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Dolly Dearest

Women had been directing genre films for quite a while by the time Kathryn Bigelow and Mary Lambert shook up horror with Near Dark and Pet Sematary, but it was those two films that became major barrier breakers for mainstream audiences in an age when VHS was commanding as large a turnout as movie theaters. Riding hot on their heels was Dolly Dearest from onetime script supervisor Maria Lease, which brought back Pet Sematary’s Denise Crosby for a film that was largely perceived as a gender-switched variation on 1988’s surprise killer doll hit, Child’s Play. To an extent that comparison is valid given that both films involve disbelieving parents dealing with children whose dolls have gone homicidal (not to mention an obvious parallel to the great toy factory climax of Child’s Play 2), though in this case there’s also a strong subtext involving cultural exploitation that actually plays more strongly now than when the film was first released… read more >


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