Blu-ray Review: DOLLMAN (1991)

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Dollman Review

Review: Dollman / Cert: 18 / Director: Albert Pyun / Screenplay: Various / Starring: Tim Thomerson, Jackie Earle Haley, Kamala Lopex, Frank Collison / Release Date: Out Now

You're so small!” Words no man likes to hear, so you'll sympathise with the hero of Full Moon Feature's 1991 film Dollman. Brick Bardo (Thomerson) is the planet Arturos' answer to Dirty Harry, a tough maverick cop with a big gun and a hard boiled attitude. But then he chases an old enemy named Sprug (Collison) through dimensions all the way to Earth, only to discover that he is in the land of the giants and that he is now only thirteen inches tall. Luckily, this is one movie where size definitely doesn't matter.

More specifically, he has wound up in a South Bronze rife with gang warfare. Here, he falls in with Debi (Lopez), a feisty neighbourhood watch girl who chases off drug dealers by throwing rocks at them. In the meantime, Sprug puts the bang into gangbanger by teaming up with some local hoodlums and offering them the use of a dimensional fusion bomb, “something that will rip your dimension a new asshole”. But never fear – pint-sized or not, Brick can still protect and serve with the best of them.

Without much in the way of a budget for spectacle, Dollman is a grower, not a shower. It has more than its share of dodgy optical FX, but it also has energy and a sense of fun. Sprug – a decapitated head fixed to a mini-flying saucer – makes for a colourful villain, and there are some amusing scenes as Brick suffers various indignities as the result of being vertically challenged (for a guy who's all about the bravado, he spends a surprising amount of time sulking inside his spacecraft while Debi's friends and family peer delightedly in at him). Best of all, it has Thomerson, who plays it just right – deadpan, but with a twinkle.

If you originally caught this movie on VHS, you'll be startled by the transformation on this Blu-ray. There are some spotty patches and a degree of softness in the interior scenes, but on the whole the picture is impressively crisp, especially the early sequence involving a hostage situation in a launderette. It's not quite on a par with the recent Blu-ray versions of Full Moon's Puppet Master films, but certainly getting on for it. Extras include a decent vintage featurette and a vidcast in which producer Charles Band tries to flog dodgy limited edition toys while star Thomerson drifts off to sleep beside him.

Extras: Videozone / Charles Band and Tim Thomerson vidcast / Trailers

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