Friday, October 23, 2009


Original Title: Muñecos infernales (The Devil Dolls)
Year: 1961
Director: Benito Alazraki
Genre: Horror

Four men are cursed by a voodoo priest for stealing a sacred idol from his temple. Soon a band of murderous "doll men" are after the men and their families.

Oh fuck yeah.

I was feeling a little guilty yesterday after reviewing Misterios de Ultratumba because it really lacked the trashy factor I know you all come here to see.

All 3 of you.

Well, worry no more, I can sense the boat is headed back down shit stream soon enough!

How do I know this?

A little doll told me.


Unlike the Ultratumbas, this film is not particularly well shot, well acted, or any of these things that made Ultratumbas work for me. What it does right is be a touch over the top, a tad campy, and quite entertaining when all is said and done. My review for this one thus will be different than the previous. Fuck all the technicalities. We have some shit to LOL about.

I was afraid when this got going that the dolls were never going to actually be shown running around. Things start off a bit vague as the first victim simply winces and falls down the stairs. If I had read/retained anything about the film, I would have known that we are given that privilege of seeing the dolls moving, and they are midgets wearing this hideously creepy plaster masks!




It's like I died and went to shitty south of the border movie heaven!

This things are fucking creepy and atrocious. Whoever designed the look for these doll costumes and actually made them a reality should be congratulated at their genius and hide their head in shame. They are that awesome and shitty at the same time.

One man's trash...

I think the actors wearing these costumes had trouble seeing out of them as it really seemed like they were stumbling around at times. Sucks for them, but it really made it that much better for me!

As the story opens, we learn secondhand about the group of guys that went to Haiti and witnessed a voodoo ceremony, complete with a racist description of the dancers and voodoo priest being obscured by the dark and their teeth and eyes glowing or something to that effect. Makes sense I guess... the natives of Haiti would be dark skinned folks. Well, they decided to steal the idol these voodoo practitioners were dancing around and bring it back home with them. Fuck them, it's just some stupid idolatry, right? Well, Mr. voodoo priest wasn't too happy with their decision.

Too bad the voodoo priest out for revenge looks like a wig-wearing Hugo Weaving fresh from a Delorean trip!

Wow, I look more Haitian than this dude. By South Park rules, the goatee makes him evil Hugo Weaving, so we'll go with that.

Evil Hugo is a lot of mystical villain stereotypes all rolled into one. Lest we forget he is actually a voodoo priest and not just your run of the mill mystic or warlock, he has a snake on his chest. He animates these crude dolls and has his servant deliver them to those he wants killed. The dolls whip out their needles of doom and get to work.

His process of animating a doll is a really cool scene I think, complete with a little innocent-esque (I just made that shit up) gore and some reverse filming.

Why do these people continue to accept dolls from some creep in a pilgrim hat in the middle of the night? That's just a question better left unasked and unanswered, I promise. The servant is discussed in some detail later on in the film, so I won't give that away here. He does seem to control the dolls or call them or something with his little flute. This is never really covered. If you ever find a sorcerer's ladder (a strand of hair with 9 knots tied in it) in your house, get the fuck out.

I won't give away anymore plot points here, but these little bits and the story are definitely the draw to the film. As I mentioned, no one really stands out as impressive. I honestly couldn't remember a name without looking it up afterwards. The direction is standard I think for a horror film from this era, but I really just found myself able to jump into the subject matter and the campy atmosphere with ease. The ending was stupid, but that really has more to do with my personal position more than anything else.

I had fun with this one. It's far from art, it's thin, it's short, but it is fun. I would really like to have seen this setting, and these dolls, only with kids or something as the victims as well.

Whoa, whoa I might be onto something here...

I'll call it....



Most of all I think I like where Munecos Infernales is taking me in regards to my own personal journey through this tiny sampling of Mexi-horror.

Recommended for the vintage camp!

Score: 6.75 / 10

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