Episode 818- Devil Doll

Movie Summary: Okay, you got a sour ventriloquist/hypnotist, a lady with the bottom half of her butt hanging out of a skimpy costume, a crabby vent figure containing the soul of a guy, another lady in a skimpy costume, a mush-mouthed hero, a couple fellows with big beards, some Germans, a whole herd of rich old ladies: and go!!
And... nothing.
A ventriloquist named The Great Vorelli, with the most unconvincing act this side of the Thames, controls women, abuses his dummy Hugo, and employs semi-voodoo to get his puny way. That's really all you need to know. The leading man is another fine example of our heroes who get themselves into a scrape and then stumble out of it completely by accident.
There's a real darkness to this movie, too. You can't see a thing.
It's so bad I don't feel like talking about it anymore.
North By Northwest, though, isn't that a great movie? To my mind, it's the essential Hitchcock film. It's light, yet genuinely tense; it showcases Cary Grant at his sexy middle-aged height, it contains scene after scene so well-crafted as to defy belief; it's funny, it's cool, it's got that 1950s color going for it, it features the line "She really did get under your skin, didn't she, Mr. Kaplan?" It's got Eve Marie Saint. The auction scene alone is a masterpiece most directors could never even imagine.
I guess what I'm saying is that
North By Northwest is a better movie than Devil Doll. I'll be very surprised if someone can convince me otherwise.

Prologue: Servo arranges a blow-out dorm drinkin' bash with speakers in the window and everything, but all he can afford is a very nice window. No beer, no speakers.

Segment One: Still residing in Ancient Rome, Pearl is bored by a "Welcome Gods" party and tries to turn it into a toga party, which understandably flops. Observer produces pants, and all enjoy a pants party. On the SOL, Crow (having apparently drunk some nanite-produced beer) gets sloppy and abusive about "Debbie" and punches in Servo's window.

Segment Two: Crow consorts with Pitch, a very minor demon from the Comedy Central years, who is selling very nice collectible "devil dolls." Mike is horrified, which Crow really can't understand.

Segment Three: Crow and Servo set up a real nice British pub for Mike, but the excitement dies quickly as all wait and wait and wait for the fantastically thick brew as it oozes ever so slowly into Mike's glass.

Segment Four: Pitch is back, teaching Crow how to transfer Servo's soul into a hastily assembled new Servo, a la the movie. Servo's going along of course, but Mike is again horrified and Crow is again upset that Mike is horrified. By the end, Servo has transferred his own soul into a toaster pastry.

Segment Five: Crow dresses Mike up as Hugo, the dummy from the movie, sticks him in a cage and whispers insults about how he's not going to feed him any ham, also like in the movie. (It's a weird movie.) Servo shows up as a leggy toaster strudel assistant with its butt hanging out. In Rome, all attend a fight at the Coliseum featuring the Mad Goth: it's Bobo!!

Stinger: Hugo the dummy attacks The Great Vorelli in a fever of punches.

Reflections: Upon reflection, I like this movie even less now than I did a few minutes ago when I was writing the first part.
Our hero (I forget his name and I guarantee so will you) travels to Berlin at one point to interview a former Vorelli assistant, a phase of her life I'm sure she highlights on her resume. She's a dour German woman, rooming with a lumpy German guy. Having grown up around a lot of German women, I have to say, German women are in fact capable of smiling. They do nice things like make Krumkache and Spaezel. So don't get the wrong idea about German women from this one example. She was a real sourpuss.
Sometimes I get a little nervous about having repeatedly played the role of a demon from Hell, even if it is all in fun. I wonder if I might not be somehow inviting the Dark One into my own soul? I sure hope not! -- Paul Chaplin.


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