The Great Gabbo
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2013 | 2011 | 2010

1 item from 2010

Clip Joint: ventriloquists

1 September 2010 10:06 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Stitch the lip and swap one glove for a puppet as Alexandra Coghlan mumbles through the best ventriloquists on film

There's something reliably disturbing about a ventriloquist act. Third only to taxidermists and gynaecologists among people you'd rather not find sitting next to you at a dinner party, ventriloquists reverse the natural order of things – giving grinning life to what should be inanimate, dead, silent.

Together with taxidermists (and gynaecologists, for that matter) these preternatural puppeteers have spawned a cinematic sub-genre all their own, feeding off our deepest psychoses of identity, or perhaps just exploiting an appealingly perverse avenue for horror.

Uncanny in the truly Freudian sense – at once familiar and deeply alien – a ventriloquist's dummy is the dysfunctional cousin of Chucky and Frankenstein who has yet to cut the paternal apron strings. These ties work both ways; as much as the ventriloquist gives life to his dummy so his dummy takes it from him. »

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2013 | 2011 | 2010

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