And for my latest marathon, three movies about lonely boys and horny boys who turn to inanimate and reanimated women for love, affection, companionship, and sex. And of the three, there’s one that I added to my movie collection…
LOVE OBJECT (2003)
Gorgeous Wrong Turn hottie Desmond Harrington plays…a socially insecure office writer who needs to buy a sex doll to get laid? Okay, you really have to suspend disbelief to get past that part.
As soon as his new toy arrives, he bangs her. As he develops a relationship with her, he gains the confidence to talk to the new girl at work. As they get closer, he begins to make the doll over in her image.
And then he starts to believe the doll is calling him, and following him, and jealous of his relationship with his co-worker. Uh-oh…
Because Harrington is so hot, it’s easy to buy into the film’s focus on his sexual obsession with the doll (they get into a whole S&M routine that leads to her dominance over him) and to see him not as a lonely guy but a total psycho perv.
Therefore, Love Object is kind of creepy, with Udo Kier getting in on the most brutal fun as the landlord.
But more than a horror film, this one is mostly an obsession thriller right out of the 90s.
Decay gives us the tragic lonely figure that Love Object doesn’t. While it takes the Norman Bates archetype to a deeper level, this really isn’t a horror film in the usual sense. It’s about a lonely dude coming to terms with living with a corpse, so it’s a sad re-examining of a familiar plot.
After a young woman accidentally dies in his home, a somewhat introverted man who lives alone with his indoor garden and taxidermy keeps her body as his companion.
Flashbacks show us that he had a very fucked up childhood with an overbearing, man-hating, emasculating single mother who was inappropriate in the things she said to him and often tossed religion into the mix. You know the drill.
This lonely figure, however, does have some people in his life. At work he has a very outgoing and cheery buddy who brags nonstop about his sex life, and at home, his annoyingly motherly neighbor stops by regularly to take care of him.
Yet despite these well-meaning people you could totally see pushing him over the edge, he isn’t a killer. There are no murders.
This is simply a movie about how his existence changes as he adapts to living with a dead body—first enjoying having somebody in his life, and then discovering the complications that arise when that somebody has no life in her body.
The psychological impact her decaying body has on him comes in the form of nightmares and delusions, which deliver the only scares in the film—mostly in the form of cheap jumps by things that, you know, aren’t really there.
So don’t go into this one expecting a horror film, more of a character study with a dark theme.
THE DOLL (2017)
And lastly, my fave of the trio. There are an endless number of things for me to love about this little movie, beginning with the fact that despite its name, it is not about a doll. That’s right, no Annabelle knockoff here. This is just a good old “horny boys behave badly, horny boys learn vicious horror lesson” flick. They rarely make them like this anymore.
The opening scene sets the tone with gore and sinister intrigue, and then we’re introduced to one of the highlights of the film: Mohawked, often shirtless hottie Christopher Lenk. He also appears as a hustler in a gay film called Keep the Lights On. Yes, please do.
Anyway, bad boy is living with his good boy buddy, played by horror alum Anthony Del Negro (Anarchy Parlor, Deep in the Darkness, Dark Haul, Dead Souls, Slink) and his girlfriend, played by actress Isabella Racco, who needs to excel in this business—especially horror—because she’s just got it in the most understated way.
The girlfriend can’t take all the partying so she moves out. Bad boy decides that it would be a good idea to hire a Russian escort off the Internet for a week for his good boy buddy. She’s played perfectly by the Human Barbie Valeria Lukyanova.
When she arrives, she doesn’t speak and moves very mechanically…because—EEK!—she’s a “doll” made of human body parts by a satanic psycho.
The movie focuses on the simplest premise; the guys think the escort is just a little off due to a language barrier. They try to keep her hidden in the attic when the good boy’s girlfriend comes back unexpectedly (YAY! More Isabella!).
Little do they know that the escort is not only performing creepy occult rituals in the attic, but also roaming the house when they’re not around and killing people who come by, including Ron Jeremy in his go-to cameo—a pimp.
Despite a good body count, rather than drown us in gore, The Doll is all about atmosphere, suspense, dark tone, and creepiness, sticking unsettlingly to the single house location.
Plus it has a really bizarr-o, rather vague backstory about doll girl…making it totally sequel ready.