Black Devil Doll (2009) Review
Written by: Goon
I have been following Black Devil Doll for close to two years now and finally I have had my chance to check it out for myself. At first I will admit I really fell in love with the idea and set some really high standards for the film. Slowly however in the back of my mind I started to waiver on how the movie may turn out. I have seen more than my fair share of indie films and sometimes when you see a really good concept the production values can hold back the film. Slowly rather than anticipation it was replaced with the thought that this movie could possibly really go bad.
The plot behind the film has always been really straight forward. Heather is at home channel surfing when she comes upon a news report that Mubia Abul-Jama was being executed for the rape and murder of 15 Caucasian women. Emphasis on Caucasian. After turning off the television she decides to play around with an old Ouija board and in doing so accidentally brings back Mubia in the body of a ventriloquist dummy. What follows is a romance, rape, murder, a shameless Rotten Cotton plug and much, much more.
So was all that anticipation worth it? Fuck yeah. All of my fears that the movie would not deliver vanished when I saw the opening animation of the Black Devil Doll being rated by an "all white jury". It was just a fantastic little piece that was followed up by an equally bad ass James Bond-ish title sequence. From there the film never lets up and it will for sure offend many people that have no sense of humor whatsoever.
Everything seemed to go right with this movie. I actually sat down and watched this twice to see if there was something that maybe I would have changed to make it more enjoyable. As hard as I tried I couldn't pick out anything that I would have done. If I were to nitpick maybe I would have changed some jokes that were made to make it more timeless. But overall the casting, the soundtrack and even the bits where they use a little CGI were all fantastic considering the budget they had to work with.
As far as the cast and acting goes it is just as you would expect for a film that is a mix of blaxploitation and grindhouse flicks and maybe a step above that. I was ultimately really surprised by Martin Boone who plays Heather's jealous ex-boyfriend White-T. He provides a ton of the comedy by playing a wannabe rapper who is really nothing more than that, a wannabe. He even has a small song that he performs that is truly funny which is interrupted by his grandmother. All of the girls are great not so much for the acting but because they went along with all of the gratuitous shots that take place all over the place.
The look and soundtrack to this movie really go hand in hand. Giallos Flame did an excellent job really capturing the spirit that they were going for. Another bit that takes place about halfway through the film that made me chuckle to myself is a small almost music video of the girls washing a car rather provocatively. It really was a microcosm of the whole movie just being over the top, exploitive and shameless. Now the look is nice and they must have had some really good people working in the post production department because the color spectrum they chose to go with fits in nicely.
I had a chance to speak with the director Jonathan Lewis before I saw the film. This all took place a year ago and what he told me is that the trailer just scratched the surface of what the film has to offer. I think he couldn't have worded that any better. What they chose to reveal to everyone isn't anything compared to what is actually in the movie. Black Devil Doll is best described as Russ Meyer on crack with a touch of horror. The comedic aspects of the film are really at the forefront and the real reason that people will love this movie. I think anyone who was following along with this film as closely as I was will enjoy this one.
The bottom line for me is that a film must be entertaining. Is Black Devil Doll entertaining? You bet and I think it will be a cult favorite for years to come. Not only is this just a great indie film, it's a great movie period. Without a doubt the best movie I have seen so far this year.
- Luke Franklin