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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Sex Doll She-Bitch (2009)


Director: Jaison H Costley
Stars: Sitara Falcon, Melinda Chilton, Bob Lanoue, Jaison H Costley and Matt Johnson


Index: Weird Wednesdays.

It's hard to pick a favourite aspect to this film with its undeniably awesome title. Could it be that a movie starring a sex doll out for bloody revenge was shot entirely in Utah? Maybe it's that the doll and its sister get credits: Ilsa is played by Sum Young Poon, while Violated Sex Doll is played by Sumotha Young Poon. Perhaps it's that every location has a profane but highly descriptive name (warning: this paragraph finds itself full of profanity just by referencing credits and locations), from the Cheap as Fuck Used-Ass Car Lot in which we begin the film, through the Cheap as Fuck Dive Ass Bar and all the way to the Cheap as Fuck Cockroach Infested Diner. The music comes courtesy of the Seeping Vagina Orchestra, while the band on stage in that bar is subtly named Cunt Grinder, complete with requisite chick bassist and a lead vocalist in a monk's habit. There's even the professionally offensive poster for Crispin Hellion Glover's What is It? on the back of a door, the one with a riding crop thrust between Shirley Temple's labia.

I think I'd have to plump for the lead actor, Sitara Falcon, because not only does he nail the misogynistic insanity of William Cronenbourg with such admirably straight vehemence that I wonder how many takes were lost to the crew falling prey to infectious laughing fits, but because he comes back later to play the role of Todd, tasked with seducing the very same sex-doll which has already raped his eye socket with a poker. This really wasn't the sort of film I was expecting to find good acting in, but Falcon, best known as a comedian, does a fantastic job, far beyond what the film really warrants, even in a stick-on moustache. It's especially noteworthy for being delivered almost entirely to an inflatable sex doll who doesn't move or react throughout his diatribes. I'm sure his dialogue was provided by writer/director Jaison H Costley, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that he improvised whole swathes of it while the camera just ran and captured it all. I'd love to see the outtakes and hope there are hours of them.

The story is pretty straightforward. Young William is a real prize, beginning the film getting head from a hooker, who he promptly kicks out of his car so he can go home to the wife. He spends the trip talking to everyone he knows, each haranguing conversation more demeaning than the last. He doesn't have any positive words for anyone, not even his car and especially not his wife. When he gets home, where she's watching PIGS (Police Investigating Gay Shit), he blisters at her in a hilarious one sided argument that gets better and better. He even shouts at the baby (which is another doll, though not an inflatable one this time, as that would be a little out there even for this movie). It's all as misogynistic as possible, right down to his suggestion that his sex doll wife should have had an abortion instead of having his doll baby. In a great touch he even slaps her, which prompts her very first movement; She goes to the kitchen to get a patch to seal the new hole in her cheek. Up till then, we wondered if this was all in his head.
Just as Sitara Falcon is surprisingly strong in each of two prominent roles, the sound and video quality is also surprisingly high. I expected something cheap and cheerful, if not as cheap and cheerful as a WAVE movie like Eaten Alive: A Tasteful Revenge. What I found was a very capable, professional piece, merely one that stars a blow up doll in the lead role, one that does move around at points but never attempts to speak; everyone else just acts as if it's providing her half of the conversation, which we never hear. They even underdo things, just as Falcon overdoes them with glorious bravado. Once William Cronenbourg is dead, murdered by his harangued sex doll wife, a detective shows up to investigate in monotone. When he finds the baby doll face down in the bath, he flicks on his voice recorder and states, simply and with no emotion whatsoever, 'the baby's dead'. These moments are as hilariously inappropriate as they are inappropriately hilarious. They made me wonder how the film got financed.

Costley is not a prolific filmmaker, though he did return to many of the roles he served here for a picture in 2013 called Dickhead Dave. The only credit he has on IMDb that predates this was as a videographer and grip for a 2008 short comedy called Maybe... For someone without much experience at that time, he certainly earned plenty here, on a wildly non-commercial 35 minute short; in addition to writer/director, he produced, foleyed, composed and storyboarded the film, as well as reserving one supporting role for himself. That he even completed this thing deserves kudos and what he did with it deserves more. That it's as utterly out there as it is, the approach taken restricting its potential audience massively but, then again, perhaps glowing in the dark to the people who would get a kick out of it, also deserves respect. It isn't the usual debut short to sell yourself to an agent and so land that prized Hollywood gig; it's more of the opposite and I have a lot of respect for that proudly niche achievement.

How we can categorise this film, I have no idea. It's about as awkward to place as the sex doll of the title is to act opposite. It's certainly a comedy, but it's gruesome enough in its effects work to qualify as gore movie too, which is an odd combination to begin with. Casting a blow up doll as the lead character is the shift to Troma territory, as is the dialogue which runs the gamut from cop dispatch messages like, 'Be on the lookout for a brown piece of shit station wagon. Subject is a white latex female,' all the way to outré monologues like Todd's chat-up routine that involves the bizarre details of the porn collection his former girlfriend burned. Like I said at the beginning, it's hard to pick a favourite aspect to this film because it's full of wildly inappropriate awesomeness. It's very wrong on so many levels, but if you really don't give a monkey's about wrongness, it might just become the favourite film in your dormroom, played afresh for each unwary new arrival, horrifying most and becoming a legend for the rest.

Amazingly, The Sex Doll She-Bitch can be watched for free on YouTube, though it's age restricted and may not be there with the approval of the copyright owner.

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