Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's black. It's devilish. It's a doll from hell, and it's spectacular

Chester Novell Turner, I’m sure you get this a lot, but just for the record: 
You. So. Crazay.
Black Devil Doll From Hell is a film that’s been calling my name ever since I first heard the words “black devil doll from hell” used in one continuous sentence. Long out of print, I fetched a copy from Cinema De Bizarre about a year ago and somehow--my willpower is Herculean--held off until just the right time.
For no specific reason, that time is now.
Quick Plot: An uptight church-going woman named Helen (Shirley L. Jones, an enigma) devotes her life and body to God. One day, she stops by a local thrift shop where she is unable to resist the odd calling of a dreaded (meaning braids, not evil...though he is evil, but nevermind) ventriloquist dummy. The storekeeper--vaguely reminiscent of a black, deeper voiced Zelda Rubinstein--is eager to tell Helen about the doll’s odd habit of returning to the store on his own. Somehow that has our heroine opening her wallet and dragging the mysterious antique home.

Question for my dear readers: what do you generally do after purchasing a random decoration? Is it reasonable that I find Helen’s choice--plopping it atop her toilet and showering just behind the curtain--a tad odd?
Anyway, it’s about this moment that the black devil doll (from Hell) animates, and yes my friends, it’s glorious. His eyes roll. Head kind of bobs. Some time later, he leaps on her back and successfully strips Helen to tie her down on her bed.

I don’t know quite how to say this. I’m blushing at the very thought, but here goes: the Black Devil Doll (from Hell) has rape-sex with Helen, and it is absolutely terrifying. It goes in steps:
1-BDD(fH) sprays really fowl breath into Helen’s face. I don’t know what a doll eats that gives him such horrible breath--

2-Oh my word. Step two happens, and I now know just what it is that a doll eats to give him such horrible breath

3-I pray my mother stops reading this post now

4-BDD(fH) extends his tongue, which appears to be an elongated slice of bacon, and rubs it over Helen’s chest. Slowly her protests turn to moans of pleasure

5-BDD(fH) climbs atop Helen and makes her a woman. 

6-BDD(fH) stops

7-Helen demands he resume

8-BDD(fH) explains that he’ll only continue if she begs for me

9-She does
Thus begins one of the most intense love stories of any film ever made.
Poor Helen. Once she gives in to BDD(fH)’s advances, he up and leaves her like those terrible boys your mother warned you about. Helen responds by seeking out other male comfort which fortunately for us, gives us a 10 minute dance sequence that makes me wonder if I can actually dance. Unfortunately for Helen, none of her suitors can satisfy that newly awakened craving like the 3 1/2’ tall wooden hunk that walked away.
(even this guy)

Thankfully Helen remembers (in a rainbow color, as we all do) the words of the shopkeeper. She returns to the store to reclaim her love, Turner’s own terrible score blasting away. To tell you the ending would...well, not make that much of a difference, but I’ll leave things there anyway.
What can I really say about Black Devil Doll From Hell? To go into high and low points seems foolish: this is the kind of movie that for most viewers, will either be all high point or all low point. It’s a dreadful, dreadful piece of work, which of course means I fall into the first category of enjoying the heck out of it.
Lessons Learned
It’s wrong to steal (it’s in the Bible and it’s one of the 10 commandments)
Black devil dolls from hell attack with the same sounds made by angry elephants and honking clown cars
It’s probably not the best idea to blast your high-pitched score during a key moment of exposition in the film
I will rewatch this film. I will show it to select friends and family. I will giggle at it drunkenly or just fold laundry to it soberly. It is bizarrely magnificent, which will, for about 97% of the world’s sane population, mean something that should never ever be sought out. It’s currently circulating the gray market (which is where my foggy DVD came from) but an official fully featured release is on its way, more information of which can be found at its website,

I don't know what else to say, but I do know that my life will never be the same.


  1. Watch the remake. Far better than this thing.

  2. I've had a copy of this one for a while too, and like you have been engaged in a Herculean and pointless bout of self-privation. That will end soon.

    I read about Turner's work on Bleeding Skull some time back, and on their recommendation I did see the director's other film, the horror anthology TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE, which I always want to call TALES FROM THE QUAHOG ZONE for no reason, and which also features Shirley L. Jackson. I didn't enjoy that one as much as the Bleeding Skull guys did, but then it had 100% less puppet rape than BDD(fH). So maybe that's why.

    And now, the BDD(fH) emoticon: X:P

    The "X" is dreads.

  3. I don't know Anonymous, if ANYTHING could actually be better than this thing!

    As you and I know dear Vicar, EVERYTHING is better with puppet rape. I kind of can't believe you've never seen this one. I will cry if you don't love it and eagerly await your response. Dreads!

    And Ashlee, I know...I know.

  4. This looks too wonderful for words! Definitely gonna add it to my to watch list!

  5. Trailer for the remake. I netflixed it a few weeks back. Good stuff!


  6. Enjoy bHorror!

    Hmmm Anonymous, hmmmmm...

  7. Did you catch the scenes in which it was CLEARLY a either a young boy or a midget in costume as the doll? Its totally 'blink and you'll miss it.'

    I also loved the Nintendo soundtrack.

    I showed this to a couple of guy friends for a guys night of movies, beer and pizza. They have yet to return for another. I wonder why?

  8. And I thought nothing could top the robot-dog rape in Maidroid...

  9. I have not seen Maidroid!

    It must be mine.

  10. Sad that a Devil Doll can get more action than me. But then again... Nah... I REFUSE to milk cheap stereotypes for humorous purposes. Heh!

    Up until now, the only exposure I've had to this film is an online video review. My jaw was bobbling more than a Bobblehead, that's how crazy I found it. Now that I know I can find an official source for the film, maybe I'll have to look into a purchase. (Can we hold our breath for the filmmaker's other main production, "Tales of the Quadead Zone"?)

    ... And am I the only one that's getting a Rick James/Terance Trent D'Arby vibe from the Black Devil Doll?

  11. PoT, your friends are LAME. Or just very sane. But lame-sane, either way. And I adored the BDD(fH)'s lil stunt double. Neighborhood kid perhaps?

    Mikey, maybe you need to try the dreads. Apparently church-going ladies of the 80s LOVED that kind of thing.

    The movie is still unreleased (can't imagine WHY) but there is a website that seems to really be pushing for an eventual DVD. You can definitely find it at conventions and any other gray market circuits. The quality ain't good, but I don't know that there's any restoration that will really make it look better. I haven't seen Tales of the Quadead Zone, but I assume it will be the welcome video when I go to heaven.

  12. "and I now know just what it is that a doll eats to give him such horrible breath" is the winner!

    I watched Black Devil Doll From Hell (damn, that takes too long to type) on some now defunct, gray market online site and couldn't get over the thirty minute opening credit sequence! And of course, as you mentioned, the whole opening, which is completely submerged in music, is impossible to hear, but all you need to really do, is listen with you heart. And that's what the Black Devil Doll From Hell does...he touches your heart. And your bewbs, and other such lady places too.

  13. Indeed Matt, the BDD(fH) is pretty handsy for what should be an inanimate object.

  14. Like I said to you over on the forums, the film fails on every level. Even with music by demo key.

    I could not in good conscience keep it on my hard drive.

  15. You're right and all, but this is one I see myself showing a friend in the future. I don't think I'll be able to describe it without virtually anybody saying 'no really? I don't believe you. Let me see it!'

    And then they shall never talk to me again.