Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DVD Review: Dolla Morte (2006)

Wild Eye Releasing

RATING: Unrated
DIRECTOR: Bill Zebub
TAGLINE: A Film So Gruesome it Had to be Filmed with Dolls

SYNOPSIS: A Masterpiece of Lo-Fi Madness and Satanic Silliness! So disgusting and so demented - it had to be filmed with dolls! Nothing and no one is sacred in a this special re-release of Bill Zebub's (Breaking Her Will, Zombiechrist) long lost and out of print experiment in delirious doll destruction. Bill Zebub's DOLLA MORTE slaughters sacred cows using all of your beloved toys from childhood, conjuring up a hilarious and sickening spoof of religion, government and war that pulls no politically incorrect punches! Plus, it features all of the sex, violence, humor and religious irreverence you've come to expect from Bill Zebub, only with dolls! DOLLA MORTE pits the President of the United States against Dracula in a battle to suck all the blood out of humanity, kill the pope, and crucify as many beautiful women as inhumanly possible, all on orders from Hitler! A disturbing classic of perversion and plastic! (from WildEyeReleasing.Com)

FILM: This is pure trash cinema from the demented mind of director Bill Zebub created for demented minds like yours and mine. It's a simple enough concept and it's executed with a primitive crudeness that'll titillate your sophomoric funny bone. Bill Zebub has taken an array of beloved dolls and action figures spanning the spectrum from Burger King exclusives to Barbies and repurposed them to commit Satanic acts of  sodomy, crucifixion, debauchery and lunacy in a most politically incorrect way and then provides a comedic voice over audio track to accompany the disturbing images. The story has something to do with President George W. Bush seeking immortality through the blood of the first Vampire - Jesus Christ. That is correct, apparently Jesus Christ was the 1st vampire, gotta love it. The plot gets a bit muddled and the narrative thread is not very strong but as a string of sketches pointing towards a larger demented picture it plays well. To be honest, I didn't fully understand the story of the film until it was summarized during the end credits. The cast of characters include the aforementioned George W. Bush, The Pope and Jesus Christ plus Dracula, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Adolph Hitler. I wouldn't go as far to call this parody or satire as that's a bit high-minded for a film like DOLLA MORTE. This is pure unadulterated crudeness for the sake of laughter. Not all the humor works but it did elicit quite a bit of laughter on my part. The opening credits feature a great nod to the film CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) as we see barbie dolls bloodily impaled on stakes emulating an infamous scene from that film. I am surprised by how bloody, perverted, grotesque and fun DOLLA MORTE is. This is not stop-motion animation or puppeteering - this is simply dolls acting out a scenes of insanity with a soundtrack and it works really well. The scenes are filmed and edited together in such a way that it keeps your attention
(to a point, anyway) and are enhanced with very rudimentary CGI and mini sets.

Despite the lo-fi/trashy production values of Dolla Morte the film has a great metal soundtrack featuring cuts from  COPH NIA, IMMOLATION, GLOOMY GRIM,  THE WICKED and more.  At the start of the film there is an disclaimer from none other than a doll-rendered version of KING DIAMOND - metal! Definitely not a film for the easily offended. My wife being a good Catholic would pop in on me every now and again and exclaim "What the Hell are you watching?", "That's just wrong" or "What's wrong with you?". You can't really defend the type of disgusting images in a film like DOLLA MORTE - you just have to enjoy it in the light-hearted way it was meant. If you think the idea Pope being sodomized by his own staff is irredeemable blasphemy you may want to avoid this one. If you enjoy the irreverent shenanigans of  ROBOT CHICKEN, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE (2004), or LIVE FREAKY DIE FREAKY (2006) this may just be a film for you. As I watched the film I was reminded of seeing GWAR during the Scumdogs of the Universe tour back at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse NY, a lot of similar type shenanigans. Good times.

DVD: DOLLA MORTE is presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio with 2.0 stereo audio. It is a Region 0 DVD so it can be enjoyed the world over. The lone bonus feature is a collection of Wild Eye Releasing trailers.

VERDICT: DOLLA MORTE may not be consistent or coherent at all times but is does appeal to my base sense of humor. I'm not easily offended and find crude-humor to be hilarious so this was my cup of tea. What's not to like about a shark swallowing Jesus as he's walking on water and shitting him out just so that another character can exclaim "Holy Shit!". DOLLA MORTE is silly, juvenile and awesome. If you enjoy this kind of lo-fi trashy cinema I highly recommend you check out Wild Eye Releasing. They have a great catalog of lo-fi schlock, horror and exploitation sleaze DVD's. **** (3 out of 5 stars)