Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dead Silence

"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw she had no children only dolls. If you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream, or she'll rip your tongue out at the seam". Happy Halloween! I spent part of my afternoon watching the horror film "Dead Silence", a 2007 schlock-fest by the creators of the "Saw" series. It about a mad ventriloquist named Mary Shaw who was buried with her collection of vaudeville dolls and whose ghost terrorizes the small town of Ravens Fair. In the decades since the old woman's death the dolls have been mysteriously reappearing in the sleepy town, and soon after they are seen whole families are gruesomely murdered with their tongues carved out. The story begins with a young couple who have left Ravens Fair and moved to the big city. But it seems they can't escape the curse of their little town, for they soon receive one of old Mary Shaw's dummies in a package.

When I first saw the dummy I thought this movie was going to be about a homicidal doll like Chucky in the cult horror series "Child's Play". That would have been a better idea, because this stinker of a film isn't even "bad" enough to become some kind of ironic cult favorite. Its just bad. In the end one of the dolls does finally speak, possessed by the spirit of Mary Shaw, and actually this doll does kind of resemble Chucky. But mostly this a slow moving ghost story with bad acting and a contrived "twist" at the end. My favorite bad actor in this movie is former "New Kid on the Block" Donnie Wahlberg. Donnie gives an almost endearingly cliched portrayal of a detective. Ostensibly Detective Lipton is out to solve the mystery of the murders, but he mostly just plays with his electric razor...

"Beware the stare of Chet Loggins. He has no children only dolls..." I only struggled through this rotten tomato, because someone once told me that my paintings of dolls reminded them of "Dead Silence". I don't know about that, but creepy is a word I hear a little too often. I think these four paintings were the ones they were talking about...

A long time ago I did actually do a painting with a ventriloquist's dummy in it. I think this a Charlie McCarthy doll, but I'm not sure. My painting skills were not as keen back in '96 when the painting below was done. Charlie McCarthy was the doll used by famous ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, Candice Bergen's pop.

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