Six people find themselves inexplicably transported to a remote cabin that is surrounded by an invisible barrier. In a nearby graveyard, they discover an ancient, carved stone monument that... See full summary »


(as Martin Tate)


(story), (as Benjamin Carr)

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Witchouse (Video 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

On Mayday 1998 in the town of Dunwich, Massachusetts, Elizabeth gathers together a group of specially selected friends for a rather odd party. It turns out that she is the descendent of a ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Matt Raftery, Monica Serene Garnich, Brooke Mueller
Voodoo Academy (Video 2000)
Horror | Fantasy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Young Christopher has just enrolled at the prestigious Carmichael Bible College, managed by the somewhat unusual Mrs. Bouvier. After some unexplained disappearances, Christopher does some ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Debra Mayer, Riley Smith, Chad Burris
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  

A mad scientist's experiment goes awry, turning a dead homeless man's eyeball into a giant killing machine that has an insatiable appetite for young women.

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Jacqueline Lovell, Jonathan Norman, Nanette Bianchi
Talisman (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

As the millenium draws near, an evil being awakens. Fused to an ancient Talisman for centuries -- Theriel, the Black Angel is summoned from his resting place to usher in the end of the ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Billy Parish, Walter Jones, Jason Adelman
Unhinged (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Three college girls on their way to a jazz festival crash their car in the isolated woods during a rainstorm, and are taken in by a mysterious family in an old mansion. Little do the girls know, the family has a dark, murderous secret.

Director: Don Gronquist
Stars: Laurel Munson, Janet Penner, Sara Ansley
Blood Dolls (1999)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Virgil, an eccentric freak billionaire, spends his days being a "biological inventor." The "blood dolls," his newest creation, aid him in getting revenge on those who betrayed him.

Director: Charles Band
Stars: Kristopher Logan, Debra Mayer, William Paul Burns
Retro Puppet Master (Video 1999)
Adventure | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

In the late nineteenth century, an Ancient Egyptian sorcerer discovers the art of transferring the souls of the dead into inanimate objects.

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Greg Sestero, Brigitta Dau, Stephen Blackehart
Jigsaw (Video 2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A group of art students working on their final project soon learn that putting a little of themselves into their work can be a bad thing.

Directors: Don Adams, Harry James Picardi
Stars: Barret Walz, Aimee Bravo, Mia Zifkin
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

An intergalactic babe borrows her dad's T-bird ship to do a little planet-hopping with her two friends, but they run out of fuel unexpectedly, and must land on Earth. They land on the ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Joe Estevez, Don Swayze, Joey Travolta

After barely surviving a hellish encounter in Detroit, police chief Nathan Slaughter relocates to Potter's Field, Wyoming. But soon, his nightmare returns as a horror descends from the Rockies which threatens to overtake the entire town.

Director: Ben Dixon
Stars: Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Ken Foree
Dark Angel: The Ascent (Video 1994)
Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A woman destined for freedom manages to escape Hell. When she arrives from the sewers of Earth, she is used to punish Sinners. But the last thing she expected to find was love.

Director: Linda Hassani
Stars: Constantin Draganescu, Angela Featherstone, Cristina Stoica
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

Xena, Luna, and Sola leave Malibu but return to earth unexpectedly when Xena sneezes and crash lands them on a desert isle. After being threatened by dinosaurs and having a few close ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Sarah Bellomo, Tina Hollimon, Stephanie Hudson


Cast overview:
Paul Maglia
Alma Groves
Eric W. Edwards ...
Leonard McKinney
Sacha Spencer ...
Tyler Anderson ...
Robert Cole
Tina Gray


Six people find themselves inexplicably transported to a remote cabin that is surrounded by an invisible barrier. In a nearby graveyard, they discover an ancient, carved stone monument that they dub a "totem pole." Soon, they find themselves trapped in a murderous plot by malevolent forces that can control and manipulate their actions with the ultimate goal being to unleash three demonic entities from the monument. Written by JHC3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Shape of Nightmares to Come...



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence and gore, and for pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Totem maldito  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in 4 days. See more »


Edited into When Puppets and Dolls Attack! (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Bad, but somewhat watchable
10 September 2005 | by (Minnesota, USA) – See all my reviews

This movie is about 6 people who are mysteriously drawn to a small cabin out in the woods. They're all strangers to each other. Once at the cabin, they find that an energy barrier prevents them from traveling more than a few hundred feet in any direction. They also find a cemetery with a sort of totem pole in it. Actually it doesn't look anything like a totem pole, it looks like three dolls on a vertical shelf, but I suppose "Totem" makes a much scarier title than "Three Dolls On A Vertical Shelf Unit". Once night falls, one of the characters turns up dead, and everyone suspects another character of killing her, but he can't remember doing it. Then a little demonic Muppet comes running into the cabin, and they manage to drive it away. Another character turns up dead, another demonic Muppet drags off a corpse, and our characters figure out that three of them are to kill the other three for some "mysterious purpose". Probably the most unbelievable thing that occurs in this movie is when they finally figure out the "mysterious purpose". One of the girls is dragged off by a demonic Muppet, and the other is lying helpless on the floor, and then we just cut to an old Viking movie. There are flames superimposed on the lower part of the screen. A narrator explains to us that in times of old, there were some bad guys who were really powerful and nearly took over the earth. I guess we're supposed to assume that these demon dolls in the movie are those bad guys. This whole thing will just leave you shaking your head. I mean, did the demons make this up as a sort of video informational packet for their intended victims to view before their demise? And since such a big deal is made of telling up that no one has been in this cabin for 100 years, I guess we can assume there's no TV for her to watch this on. So did they just beam the video into her head, complete with extremely grainy image quality?

I won't spoil the thrilling ending for you. Basically, this is a zero-budget movie with young actors who probably haven't been in much else, and they're not helped by a lousy script (half of the dialog is just nonsense, and it's a very dialog-heavy movie). And then there are the special effects - demonic Muppet dolls. As if everything else wasn't bad enough, these guys are just comical. Then you've got one of the actors who barely speaks English. He speaks paragraph after paragraph of dialog, and it's painful trying to figure out what he's saying. There's a scene where a girl is unconscious and she's mumbling a few random syllables, which the "English as a second language" guy translates. The humorous part is that she mumbles "umph, um-mm, uhhh" and he manages to translate each one of her syllables into a couple of sentences. That must be one extremely efficient language she's using. There's also the odd habit that most of the characters seem to share of using the F word in every sentence. I personally couldn't care less how much people swear, but it's so overused here that it's humorous.

I really can't criticize the movie too heavily. It's a no-budget cheapie probably filmed in a week, and for that it gives you exactly what you'd expect. A little bit of atmosphere, a lot of bad acting, a really slow moving plot, some utterly ridiculous moments, and a cute girl or two. Okay, so maybe the whole movie qualifies as a really ridiculous moment. I still found it vaguely enjoyable. Let me put it this way: I'd rather sit through this again than watch Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Totem (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: