Here Charles Band takes one of his infrequent turns behind the directors chair, something that has often happened with variable results, ranging from the great Meridian/Kiss of the Beast/Phantoms (1990) to mostly hackwork Parasite (1982), Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983) and Dollman Vs. the Demonic Toys (1993).
Blood Dolls is a totally gonzo film. The opening moments make you wonder what on Earth you have sat down to watch people are invited to a house where they are greeted by a butler with a white-painted face; a dwarf who keeps forcing a girl rock group to play by electrifying the cage they are kept in; the villain with a Southern accent who hides his face behind a rubber mask then reveals he has a tiny doll-size head on a normal-size pair of shoulders; the two sinister dolls scuttling about; then the male visitor (Jason Pace) being pinned into his chair like some Bond villain trap where he is gutted with a scorpion drill-bit, while the Asian girl visitor (Naomi McClure) is reduced to a doll in the villains electrical device.
The rest of the film maintains a similar level of bizarre nuttiness. Jack Maturin gives a strangely intense performance he has a speech parodying Shakespeare, perfectly balanced between the touching and the whacko, which sums up the bizarreness of the exercise: I alone of all creatures can permit myself no illusion of a soul. It is from emptiness that I came and that emptiness awaits me at the end. And what awaits between but a mad, pointless puppet show signifying nothing. Debra Mayer has a fascinating presence as a woman who treats her husband as a slave in a BDSM relationship. In the latter half of the film, she steps up to centre stage and the relationship between her and Jack Maturin takes on some fascinating tensions of sexual power games. In a device borrowed from the William Castle film Mr. Sardonicus (1961), the film here features the bizarre novelty of offering up two alternate endings, dependent on whether she accepts or rejects him.
Charles Band has produced over 200 films. As director, his other genre films include:- Crash (1977), Parasite (1982), The Alchemist (1983), Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983), an episode of The Dungeonmaster/Ragewar: The Challenges of Excalibrate (1984), Trancers/Futurecop (1985), Pulse Pounders (1988), Crash and Burn (1990), Meridian (1990), Trancers II (1991), Doctor Mordrid (1992), Dollman Vs. the Demonic Toys (1993), Prehysteria! (1993), Head of the Family (1996), The Creeps (1997), Hideous (1997), Mystery Monsters (1997), Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003), Dr Moreaus House of Pain (2004), Decadent Evil (2005), Doll Graveyard (2005), The Gingerdead Man (2005), Evil Bong (2006), Petrified (2006), Dead Mans Hand (2007), Decadent Evil II (2007), Dangerous Worry Dolls (2008), Evil Bong II: King Bong (2009), Skull Heads (2009), Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong (2011), Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt (2011), The Dead Want Women (2012), Devildolls (2012), Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012), Ooga Booga (2013), Unlucky Charms (2013), Gingerdead Man vs Evil Bong (2013), Trophy Heads (2014), Evil Bong 420 (2015), King of Cult (2015), Evil Bong: High 5 (2016), Evil Bong 666 (2017) and Puppet Master: Axis Termination (2017).