Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his ... See full summary »
A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.
Michael V. Gazzo
Believing to be able to communicate with his deceased father, a young boy develops physchic powers where he uses them to try to stop supernatural forces threatening his family and friends, especially a possessed ventriloquist dummy.
A suburban defense lawyer mistakenly gives her troubled daughter, Zoe, a wooden puppet belonging to a deceased serial killer. The toy fills the void of friendship in Zoe's life, but Zoe begins to act increasingly strange and violent.
Lewis Van Bergen,
Vorelli is a ventriloquist & hypnotist, with an amazing dummy, Hugo. Vorelli meets and pursues a beautiful heiress (Marianne); he mesmerizes her, and induces a baffling coma. His buxom mistress (Magda) fears he'll dump her for the younger woman, and threatens to expose him. Vorelli tricks Hugo into killing Magda while he's safely elsewhere. Marianne's boyfriend Mark investigates. He discovers another killing in Vorelli's past, of a man called Hugo. The girl wakes from her coma, and announces she will marry the hypnotist. When the triumphant Vorelli tells Hugo his plans for Marianne and a new, female dummy, a final confrontation yields surprising results.Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
According to executive producer Richard Gordon, the theater in which The Great Vorelli performs was not open to the public at the time and was scheduled to be demolished. The film crew was able to shoot inside the theater for the show and backstage scenes before the deadline for the building's demolition. See more »
When Hugo walks toward the audience the back of his jacket is intact. When he walks back to his seat there is a hole in his back jacket for the hand to control him. See more »
The international version is different from the original British version.
The opening and closing credits are different.
The international version replaces two scenes with topless women with alternate takes, featuring them clothed or covered.
The international version contains a scene which explains the motivation for Magda's murder, while the British version replaces this with a stage performance in which a woman is hypnotized and strips, ending up topless.
What an act the Great Vorelli has, in the 1964 British horror thriller "Devil Doll"! Not only can he hypnotize audience volunteers to perform any kind of outlandish stunt, but he can also make his ventriloquist's dummy, Hugo, talk and act most uncannily lifelike. But how to explain Hugo's ability to locomote all by himself? That's what reporter Mark English (excellently portrayed by American actor William Sylvester) tries to find out, in this very effective little sleeper. While I would never dream of revealing Hugo's back story, I will say that he is a much creepier presence than the modern-day Chucky, if perhaps not as homicidal; the filmmakers of "Devil Doll" get maximum bang out of Hugo's merest eye movements and head turnings. It really is remarkable how much emotion can be inferred in the little puppet's homely mug; his is hardly a wooden performance! In addition to this living doll's eerie presence, the film boasts stunning B&W photography, uniformly fine acting (especially by Bryant Haliday as Vorelli, who comes off far more sinister here than the evil hypnotist played by Jose Ferrer in 1949's "Whirlpool"), intriguing FX (negative images, freeze frames) and a literate script. Despite the central doll character, this is very much an adult film that is not suitable for the kiddies. The crisp-looking DVD from Image that I just watched also includes the so-called "Continental" version of the film, which contains a striptease sequence and several bits of nudity not present in the American release. As does producer Richard Gordon, I prefer the American version, simply because the "racier" print excises an entire scene between Vorelli and his assistant Magda that helps us better understand Vorelli's character. Either version, though, is a surprisingly winning entertainment.
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