1991 was a banner year. The Cold War came to an end, Queen Elizabeth II became the very first British monarch to address the US Congress, and Dollman was released on home video. Yes, home video. This gem was direct to video, as part of Full Moon Entertainment’s stable along with the Puppet Master and Trancer series.
The “Thirteen Inches with Attitude” tagline may make you think this is a bio pic about Tattoo from Fantasy Island or a sequel to Boogie Nights, but it ain’t.
Tim Thomerson (remember him from Zone Troopers?) plays alien cop Brick Bardo. A tough guy with a gun, who always gets his man. OK, let’s face facts—Thomerson pretty much plays the same character in every film, be it Dollman, Trancers, or Zone Troopers. But that’s just fine. He’s good at those kind of characters. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—just like the armadillo trap in my cell. Them’s good eatin’.
Bardo is busy busting heads on a far away planet, which involves him wearing sunglasses at night (cue the song), when he gets a visit from an old pal. And by an old pal, I mean a bad guy who has been resorted to a floating head, thanks to Mr. Bardo. Apparently, Bardo blew off a different body part during each of their previous encounters. This is how you get ahead in relationships.
A henchman steals Bardo’s gun, but our hero uses a Jedi mind trick to return it to his hand—and that’s when all Hell breaks loose. And so do body parts. Lots of body parts. Bardo’s hand gun turns Floating Head’s henchmen into something out of a Picasso painting. Floating Head escapes in a spaceship and Bardo gives chase in his own. The pair is sucked into a worm hole in outer space (as opposed to Wisconsin), and they crash land, where else, but in the Bronx. Hilarity ensues. Literally.
This is where the Doll portion of the title comes in to effect. It turns out, that while Bardo was of normal size on his home planet, he is only thirteen inches tall on Earth. Reminds of that time I went to [CLASSIFIED] where all the [CLASSIFIED] are super tall. Good thing I do all that yoga.
After arriving in the Bronx, we are treated to a touching montage of what the city has to offer: crime, drugs, and violence. Ah, city life. A woman, Debi, is attacked by a gang near where Bardo crash landed, so he lends a hand. And like Stubby Joe over in D-Block on the base, it is a very tiny hand.
Bardo’s super-powerful gun only does average damage to the giant henchmen of Earth, but it is still plenty. What baddies survive, run away. Debi, thankful but confused, takes Bardo home with her.
Remember Floating Head? He’s on Earth too, and about as dangerous as half of a tennis ball. Oh, and he has a bomb of some kind. Details. He joins forces with the gang’s leader, Braxton—Oscar nominated actor, Jackie Earle Haley, who looks like a poor man’s Ray Liotta in this. Yes, this was many years before his nomination (for Little Children), but you have to start somewhere, just like my tapeworm. You may also remember Haley as Rorschach in Watchmen or as Freddy in the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot. No? That’s OK, I didn’t seem those either.
Back at Debi’s apartment, Bardo makes short work of a cockroach with his gun, and she yells “don’t pull that thing out again!” She sounds just like my second wife. She hated my glass eye. Just kidding. It was a real eye.
Braxton’s crew shows up for the Dollman, but Bardo paints the walls with their blood. Really, he does. Debi scrubs it off with a sponge in the next scene—and then gets kidnapped. Bardo has enough, and goes for one last tiny showdown with the gang, proving once again, that just like cheap dentures, friends come in all sizes.
Dollman has plenty of blood, but no breasts, and very few beasts unless you count Floating Head and a “giant” cockroach. Still, it is fun to watch Thomerson act like he is only thirteen inches tall, and for direct to video, the special effects are pretty good. Give this one a watch.
Check out the trailer for “Dollman”