Hell Doll (1980)


Hell Doll (1980)
Starring: Fonna Pura, Badin Dadayin, Faulad Khan
Director: Ch. Malik Butt Tondwallah
Nutshell: Cursed Oxfam ragdoll turns vengeful instrument of hell in this rare shocker


Haughty socialite with time to kill has nothing better to do than admire her designer furniture and read her sex novels while waiting for her mid day liaison with Randy Andy the garbage collector. While she waits she finds an odd, sinister looking rag doll staring down at her from her Elizabethan antique furniture. She struts up to the furniture, appalled at the sight of lowly ragdoll amidst her finest china and porcelain. The doll is chucked disdainfully into the corner for the rubbish man to collect. The camera lingers menacingly on the discarded ragdoll which glints oddly in the sunlight, looking weird and skeletal. Meanwhile the frustrated socialite continues reading her raunchy magazines craving her mid day romp with the dustman who is due shortly. Suddenly while turning the pages she notices her hands transforming into a scaly, crusty mass of reptilian skin which begins to start shedding and peeling alarmingly. The woman screams in horror as her hands start to peel and implode with the most gruesome results. She flees in panic stricken horror as her hands turn to rotting, peeling dribbles of fungus. Its an extraordinary scene – perhaps the first ever death by peeling!

Soon after, Randy Andy the dustman arrives and is visibly disappointed to find that his dirty date hasn’t materialized. Instead he picks up this and that from inside the house and then makes the fatal mistake of picking up the cursed rag doll and chucking her into his garbage bag. Moments later the filthy Andy makes his way, but as he leaves there is a terrible commotion and suddenly his horribly bloodied corpse explodes through the door, very dead, but mysteriously clutching the doll which appears to have a demented mocking expression on its face.

The child who has just returned from detention at school and seen off the garbage man decides to settle down to a meal but he too makes the fatal error of crossing the hell doll by stepping on it not once but twice and making sure it feels his entire weight. Moments later he too meets a gruesome end as he spills his guts out vomiting pools of blood, choking on the food he had just eaten. The evil hell doll has managed to destroy the entire family within the space of a day and worse but the worst is yet to come as we discover what happened to the snooty socialite whose hands had started peeling so horribly.

Slowly the door to the main room lurches open bit by bit revealing the woman who has been horribly trussed up and spread-eagled on the door by an unseen force, hanging upside down with a ghastly expression of tortuous death etched all over her rotting, dripping face. It’s a terrific climax to an otherwise rather predictable and jaunty little film. The performances are solid with Fonna Pura proving to be the modern Fay Wray with her penetrating and horribly shrill screams. Badin Dadayin as Randy Andy does exceptionally well in his cameo appearance with his typical east end accent and filthy appearance.

Faulad Khan makes a promising debut but it is the exceptional make up effects that carry the day and make the final climactic scene such a memorable moment of dangling horror. A good idea which seems to have been executed without enough thought and planning, yet for a ten minute short, its amusing enough, and the stunning pay off scene saves the day! The most intriguing aspect of this shoestring budgeted independent short is that it is a throwback to the nihilism of Romero’s classic Night of The Living Dead with evil absolutely triumphant and relentless.