my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Black Devil Doll from Hell
Director:   Chester N. Turner
Year:   1984
Genre:   Horror
Times Seen:   3
Last Seen:   10.25.13

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Tales from the Quadead Zone

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
10.25.13Marchesa Somehow Chester Turner figured out that people love the movies he made 30 years ago so now he's doing appearances promoting his new merch and an upcoming sequel. This means that every Weird Wednesday aficionado in town had to choose between AFF, Goblin playing live, or showing up at the Marchesa to see a double feature of Black Devil Doll from Hell and Tales from the Quadead Zone with live Q&A from Turner and star Shirley Jones!

Lars, Bryan Connolly and everybody else was pretty excited for this. I guess the rumor was that Chester Turner was long dead so these weird VHS tapes floated in a perfect mythical oasis for tapeheads and obscure exploitation cineasts. I guess it might be like figuring out J.D. Salinger was your neighbor? In any case, it was real cool to see a lot of the old regulars from back when I was going to the Alamo a lot, and equally great to see these movies again in a pretty crowded theater.

Turner had a copy of his master tape that didn't include Ichikawa's heavy metal intro and the sound mix was several generations above the first copy I saw which replaced what sounded like a crucial monologue with the casio soundtrack. The song was still here in this version but the dialogue was indeed understandable and I kind of feel like it changes the arc of the movie a hell of a lot! I think it was also a little bit longer cut because...

...goddamn did this feel long. 70 minutes my ass. it felt a full 90 to me. It kind of made me miss the kitchen schedule of the Alamo where when you saw the checks drop you knew you had 40ish minutes left. I mean I liked seeing it again, but it was also pretty rough. The great moment where the doll speaks for the first time is still pretty special and the bizarre climax is still just as rushed and random but there's a lot of treading water as well.

No shit right? It's not like the first cut I saw was some master class in editing. I think just the novelty and surprise of first exposure helped out a lot whereas this time I was sort of awash in it wishing it could hurry on with things.
11.28.07  I wonder what my most heartfelt desire is. I think it's BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP yeah that's it for sure.

I considered it a special treat to get to see this movie again. The experience wasn't quite as magical as the first time but it was still unbelievable (I actually covered my eyes at one point. It was just too much to take with the "music" so loud and the doll love and everything. Most of this movie is kind of a sick challenge to watch) and I never plan to see it alone or anything like that (although I would like to rip that awesome David Itchikawa song) so... getting to see it again theatrically was definitely a good thing.
08.29.07Weird Wednesday Black Devil Doll from Hell. How do I even try to explain it... Do I have the right words? Do right words even exist? Are words even enough?

Lars set this movie up perfectly. I think by the time the lights went down and the hiss of VHS noise came up the entire theater of 200 or so people were ready willing and able to love this movie. And this is a hard movie to love. If I had rented this and taken it home to watch alone, I'm not sure I could've gotten through it and I'm damn sure I wouldn't have gotten anything out of it except maybe some morbid fascination or secret ammo for those "i've seen weirder movies than you" debates. Instead, thanks to the unique cult of Weird Wednesday and Lars' intro, I was treated to 70 of the most insane minutes I think I've ever spent in a theater.

Yeah, it's 70 minutes long, but as Lars says, it feels like 8 years of George Bush. Shot on VHS, edited on VHS, re-edited probably still on VHS, projected on VHS (there are no prints of this movie), this movie does not subscribe to that tired old Hollywood belief that movies need pacing or whatever. Parts of this movie are painful to sit through... at least they would be if you didn't have a couple hundred other people laughing as hard as you are.

So Lars mentioned the length, he mentioned the VHS thing, he mentioned how great the opening song and titles are followed by how cheap the Casio preset beats were throughout the film. Then he gave a final warning to people not up for the potential offensiveness of the film, giving us all that tinge of wondeer and a challenge of whether or not we can take it. He also mentioned that this director only made one other movie and that they would show it as Terror Thursday so every one of us (exept the girl who walked out) left HAVING to see "Tales from the Quadead Zone." And everything he said was dead on. The beginning titles? stretching to like 7 minutes in length of just black and 30-second-long title cards all fueled by this awesome guitar-riffing song with awesome pitch-shifted lyrics and a heavy bassline. The "Re-edited by" credit that appears both at the front and the back of the film, making us all wonder what this movie was like before David Ichikawa got his hands on it (he's also repsonsible for this wicked tune), the saturation of Chester Turner's name all throughout them... These credits are awesome. And then the movie starts.

I would say it's very similar to the movies I made when I was 13 with my neighbor friends but we didn't have any nudity. I almost don't want to describe any of the actual movie because it's just too much.

I will recount one of my favorite lines ever though. "I've been with men; several to be exact."

So if you try to watch this at home, good luck. To my comrades who were there last night, I think it's safe to say we have another classic theatrical experience to cherish for some time to come. Not only can't I believe that movie made it to video store shelves, I can't believe I saw it in a theater. a packed full theater! Unbelievable.
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