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by Eli Kroes

You might not be familiar with the term 'Z-Movie,' but if you grew up in the 90's, chances are you've seen one. They're the beyond-low-budget monstrosities that teased you from the walls of the mom-and-pop video store. Usually, the films themselves could never live up to the pictures on the videotape boxes (because this was way before your fancy 'Digital Video Discs' and 'Blu-Rays') but occasionally you'd find something truly unique. 'WEIRDO FLICKS' will clue you into some movies which 'unique' doesn't even begin to describe... 

'Dollman' - 1991, Directed by Albert Pyun

I unabashedly LOVE Charles Band and everything he does. If you're unfamiliar, Mr. Band is the guy behind Empire Pictures and Full Moon Pictures, two of the more well-known straight-to-video companies of the 80's. You've probably seen one of his films on late-night TV, and it was probably one of the 'Puppet Master' movies. Or possibly 'Re-Animator.' He's got his stable of directors, actors, and composers (well, compoSER. His brother, Richard) and he never strays too far from his own style, so you know what to expect (UNLIKE say, Troma, who put out basically anything they find.)

'Dollman' was the first Band-produced flick I saw after 'Puppet Master,' and I was certainly not disappointed. Tim Thomerson, who is in pretty much EVERY Band film, plays a cop from another galaxy named Brick Bardo who looks human but is about 3 inches tall. A lady finds him after his space ship crashes and brings him home to care for him. Brick, however, can't stop his cop tendencies and starts trying to fight earth criminals. Or, at least he mouths off to them since he can't do much else.

This creates problems for the lady, because now criminals are looking for this tiny dude she's hiding. Action AND hilarity ensue. Thomerson is such a tough-guy that any joke or snide comment you put in his mouth is automatically hilarious and badass.

Though there are only about two locations used in the film, Band works his low-budget charm and the film is thoroughly entertaining. He also knows when the joke is old and cuts things off at 79 minutes. You'll laugh, you'll 'huzzah,' you probably won't cry, but you definitely won't be bored.

You can rent it on Youtube currently, which is cool. 

VHS photo by Toby Hudson.