Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Charlie McCarthy and the Killer Dummies

I'm starting this post about 4 am and my goddamn computer keeps giving me shit. I'm usually sound asleep around this time, but it began to rain, my four year old began to scream, and I lost my place in the bed.  My wife and I aren't very big people and we share a small mattress with our Boston terrier, so when the boys have too much chocolate, or when there's lightening and thunder, or when there's just something under the bed, guess who suffers.

But oh well. I've been meaning to write this post for about a week anyway.  At least it's quiet now, and since I have the time, I'd like to share with whoever is out there two short films and recommend three full length features about killer ventriloquist dummies. The first film is simply called The Dummy (1982) and is only about 7 minutes long.  I remember seeing it on HBO when I was probably about the same age as the screaming child who woke me up tonight.  It was on around my bed time so I only caught a minute or two of it, but it scared the shit out of me.  It was my first encounter with the concept of a dummy walking around on its own, killing people.  You can view it here: http://youtu.be/4-8ocnmE0Ts.

The next three recommendations are perfect for Halloween and are available on Netflix, or I'm sure at least two of them are available at your local video store; that's if video stores still exist in your town.

 Dead of Night (1945) is a British horror anthology with lots of good stories and a great wrap around, but the most interesting and terrifying segment is easily the one featuring Hugo Fitch, a smart ass, conniving little shit looking for a new partner and a trip to the U.S. The movie has some pretty cool effects concerning the evil dummy and is the first film I know of to portray a ventriloquist doll as a living, thinking murderer.

Magic (1978) is my favorite of the three and stars the always remarkable Anthony Hopkins as Corky the magician and ventriloquist who's a little afraid of success and might not be quite right in the head.  His inseparable pal and partner in crime is Fats, another smart ass, conniving little shit; but instead of looking for a new act, would rather keep Corky all to himself.  See it.  It's awesome.

 Dead Silence (2007) might be the weakest of the three with its sluggish pace, jump scares, and sort-a-silly surprise ending, but it also offers lots of creepy ventriloquist dummies and neat effects.  Though the movie's antagonist is a ghost named Mary Shaw, most of the horror takes place through a creepy doll named Billy. Definitely worth a look.  Donny Wahlberg keeps me coming back with his dick head detective act and awesome mustache.

Lastly, we come to a short video I shot with my wife's very cheap and outmoded camera.  Pictured above is a charcoal portrait I drew of a plastic Charlie McCarthy doll my mom bought for me a few years back.  A couple weeks ago I gave him a sinister new paint job and enrolled him in acting classes.  We, together with members of my family, wrote, directed, and edited this pile of shit I'm allowing any and every poor soul to experience through the miracle of YouTube.  It's only 7 minutes (that you'll never get back) and sports no effects, no professional actors, and no sense. Enjoy.


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  2. Oh well, 6 yrs is such a long journey.. we hope that you could still continue doing your daily dose of your blog