with the arresting on-screen talents of lead actor Mark Jax. Altogether this charged cinematic concoction fires and fuels the film heads-n-shoulders above the drekk that it may have been in the hands of lesser qualified folk.
Being no stranger to DVD extras, Mondo Macabro got really busy and included: interviews with the cast and crew as well as a documentary involving the film’s producer Dick Randall, trailers, stills and an interesting short film by “Living Doll” author Paul Hart Wilden entitled “Horrorshow.”
Posted on September 1, 2005 in Reviews by Christopher Curry
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