Devil Doll Reviews
wrong flixster data.
This movie is really intriguing with its use of the early "green screen" work and its other effects. That is really what drives the film. Other than that the movie sort of falls flat and ends very bizarrely.
Lionel Barrymore (Great uncle of Drew Barrymore) and Marcel are on the run after escaping from prison. Marcel is a great scientist and he drags Barrymore to his experiments once they escape. The experiments Marcel performs involve shrinking things down to 1/6th their original size. For the most part he carries out these feats of size reduction on his seemingly endless supply of dogs. The doctor has a heart attack and before he dies tells his vision of the world to Barrymore and his assistant (some lady with a limp). The Lady, determined to finish the doctor's work, decides that Barrymore must help her realize the late doctor's dream. So naturally Barrymore just becomes a doctor in about 5 minuets. He even comments "I couldn't help, I was a Banker". How does this guy just up and become a scientist?It bugs me! The movie goes on from there with Barrymore using the method used to shrink things to clear his name, and then lives out the rest of his years in peace. That is pretty much the entire movie.
There are some freaky parts like when he tortures his victims by paralyzing them with a tiny dagger dipped in paralyzing potion, or when Lionel Barrymore dresses up as an old woman to allude the police. His make-up is pretty uncanny. You wouldn't even know that you were looking at veteran actor of the stage and screen. The movie didn't have a lasting impression on me though and I am going to give it a mere 4 out of 10.
I am going to go be a surgeon now.
Creepy hypnotist with bad childhood, check.
Foxy ladies acting like boiled potatoes, double check.
It was interesting seeing this with an audience who were initially laughing at the absurdity, then gradually started taking the movie on its own terms. There were a couple near-Hitchcockian moments of suspense and an ending that could have been maudlin but turned out to be genuinely touching. There's a bit of recycling from Browning's The Unholy Three (which is at lest tacitly acknowledged in the trailer) but the film still works on its own merits.