A dysfunctional family of three stop by a mansion during a storm -- father, stepmother, and child. The child discovers that the elderly owners are magical toy makers and have a haunted collection of dolls.


Stuart Gordon


Ed Naha
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Ian Patrick Williams ... David Bower
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon ... Rosemary Bower
Carrie Lorraine ... Judy Bower
Guy Rolfe ... Gabriel Hartwicke
Hilary Mason ... Hilary Hartwicke
Bunty Bailey ... Isabel Prange
Cassie Stuart ... Enid
Stephen Lee ... Ralph Morris


Five adults and a child (two parties traveling separately) are stranded in a storm and spend the night in the mansion of an elderly couple who are dollmakers. However, the travelers' young daughter realizes the dolls the couple makes were once wicked humans whom the couple has miniaturized and turned into dolls. Written by Anonymous (updated by R.M. Sieger)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You're never too old to play with dolls until you're dead. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Over 100 young girls auditioned for the role of Judy before Carrie Lorraine was selected. The biggest challenge, according to director Stuart Gordon, was trying to find a child actress who performed naturally in front of the camera, and could easily slip into the film's world of make believe and fantasy. See more »


When Judy and Ralph sneak into Gabriel's doll workshop, Judy is standing next to Ralph, but all of a sudden when Ralph is raising up and the camera gets behind him Judy is now in front of him. See more »


Judy Bower: Daddy stop swearing, Mommy says it's not nice to swear
[David taps the car window]
Judy Bower: . But Mommy says...
David Bower: Well Mommy's not here now!
Rosemary Bower: Judith.
Judy Bower: Rosemary.
Rosemary Bower: That's mama Rosemary.
Judy Bower: You're not my mother.
Rosemary Bower: Well thank God.
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Crazy Credits

During the beginning of the end credits, we see another group of people having car problems and eventually heading towards the mansion. See more »


Referenced in Tales from the Crawlspace with John Vulich (2013) See more »


I'm in the Mood for Love
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Whistled by Ian Patrick Williams
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent prequel to the Puppetmaster series
29 November 2002 | by KatatoniaSee all my reviews

Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon once again made a low budget masterpiece with Dolls. It was released by Empire which was Charles Band's film company before the Full Moon days.

The casting of the film is perfect, all of the actors really did a fantastic job and it shows in their performances. Guy Rolfe as Gabriel turns in an especially noteworthy acting job, who also went on to play Andre Toulon in the later Puppetmaster series.

The Doll effects are mid-1980's, so they're not going to look like CGI effects these days. I think the effects are very good however and hold a certain magic of their own...perhaps since David Allen did most of the work, and later went on to the Puppetmaster series of films. The people who will say "this film sucks" are those who expect CGI quality in all old films, or expect all enjoyable films to cost 100 million to produce.

The Mansion in which most of the film takes place is particularly magical looking on film. It reminds me much of a large older house i spent my early childhood in.

To those interested there is a DVD version of Dolls out. It is an official licensed version from Hong Kong. The good thing is that it can play on any Region 1 players! The picture and sound quality are quite good and it has optional subtitles which you can turn off.

I just wish they still made lighter edged horror films as good as this, with a well written plot, good characters, creepy musical score, etc...

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Italy



Release Date:

29 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Doll See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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