Note: This review was one of the last reviews I published on Horror in Retrospect. I had gotten pretty sick by this time and had been planning on taking a hiatus, but the reaction to this review is what made me quit. I got the normal "You're a pussy and a loser" reactions that I think anyone who gives a negative review gets. That did not bother me as I just laugh stuff like that off. The response in question was a death threat. I deleted it from the comments section so that my wife wouldn't see it and I really didn't take it seriously until the commentor Anonymous, because of course the person making death threats would give their first and last name, left a few threats in my email. I didn't get it. Why would someone threaten someone with death over a movie review? I didn't know and don't really want to know now. It was when I was reading these threats, which weren't that many, that I decided that I wasn't coming back, at least to Horror in Retrospect. I reviewed a few items that Troma had been kind enough to send and then I was done. I didn't tell anyone because there was nothing they could do, but I also didn't want to poke this bear anymore and wind up with a bullet to my head or worse. But anyway, here is the review that could have cost me my life.
Black Devil Doll is a movie that is so devoid of anything resembling entertainment that I can not figure out who this movie was made for. This is a movie that tries so hard to be outrageous that it fails, simply because being outrageous does not a movie make. To say the least, Black Devil Doll is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And trust me, I have seen some really terrible movies.
The movie starts out with a black militant being executed. Asked if he has any final words and he replies "I like to eat white butt". It was at this point that I wanted to turn the movie off, but for the sake of you, my faithful readers, I continued. We next cut to the main character, whose name I do not remember, writing in her journal. She narrates that she shouldn't have played with ouijia board because it ruined her life.
It is at this point that we are put into the movie's narrative structure: the old fashioned flashback. She uses the ouijia board and one of her dolls, that is white, turns into the Black Devil Doll. I perked up a little because this movie is sold as a horror movie and I figured that with the arrival of the executed militant's soul into the doll the killing would start. What I would come to realize though, is that the doll just wants to have sex.
And he does. He has sex with the main character, during a montage. Then he demands that the girl invite her friends over. She obliges and the Black Devil Doll proceeds to drug and rape her friends before killing them. Yes, there are killings in this movie, but they are proceeded with scenes of rape. The filmmakers seem to think that by having a doll do all of this, then it must be offensive. I perceived it as desperation. The filmmakers are so desperate to be shocking that they forgot how to make a good movie.
But that is going a bit too far because I am giving the notion that the filmmakers even now how to make a good movie. It is very apparent that they do not. What they do know is how to point the camera and shot something. This movie has no rhythm and no pacing. It goes from one scene to another, with no knowledge of what came before it. Scenes are staged so haphazardly that you wonder who financed this film.
Being shocking is an art form. You can't be shocking for the sake of being shocking. Some of the best movies that contain shock value do so because we have believable characters in order for the audience to have someone to relate to. Showing rape as shock value is just a excuse to show rape and that says something about the filmmakers. This movie shows that they would rather be pimps than filmmakers.
The audience for this appears to be rednecks, racists, and fans of rape. I'm sure that fans of B-movies will find this movie and be excited, like I was, at the possibility of spoof on horror movies. I fully expected this movie to be a low rent black Chucky, but the filmmakers have failed at that. In fact, they couldn't even come close, even if they tried. The filmmakers show that they do not understand what goes into making a movie and as an end result they turn to what they think is shocking, when in reality, the material is just plain dumb.
I am giving Black Devil Doll zero stars, not for the material, but for the way it is presented. It is clear that the filmmakers wanted to be offensive, but in order to that, you have to present something that is shocking. Seeing a doll have sex is not shocking. See this movie is not shocking. Knowing that this movie was made is not shocking. What is shocking is the fact that people are going to watch this movie and believe that they have seen something offensive. In a way they have. Black Devil Doll is offensive to people who have common sense. So, I guess the filmmakers did achieve something after all.