Baby Doll (2004) – By Duane L. Martin

Rosemary Gore contacted me recently and asked me if I would review her short film Baby Doll. Naturally I said yes because I’m a total screener whore, but also because it sounded pretty interesting. I was actually planning on reviewing it for the December issue, but since it arrived on the 30th and it was only twenty-seven minutes long, I decided I’d go ahead and review it for this issue instead.

Baby Doll was made by a company called Lake Films, and on the front of the case it says “The Mind’s Eye – Episode 8.” I have been previously unaware of this company’s productions, so I assume they’re doing a series of short films, and this is the eighth film in the series. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Gee, how’d ya figure that out Einstein?” Yeah, well…shut up.

Anyway, Baby Doll stars Rosemary Gore as a woman who’s completely schitzophrenic. She’s fine when she’s out in the world, and comes off as just any other normal woman. When she gets home though…it’s a whole other story. That’s when her child persona takes over, and things start gettin weird. She puts her hair in pigtails and wears a mommy dress and mommy shoes and smears make up all over her face and put on so much lipstick that she ended up looking like someone’s crazy old aunt Frieda. Her voice changes too and the whole effeect is really creepy as she slips full on into her child personality.

The basic root of the story is that when the woman, Casey Hanson, was traumatized constantly as a little girl. It was implied that she was abused sexually by her father and he was both verbally and physically abusive to her mother as well. One day they were fighting in the car when Casey was about five and because of the fighting they got in an accident and both her parents were killed. Then she was put into an orphanage and adopted by some trailer trash lookin’ family where she was abused even further. Even when she left those parents and went back to the orphanage, the orphanage people abused her mentally. Finally when she was older, she just ran away.

Because of the constant cycle of abuse, she not only developed her child persona to help deal with it, but she developed a strong hatred of men as well because of the abuse which she had suffered at their hands. I guess that explains why she had a bloodied up guy tied to her bed while she was putting on her makeup. When he came to, he was all pissed off and swearing at her calling her a psycho bitch and what not. Well naturally, being in a little girl frame of mind, she was offended by the bad words, so she stabbed him repeatedly with a pair of scissors to make him shut up. In fact, because the guy was a moron and never learned to just play along with her little delusional fantasies, he also got cracked in the head with a big toy car, had his fingers on one hand broken and then was eventually clubbed to death with a baseball bat. Some people just can’t learn keep their mouth shut, so she opened up a can of whup ass and shut it for him. Too bad he won’t be around to learn from his mistakes.

The ending of the film kinda falls apart. It turns out that it was all just being filmed as a short and the actress gets all pissed when someone sneezes and ruins the final shot. She goes off on the crew and then leaves and tells them to all be back at 6 am to finish the scene. So she storms out and goes home. She starts talking to someone on the phone and carries her laundry to the basement where the washing machine is, and as she gets off the phone, she starts talking in her little girl voice and we see a pile of dead guys on the floor. Not the ending I would have chosen simply because it was too obvious, but it was ok.

Rosemary Gore did a really good job of playing Casey. Her little girl voice and the stories she was telling about the abuse she suffered as a child really helped set the whole mood for the film. The guy tied up on the bed did a good job too, but I just can’t see anyone being that stupid. When a psycho has you tied up and at their mercy, the last thing you want to do is antagonize them.

There’s not much more to say about this film. It was pretty enjoyable and I think it could have been stretched out into a full length feature where she actually cycled through several different guys instead of just the one. And the ending could be re-done where it doesn’t all turn out to just be an act…kinda. This film has been submitted to various film festivals, and if you get a chance to see it you should. You might never look at make-up the same way again.

If you’d like to find out more about the film, you can check out the Lake Films website for trailers and more information.