Dollman (1991)
Dollman (1991)

Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller Running Time: 1 hr. 19 min.

Release Date: November 27th, 1991 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Albert Pyun Actors: Tim Thomerson, Jackie Earle Haley, Kamala Lopez-Dawson, Humberto Ortiz, Nicholas Guest, Judd Omen, Frank Collison, Merle Kennedy

 


 

T

im Thomerson exudes the required machismo to keep his outlandish Clint Eastwood-mimicking alien cop thoroughly entertaining throughout “Dollman’s” minimal duration. A surprisingly creative script and hilariously imaginative special effects (read low budget, but inventive under the circumstances) manage to complement the cheesiness that ensues – to such a degree, in fact, that a crossover sequel spawned two years later (though not uncommon with Charles Band productions). While no Academy Award-worthy performances can be found amongst the B-movie regulars, the lone standout presence belongs to none other than Jackie Earle Haley (“Little Children,” “Watchmen”) as the lead antagonist, who clearly takes his role in this campy sci-fi adventure far more seriously than anyone else.

A flagrantly reckless cop and somewhat-hero on his home planet of Arturos, Brick Bardo (Tim Thomerson) is accidentally transported 10,000 light years to Earth during a brash attempt at apprehending the dangerous criminal Sprug (Frank Collison). Thanks to Bardo’s unorthodox endeavors, Sprug is little more than a sickly head preserved on a flying plate. While a force to be reckoned with on Arturos (and slinger of the most powerful handgun in the universe), on Earth, Bardo stands only a few inches tall.

Taken in by neighborhood watch enthusiast Debi Alejandro (Kamala Lopez-Dawson), a headstrong young girl determined to make a difference in her crumbling South Bronx residence, Brick decides to help clean up the streets with his own brand of hard justice. But the miniature lawman quickly discovers it’ll take more than his witty one-liners and fearless attitude to take down the vicious, human-sized gang, led by Braxton Red (Jackie Earle Haley), that terrorizes the neighborhood. And Sprug is still on the loose, possessing a powerful bomb to accompany his thirst for vengeance.

Though a straight-to-video effort by Albert Pyun, director of the successful fantasy epic “The Sword and the Sorcerer” and schlock favorites “Omega Doom” and “Nemesis,” “Dollman” is unexpectedly enjoyable – despite numerous technical faults and a sporadically detrimental shoestring budget. The screenplay was written by Roger Corman-wannabe and cult movie producer Charles Band (“Puppetmaster,” “Netherworld,” “Seedpeople”), released by his company Full Moon Entertainment, and scored by Tony Riparetti (who has created music for 23 of Pyun’s projects). These are all signs that the result should have been utterly forgettable and poorly assembled grindhouse material at best. But instead, the ludicrously bad quotes (“27 wounded, 3.6 dead”) and tough-guy catchphrases (“Back off or I kill a fat lady!”) complement the pulsing music and deadpan acting. It’s either an homage to the most clichéd and unimpressive works of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Gibson, or a rip-off of such uninspired rubbish. Either way, in its attempt to be bigger and better (which it fails miserably), the ever-present (and probably unintentional) humor enveloping the whole production gives it an undeniable charm.

– The Massie Twins

  • 7/10