Four men are cursed by a voodoo priest for stealing a sacred idol from his temple. Soon a band of murderous "doll men" are after the men and their families.Four men are cursed by a voodoo priest for stealing a sacred idol from his temple. Soon a band of murderous "doll men" are after the men and their families.Four men are cursed by a voodoo priest for stealing a sacred idol from his temple. Soon a band of murderous "doll men" are after the men and their families.
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1968
1960's "The Curse of the Doll People" ("Munecos Infernales" aka Infernal Dolls or Hellish Dolls) is definitely one of the more memorable Mexican entries from the pen of Alfredo Salazar, brother of actor/producer Abel, and author of the Aztec Mummy trilogy plus "The Vampire's Coffin," "The New Invisible Man," "The Man and the Monster," "The World of the Vampires," "Doctor of Doom" and "The Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy" (at the helm was director Benito Alazraki, later efforts including "Spiritism" and El Santo's starring debut "Invasion of the Zombies"). Held over from the Aztec Mummy series is actor Ramon Gay, who was shot to death by a jealous husband shortly after filming concluded, while Quintin Bulnes essayed similar voodoo master roles in "The Living Coffin" and a pair of Boris Karloff Mexi-movies, "Snake People" and the very similar "House of Evil" (more murderous dolls at work). Haitian voodoo rituals are discussed rather than seen to start, as a quartet of adventurers make the fatal mistake of stealing a precious voodoo idol to hightail it back home to Mexico, only for the mesmerizing priest to follow, placing a curse upon them and their families to begin at the stroke of midnight on a certain date. Incredibly, the main culprit who previously boasted of adding the idol to his collection grasps his chest and expires at the exact time predicated, and by the half hour mark all four despoilers have perished, each succeeding doll emerging with their features. The Devil Doll Men are nattily dressed in suits and ties, using a long poison needle like a piercing knife, standing about three feet tall, about the size of a ventriloquist's dummy (Richard Gordon's "Devil Doll" would not be made until 1963). Viewers would forever remember the lifeless staring masks, a fine makeup job reproducing the four actors, right down to the beard, mustache or glasses; we actually see one attack a cop before being run over, a kind of autopsy showing its severed head with glowing eyes conducting its hypnotic effect on the female lead (Elvira Quintana), the chest cut open prior to purifying fire destroying the remains. These tiny assassins must obey the master or face severe punishment, delivered in a small crate to their intended victims by a silent zombie complete with shriveled face, another nice touch that delivers additional chills. The only real detriment, apart from the 13 minutes of footage cut from the AIP-TV print (reduced to 69 minutes) is the script's plodding nature, but once the dolls start walking things improve dramatically. The casting of gorgeous top billed Elvira Quintana as a voodoo expert was also an achievement for such an obviously low budget production, it was her sole genre credit in a career that abruptly ended with her premature death in 1968.
- Sep 25, 2019
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