A group of college students decide to do a research paper on local legend Crinoline Head — a psychotic killer with mommy issues who butchered a cabin full of kids in 1996. When the kids reach the infamous spot in the woods where the massacre occurred, they discover that Crinoline Head is more than just legend.
For those unfamiliar, in 1996 Tommy Faircloth released the low-budget mock-slasher “Crinoline Head” — a silly little movie that poked fun of slashers with a killer who wore a skirt, intended for dolls, as a mask. Cut to nearly 20 years later, and one successful IndieGoGo campaign later, we now have the sequel “Dollface” (originally “Dorchester’s Revenge” but retitled for its release by Breaking Glass Pictures). Two decades may have passed, and the killer may be suspiciously twice as big as he was since the last movie, but Faircloth has managed to reproduce the same wit that he had with the original movie.
As a child, Dorchester lived with his mother in a remote cabin in the woods. His mother would earn a living by making and selling dolls up until her untimely death. Dorchester wasn’t discovered until months later and by that time, he had partially eaten his deceased mother in order to stay alive. Shamed by what he had done, as a young man in an insane asylum, Dorchester covered his face with the crinoline used by his mother to make dolls — that is until he escaped in 1996 and headed back to the cabin. There he discovered a group of college students and went on a massacre — six were killed and two escaped. Twenty years later, one of the survivors, Paul Donner, teaches a class at the local university and a group of his students decide that they want to do a paper on the killer known as Crinoline Head — after discovering their teacher’s connection to killings. Warning the students against such a subject, they head up to the woods where the massacre took place. It isn’t before long that they discover that Crinoline Head more than just a legend, and is alive and will do whatever it takes to protect what is his.
Now don’t worry, if you haven’t seen “Crinoline Head” that’s okay because you don’t need to in order to watch and enjoy “Dollface” as the backstory is explained thoroughly in the new movie (although you should still see the first one). It also isn’t necessary to see the first film since “Dollface” acts as both a sequel and a remake to an extent — it’s the same story of kids going up to a cabin and getting picked off, one by one, by a killer with a skirt on his head. The only things that are different are the characters and their motivation for being there.
It works well in the favor of “Dollface” because, let’s be honest: how many people actually know about “Crinoline Head”? “Dollface” is able to co-exist and function as either a stand-alone movie or as a sequel. Faircloth also did justice with his follow-up by improving upon the filmmaking and technical aspect of the movie, but keeping key elements the same. Much like “Crinoline Head”, “Dollface” is a slasher movie that pokes fun of slashers. Not in a self-aware or meta — as you kids say — kind of way, but subtly mocks in a humorous tongue-in-cheek fashion.
“Dollface” doesn’t rely on the blood, boobs, and the stalk ’n slash formula in the typical tradition but is more of a bizarrely amusing slasher. With a focus on entertaining characters and creative kills — always check your surroundings in the woods before you squat down to take care of business! So, to some extent, “Dollface” will probably disappoint slasher fans because there’s minimal blood and no one is trying to get the high score in terms of a body count.
There’s not much to discuss about “Dollface”; it’s an entertaining slasher that has fun by ribbing the sub-genre where it can and without being obnoxious about it. From a production standpoint, it’s a well done movie that is able to exist as both a sequel and standalone movie. Tommy Faircloth also did an excellent job of improving, from a filmmaking point, and created a sharp looking low-budget film. “Dollface” is probably not a movie for the diehard slasher fans, but if you’re looking for a fun movie, this is a good one to throw on.