Title: Of Dolls & Murder

Also known as:

Year: 2012

Genre: Documentary / Crime

Language: English

Runtime: 70 min

Director: Susan Marks

Writer: Susan Marks

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588446/

In the 30's, an old woman named Frances Glessner Lee changed forensic science forever when she created miniature crime scenes with dolls, based on unsolved crimes. This documentary shows the importance of her creations and how they are still used today.

Our thoughts:
Putting this on I actually expected something completely different than a documentary on forensic science. Stupid fuck as I am, I hadn't even read the entire back of it. I looked at the cover and thought "Oh, a stupid fucking movie about dolls arranged in morbid ways". I did notice the word "documentary" but I wasn't sure how to take it - was it a pseudo-documentary, a real documentary or just a stupid movie called a documentary for a laugh? Yeah, stupid thoughts went through my mind, but trust me, I've seen worse cases. Yet again I refer back to "Isle of the Damned". But enough about that, this turned out to be a very serious documentary (even though it was narrated by John Waters).

"Of Dolls & Murder" is about the amazing creations by Frances Glessner Lee from the 30's and 40's, and the amazing time she spent to help police investigations. She created dollhouses/miniatures of unsolved crime scenes that were so detailed that they are used to this day to teach forensic science. It could depict a kitchen where a murder was commited, and she'd be so exact that even the cereal boxes had the right logos on them. It's truly amazing to see, but if you haven't heard of it before (which I hadn't), then it's slightly hard to believe or even grasp what she was doing at first. The documentary shows us several of them (I can't recall if all the 18 miniatures were shown) and John Waters narrates by telling us about the crime. The film also consists of experts (and a guy from the show "CSI", heh) being interviewed about the importance of these creations.

What I think really helped me enjoy this documentary is that it didn't stick to just Frances Glessner Lee's creations, it spread out a bit further into the world of forensic science. At times even discussing whether "CSI" is accurate or not, and why it is/isn't. But my number one fascination was when they started talking about "The Body Farm". The Body Farm is a place that bodies have been donated to, and they put the bodies in various places to examine the decomposition. For example, they put them in trunks, dumpsters, and also spread-out in the woods. I've always been amazed that they could tell how long a body has been rotting, but now I finally understand how it is even possible.

As most people, I'm interested in things revolving around crimes and murders, but I have never been one of the most devoted people either. I love myself a good documentary on the telly, and I do have an interest in some of the cop shows (even though they just show the same sort of trashy people over and over again). I'm glad "Of Dolls & Murder" turned out to be what it is, and I think it's something worth checking out if you're a curious person. It's not very graphic (a few bodies shown but not entirely), but it's definitely interesting. Quite a surprise to get something like this to review, but I'm glad I did. Wouldn't be too bad if some TV channel picked it up as I think, in the end, it'd be much better off running on the telly. Is this the sort of thing people would buy? Even though it's pretty good, I'm not convinced.

Positive things:
- An interesting documentary overall.
- The Body Farm.
- Not what I expected!
- Feel slightly more educated now.
Negative things:
- John Waters wasn't a bad narrator, but did he really fit?

Gore: 1/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

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