Boys and Their Toys

a look at Dolly Deadly, a film by Heidi Moore



Bullying. It has been in the spotlight in recent years. Are things going too far these days? Or is this generation too sensitive? We have all been taught to take the high road, to turn the other cheek. Well, what happens when enough is enough? What happens when the high road grows tiresome and every cheek has been turned again and again? Benji knows.

Director Lady, Heidi Moore escorts us on a walkabout through a colorful and somewhat unsettling landscape in her film Dolly Deadly. Moore has shown us what she can do when it comes to her many short films produced under the name, Wretched Productions ( so we are no stranger to her ways. She continues the bloody, stomach turning, mind-boggling legacy with this, the director lady’s first feature-length film.

The film chronicles the life of quickly orphaned Benji (Justin Moore). Seconds into the opening scene and the audience is already understanding the plight of this child. Neglect and abuse don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the boy’s biggest issues. As we learn the problems live and grow below the surface. Right off the bat we see that the struggles and great pains that are being internalized. Left there to fester and grow within. With no true friends or family, Benji turns to those he knows that he can always count on; his disturbingly large collection of dolls. Dolly Deadly doesn’t just show us the cause and effect of the relentless trauma of a child, the film takes us with it along every step of the way. The genius that is Heidi Moore does a fantastic job of this. Using these beautiful fantasy sequences and creative use of stop-motion animation, the viewer gets (quite literally) a front row ticket to the show that is the unravelling of Benji’s psyche. And we couldn’t be any more grateful. How much beating can a soul take before it goes absolutely bullshit crazy and fills a man with doll parts? 8 years. The answer is 8 years.


To sum things up, I am a big fan of this film. Moore’s use of practical FX are outstanding. The score is phenomenal. The acting (though at times a little over the top) was very well done and fit perfectly in the overall ambience of the film. Dolly Deady is a vision. It truly showed the hard work and heart that Moore puts into everything she does. We very much look forward to seeing more from this director.

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