Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 3rd, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2007
Director: Jonathan Lewis
Writers: Shawn Lewis, Mitch Mayes
Cast: Heather Murphy, Natasha Talonz, Christine Svendsen, Erika Branich, Precious Cox, Martin Boone, Gregory Solis
DVD Released: October 27th, 2009
Approximate Running Time: 73 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Lowest Common Denominator Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A black militant serial killer is reincarnated as a ventriloquist doll.
Just when you thought that you had seen everything that there was to offer from the killer doll genre along comes a film like Black Devil Doll. Since the buzz about Black Devil Doll began a few years ago. When the film was first being put together, the film has had more than it’s fare share of detractors. To simply write off Black Devil Doll as the type of film that will easily offend those with thin skin when it comes to politically incorrect subject matter is underestimating what the filmmakers are trying to achieve with this film. Underneath the film’s razor sharp humor is a delirious satire that makes no apologies for what you are about to see.
After a brief set up in which the Black Devil Doll is reincarnated as a ventriloquist doll. He then wines and dines Heather a young woman who he convinces to lure other pretty young white women who he refers to as “Some trim, some fresh, white pussy”. It doesn’t take long for things to get going and once they do all hell breaks loose. Also there is no shortage of WTF moments in this film like a scene where the Black Devil Doll shoots diarrhea on a door which melts away.
From a production stand point this film far exceeds its meager resources. This can mostly be attributed to the films polished visual look which includes the stylish opening credit sequence and a newly coined technique called Nergoscope and a catchy, retro sounding score that was composed by The Giallo’s Flame. Of course the film’s main attraction the ventriloquist dummy Black Devil Doll who dominates every scene he is in. Black Devil Doll clearly knows its audience (exploitation cinema fans) and the film delivers in spades with its abundance of bloodshed, T & A and puppet sex.
Black Devil Doll is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. This is a strong transfer that has healthy looking flesh tones, black levels fare well and details look sharp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital 5.1 English audio mix. The audio sounds clear, balanced and robust throughout.
Extras for this release include a general audience’s trailer (4 minutes and 1 second – anamorphic widescreen) and the unrated trailer (4 minutes and 7 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a trailer for a film called Brawlin Broads II (1 minutes and 1 second – anamorphic widescreen) and production and publicity photo galleries with music from the film playing in the background. Other extras include a clip from the films Hollywood premiere (3 minutes and 35 second – anamorphic widescreen), an intro with the Black Devil Doll that played at a convention (1 minutes and 12 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), an interview with director Jonathan Lewis who appeared on the Netherworld Videozine (6 minutes and 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and three animated clips titled “Bootleggers” (51 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), “Rated X” (48 seconds – anamorphic widescreen)and “KKK” (1 minutes and 28 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Also included with this release is an audience reaction track that was recorded at the Black Devil’s Doll’s premiere at The New Beverly. Rounding out the extras are five audio commentary tracks, the first audio commentary is with the Black Devil Doll, the second audio commentary includes members from the cast which include Heather Murphy, Natasha Talonz, Erika Branich, Precious Cox, Martin Boone, the third audio commentary is with the crew which include director Jonathan Lewis, producer Shawn Lewis, production designer Mitchell Mayes, the fourth audio commentary with director of photography / editor John Osteen, production designer Mitchell Mayes and they discuss the technical aspects of this film and the fifth audio commentary is titled fan commentary in which three fans give their thoughts on the film. All five audio commentaries lend themselves perfectly to the film at hand as everyone feels like they are have a good time. The audio commentary with the Black Devil Doll ends with him snoring after he has fallen asleep and the audio commentary John Osteen and Mitchell Mayes extends a few minutes beyond the film. The audio commentary with the Black Devil Doll and the audio commentary with the three fans are the two that are the most fun. Also included with this release is a DVD insert that has a replica mini poster for the film on one side and an essay about the film titled “Tossing the Salad, an examination of the cultural impact and importance of ‘The Black Devil Doll’”, this essay was written by Professor Julian Krantz. Overall Black Devil Doll gets a Criterion like DVD release that covers all the bases.