Devil Doll (1964) - Horror

Hohum Score



An evil hyponotist/ventriloquist plots to gain an heiress' millions.

IMDB: 4.4
Director: Lindsay Shonteff
Stars: Bryant Haliday, William Sylvester
Length: 81 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 14 out of 51 found boring (27.45%)

One-line Reviews (43)

Except for a few slow-moving scenes in newspaper offices, it is well acted, directed and photographed, with great use of lighting and close-ups to build tension and enhance the mystery.

Worth watching on MST3K and in "normal" form for the cool trick ending.

The film is notable more for its well composed close up photography, suspenseful tympani playing that heightens the tension, and great acting by Halliday, who barely did any acting after this; he was one of the founders of Janus films, and then moved to France.

I ventured into this film without checking its title page on IMDb, which is something I rarely ever do, but now I'm glad, otherwise I probably would have passed an missed out on a fairly engaging, original and chilling little 60's gem.

Though the story is often predictable, it's creepy enough to provide a few chills along the way – not scary, just creepy.

Other characters include a reporter with a vaudeville-comic face, a couple of dull Germans, Marianne's boozy aunt, and a theatre audience who looks like they'd rather be seeing Les Mis.

Boring and very dated; stay far away .

This makes her equally dull-witted boyfriend, newspaper man William "Heywood Floyd" Sylvester, jealous.

Dull, dreary British horror - a waste of good actors .

There, Vorelli falls for her niece, a dull-witted girl with amazing false eyelashes.

However, having just watched the film I can assure you that despite a relatively low budget, it was exciting throughout and is one of the better horror films of the 1960s.

Nothing happens for long periods, just people talking.

There's more than just one wooden performance in this dull thrilless melodrama.

But it's dull, lifeless, and the cast as wooden as the Devil Doll himself.

I normally tend to find British horror films a tad bit boring and while this one here begins to lose steam as it rolls along, it still manages to be quite effective.

In addition to this living doll's eerie presence, the film boasts stunning B&W photography, uniformly fine acting (especially by Bryant Haliday as Vorelli, who comes off far more sinister here than the evil hypnotist played by Jose Ferrer in 1949's "Whirlpool"), intriguing FX (negative images, freeze frames) and a literate script.

Same grainy black and white noir photography, same dreary staging and pacing, and the same morally repulsive villain locked in a struggle with a rather bland 'hero' for the soul of a beautiful woman.

Bryant Haliday does a fine job in this one as he did as Paul in the Projected man, but William Sylvester was very bland.

Finally, this movie is SLOW.

As dull and lifeless as a piece of wood .

To cut to the jib, it's a adequate, odd little British horror flick, which on a whole is more a curiosity piece than entertaining.

Here, Vorelli is homely, deeply disturbed and psychotic, but he's light years more intriguing than the dullard Sylvester - which makes me wonder what a normal-looking woman would see in him in the first place.

It was grim, but the monotone acting suited it.

This a fine little British horror film, with an engaging story, good to great acting, suspenseful music and wonderfully composed photography; it is only slowed down by a few too long sequences (Marianne on stage doing the Twist; English's frequent repetitive conversations with Doctors Keisling and Heller).

While Bryant Haliday is effectively villainous, William Sylvester is a complete bore as the film's hero.

Even watching this on MST, my butt started to fall asleep.

The Great Vorelli is an oily hypnotist who somehow manages to take England by storm with his mostly boring, slightly creepy act.

It's mostly pointless and there's not much to talk about.

They always look bored, and believe me, life DOES imitate art here.

A lame fight at the end (not unlike the one that concludes "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians"), however, causes Hugo to become "alive" and take Vorelli's place, while the audience is left feeling sad and empty, not unlike Vorelli's sex life or Hugo's cranium.

As bad as this show sounds, it looks a lot more enjoyable than Dr. Carlo Lombardi's act in "She Creature" (another MST3K riffed film).

If you get really bored, watch it, if you can't find a copy there's always the MST3K version...

"Devil Doll" may not be the crown jewels, but it is a small gem, and a very enjoyable horror tale.

The Great Vorelli is well played by Haliday and seems genuinely evil even while he's entertaining his audience.

His latest intended female victim is one of the most stunning women to ever grace this planet, the gorgeous Yvonne Romain.

Sometimes it spends too long concentrating on some hypnotise sequences to space out the story, which after awhile became either tedious, or hugely ridiculous.

Unfortunately, Vorelli is an amoral creep, and English is bland and uninteresting.

Bored to death and never raises his voice about conversation level, even when he's supposed to be shouting.

Oddly quaint "thriller" mixes effective moments and boring ones .

C'mon, silly it is, but I couldn't bear to bag it, because I didn't find it that extremely bad at all… slowly paced, yeah… pointless sequences, definitely… too much talk, yeah… hardly intense, too right.

gray, drab bit of English fare about an evil ventriloquist(are there any other kind?

Whether it's the character or the performance that's more to blame I don't know, but Vorelli is for whatever reason a dull, flat, one-note villain.

This boring, stupid little horror movie has many things wrong with it.