Director: William Mims
Starring: Andrea Walters, William Dance, Jennifer Davids
After an intro where we hear creepy (on the border to cheesy) music we get to see a young couple, Trish and Robert, walking the streets and stumbling over an old and strange antique shop where they find an old fortune-telling machine. Trish tries it out and gets told that her unborn baby is gonna bring her bad luck. This upsets her very much and she can’t understand how the machine even knew she was pregnant, something which she hadn’t even told her husband Robert yet at that point. Robert is, of course, not fazed by this thing and tries to get his fortune told to calm down his wife. He is however told that his lifeline is short and bad things are gonna happen to him in the near future.
Cut to next scene and dear old Robert is dead. He has been in a bad accident and is no longer with us, farewell Robert. This leaves a big fortune available for poor Trish, but while grieving she is also terrorized by strange phone calls and a creepy (death) doll that pops up everywhere. She is convinced that someone is after her and when a woman, who does resemble her a lot, gets killed in her own apartment she seeks comfort at her sister-in-law. Trish can’t let go of the old fortune-teller machine and has to find it again and see what it predicts will happen next.
Death Doll is made in 1989 but feels like a 70’s thriller movie. It is not a killer doll movie as many will assume by the title, the doll is more used as a symbol throughout the movie. This is old school mystery and does not really deal with any supernatural stuff, except perhaps the fortune-teller machine. This was the only movie that William Mims directed, he had a lot of acting experience before this movie and considering his old age (born in 1927 according to IMDB) it’s perhaps not so strange that this movie has little (or rather none) gore and feels like an older movie than it really is.
So is the obscure movie any good? It’s average and uneven. It starts very poorly with the scenes in the store, but do improve after a bit. I thought it was well-directed by Mims and it’s too bad that he didn’t make more movies, it could be interesting to see what he would have done with a more «modern» script at that time period since a lot of in this movie just seems very dated, even 20 years ago. Death Doll is not worth using a lot of energy to hunt down, it has a few good scenes but it is really a forgettable movie.