Dolly Dearest – USA, 1991

‘It’s time to play’

Dolly Dearest is an American 1991 supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Maria Lease, based on a story by Rod Nave and Peter Sutcliffe, and produced by Daniel Cady (writer of Kiss of the Tarantula; Dream No Evil; Garden of the Dead). It stars Denise Crosby, Sam Bottoms and Rip Torn.

An American family moves to Mexico to fabricate dolls, but their toy factory happens to be next to a Sanzian grave and the toys come into possession of an old, malicious spirit…


“This movie can’t decide on what it wants to be, an Omen rip-off or a Child’s Play rip-off so it tries to be both and fails miserably. This is a horror movie that wants to play it straight but forgets that in order to do that you need a good script otherwise it comes across as bad. I’m not talking about so bad its good here… just plain bad.” The Arrow, Joblo

“It goes from creepy parts to boring parts. The story is alright, but there isn’t enough false scares and stuff like that to keep it interesting until the real shit starts going down. It’s basically a drama until a doll decides to kill someone. The acting isn’t terrible besides the little girl, but you expect that from child actors.” John Moser, Awful Horror Movies

“The effects are quite good, and the doll herself looks creepy and the illusion of her coming alive works for me. Not much on the gore front though, expect when a character gets his hand stuck in a sewing Machine. Dolly Dearest also has slick look and could pass for a bigger horror movie, if it was made in the eighties and had even more gore and killer-dolls.” Fred Anderson, Ninja Dixon

” …a truly terrible little Child’s Play ripoff that’s as overtly low-budget as it is eye-scratchingly stupid.” Scott Weinberg, DVD Talk

Hand drawn poster from Ghana

Cast and characters:

  • Denise Crosby … Marilyn Wade
  • Sam Bottoms … Eliot Wade – Uncle Sam; Up from the Depths
  • Rip Torn … Karl Resnick – RoboCop 3; Scarab; A Stranger is Watching; The Man Who Fell to Earth
  • Lupe Ontiveros … Camilla, the housekeeper
  • Candace Hutson … Jessica “Jessie” Wade
  • Chris Demetral … Jimmy Wade
  • Ed Gale … the Dolly double

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