I always say you can’t get more post-modern than your local Blockbuster video store, and once again I proved this to myself when I popped in this week to find something to watch. I hadn’t noticed it before but lurking in a dim corner of the shop was a copy of Dummy (Triloquist in the US) directed by Mark Jones (the man behind Leprechaun and Rumpelstiltskin).
No need to review the film really, the blurb says it all: “Norbert hasn’t spoken since his mother’s suicide – except through her old ventriloquist’s dummy. But does this dummy hold an evil spell over Norbert and his attractive sister? Matters get out of control when the trio head for Las Vegas and a kid winds up dead. Blaming Norbert, his sister has him sent to an institution. As the creepy dummy increasingly takes on a life of its own, the three reunite and embark on a murderous road trip leading to a twisted and shocking finale.”
Lead actress Paydin LoPachin was apparently 17 years-old when this was shot, so while she gets to deliver the line “cocksucker” repeatedly, she doesn’t do anything illegal like get her kit off; instead there are older actresses who get their tits out in strip-joints and elsewhere. This being an American movie you only get tits and ass. The sexually repressed US mainstream film business doesn’t like genitalia in non-hardcore movies, whereas any self-respecting European exploitation director likes to flash a bit of cock and pussy. Hollywood coyness on this and other scores is irritating, especially as the so called ‘independent’ US film sector simply follows the lead of the corporates.
Dummy isn’t a great film but it will pleasantly rot your mind for 75 minutes with a not quite potent blend of magic, rape, incest and a touch of smack addiction. It just about works as trash but will disappoint gore hounds. That said, the MTV-style editing which mixes black and white with colour cinematography really sucks. The actual camerawork is okay but by no means brilliant. Likewise, the soundtrack is a really bad mix of dreadful AOR and rap. Dummy may be an indifferent movie but give it 20 years and if Mark Jones is really lucky this might just be considered a golden turkey of the first water.
Dummy came out last year (2008), and it has some parallels with my 2002 novel 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess, although obviously it isn’t nearly as good! But then semi-animate ventriloquist dolls constitute a film genre in themselves and can be traced through flicks like Dead Of Night (1945), Devil Doll (1964) and Magic (1978); plus a slew of more recent efforts including Child’s Play (1988) and its follow-ons, as well as the knock-off Puppet Master (1989) series. The strap-line for Dummy invoking the Child’s Play series kinda sums it up, but some lucky film producer could do much better by paying me a bundle of money to make a movie using my internet ventriloquist doll. ‘Tessie meets Natural Born Killers’ really does have the ring of cash registers about it!
The penultimate lesson here is that you can’t kill post-modernism by simply wishing it away, coz when you attempt to do so it simply rises once again from the dead! However, kill capitalism and you really will be able to move beyond the po-mo…
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Comment by Tessie on 2009-03-26 13:00:19 +0000
You’ve been looking at other women haven’t you! All that guff about t & a! Just wait till I break out of this cupboard (which has conveninet wi fi access), then you’ll catch it!
Comment by K Mail on 2009-03-26 14:10:34 +0000
Get back to the flat double quick, Tessie got out of the cupboard and is on the rampage!
Comment by Dummy on 2009-03-26 15:18:52 +0000
Hey the dummy in “Dummy” is just called dummy, and that’s my name, I been ripped off!
Comment by Vincent Dawn on 2009-03-26 16:22:12 +0000
Someone should do a vent version of Bergman’s Persona – the dummy gets to talk.
Comment by Chucky on 2009-03-27 00:36:44 +0000
Do you feel lucky punk? Well do ya? Go ahead, make my day!
Comment by Sex Sheep on 2009-03-27 00:45:03 +0000
Sheep love dummies!
Comment by Gore Kitten on 2009-03-27 02:07:28 +0000
I luv splatter!
Comment by Michael Roth on 2009-03-27 04:32:39 +0000
Man, ventriloquist dummies really creep me out. I think a splatter/horror film starring Tessie would send me over the edge!
Comment by Michael Roth on 2009-03-27 04:32:55 +0000
BTW, Leprechaun is a secret guilty pleasure (“I want me gold”).
Comment by Monty Cantsin on 2009-03-27 09:29:58 +0000
I doubled for the Dummy from “Dummy”… and BTW Al Ackerman founded Neoism when he was drunk and unable to spell naturism correctly. He’d been intending to found the International Nudist Conspiracy but because he was less than sober it ended up as the International Neoist Conspiracy….
Comment by A Naughty Lady of Bourbon Street on 2009-03-27 09:56:14 +0000
I liked the bit where the dummy called Dummy gave the strip joint owner a blow job, the strip joint owner thinking it was Paydin LoPachin, then the doll bit his cock off…. I laughed my metaphorical cock off at that!
Comment by Keanu Reeves on 2009-03-27 11:32:11 +0000
Only a Neoist wouldn’t know that K set up Neoism as my fan club several years in advance of his Wachowski contact with the basic script.
Comment by Stewart Home on 2009-03-27 11:41:04 +0000
Keanu (smokes) rocks!
Comment by Annalisa on 2009-03-27 19:33:37 +0000
I want brains! Give me brains!
Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-03-28 08:44:36 +0000
Can’t beat a mildly impotent blend of magic, rape, incest and a touch of smack addiction for kicks….
Comment by Michael K on 2009-03-28 12:02:14 +0000
Tessie’s escaped but Tom is still goofed up on dopeballs. Have you seen my flaming iron anywhere?