C47Houston Flix Review:

"Doll Factory"

 

 

 

A group of Halloween party-goers looking for a thrill discover a book of spells and decide go to an abandoned doll factory to conjure up some spirits. But, they inadvertently bring dozens of creepy looking dolls to life all intent on taking the souls of the living in this horror and comedic feature motion picture by Director Stephen Wolfe titled "Doll Factory".

Written by Stephen Wolfe, "Doll Factory" is Mr. Wolfe's second feature endeavor, the first being his 2011 "Midnight Abyss". Screenplay, also written by Stephen Wolfe, "Doll Factory" opens and takes place in the late 70's and in an old abandoned doll factory in the small Texas town of Goober. There we find the young Deputy Bart Barclay (played by Chris Fender) and Deputy George Temple (played by Tim Anderson) in a struggle to fight off an unseen evil and a young Darius Grumley (played by Boo Gay) chanting an incantation from the book of spells to capture and contain this evil for all time. 

Flash forward to present day and at a Halloween house party a couple of decades later where a group of friends (pre-20 year olds) are talking in the kitchen and are looking for a thrill. When Allison (played by Tracy Collins) comes up with a book of spells, she convinces the group that they can find the thrills they are looking for on this Halloween night. The group meets at the old abandoned factory and Allison sits everyone down around a pentagram and chants the spell.  At first, the group is not convinced that anything has happened and the thrill of being scared has failed. 

But, as they are about to leave, strange noises and laughter  start to occur and creepy looking dolls start to appear. Not knowing what is going on and thinking these are just dolls, the dolls start attacking the group killing several members  in the group, including Allison. The dolls have a plan. They need the souls of living to appease their lord... Vegor (played by Patrick Sane) who needs souls to become stronger. Only two in the group, Mark (played by Justin Herman) and Kay (played by Nicole Elliott) manage to survive the attack and find their escape from the factory. Helpless to aid their friends they go to the local sheriff's office and find the now Sheriff Bart Barclay and Deputy Donnie Harris (played by Larry Carrell ). They tell their tale and are told to forget about the factory and to go home. However, Sheriff Barclay, remembering what transpired decades earlier decides to check out the story. In the meantime, Mark and Kay are not content with the way things are being handled and do their own research and investigation with the help of Kay's computer geek brother Melvin (played by Andy Palmer). They find the history of the factory and what happened back in the 70's. They also find out what they need to stop the dolls and Vegor from killing and taking more souls. They need the Spell book, which they left in the factory.  Also, they need help, of the NOW, older and angrier Darius Grumley, who is the only one that can read the spell book. Now with a plan of action, Mark, Kay, Melvin, old man Grumley, Deputy Harris and Sheriff Barclay meet at the old abandoned doll factory and must face evil challenges and rid their little town of evil before their souls are taken. 

Technical Specs: 

Story wise, and screenplay written by Mr. Wolfe, "Doll Factory" was easy to follow, as it relates to a basic horror genre plot. (teens conjure up evil, people start dying, teens fight evil and saves the day).  Character development was decent, however, we were confused about the character "Vegor" as we didn't get where he came from, as it related to the dolls and why this character was seeking souls other than strength. The "Vegor" character was a bit ambiguous, we think. What we did like was the story. It was flowing, again easy to follow, concluded with an affirmation of good and was entertaining.  The dialogue was flowing as well (fast paced and methodical). And, we were very impressed with Mr. Wolfe's sense of humor and his ability to translate that humor with wit onto the screen with the use of actors to deliver the lines not only effectively but with comedic talent. Very well done and funny.

Executive Produced by Andy Palmer, Carlos Tovar, Joe Grisaffi and Stephen Wolfe "Doll Factory" was shot superbly by Cinematographer Jeff Fountain.  Mr. Fountain has shot various feature movies, scores of music videos and has shot events, commercials and broadcast series.  There is no surprise that Mr. Fountain brought his camera expertise to this movie.  He is co-owner of ShootOnRed.com, owns HuZu Productions and is part of FanBoyFilmmaker.com Productions   His use of the camera on "Doll Factory" was outstanding. He moved effortlessly and followed the key characters of the scene quite proficiently. Also, Mr. Fountain's use of camera angles was creative and visually exciting. Some of his angles were exceptional and pushed this movie to a different level of moviemaking. Excellent Job. 

One of the aspects of this movie that also moved this project to a new level  of movie making for this team is the use of professional scoring by Houston composer Scott Szabo.  Mr. Szabo's work includes a who's who of television and movie endeavors.  From the beginning of the movie until the end and including the remix during credits, Scott set the mood, pace and atmosphere of "Doll Factory" with his style of composition and creativity.  The score wasn't overbearing, it was leveled appropriately to compliment the scenes and carry the movie forward. Also, the music was genre appropriate and consistently so throughout the movie. Great job!

Directed by Stephen Wolfe, the movie turned out very well. Shot in less than 25 days and over a year in post "Doll Factory" was worth the wait.  The director was able to take his screenplay and turn this script into a viable feature motion picture that entertained an audience. He was able to direct his cast and crew to bring out the best in them.  The cast seemed to be matched up pretty nicely as an ensemble, working with each other and interacting with each other quite naturally. 

The ensemble did a great job in their performances. There were some straining from some of the actors and some very impressive acting in others. However, in all, the acting flowed from scene to scene and was tight. 

  C47Houston's Take on "Doll Factory":

Our initial expectation of the movie was low only because we have seen so many independent projects turn out as expected...Low in their production value. However, "Doll Factory" did surprise us and very much so. From opening titles to ending copyright information, this movie was an excellent example of what can be done by some talented individuals working as a team. They didn't rush this production and took their time to make sure that all the "i's" were dotted and "t's" were crossed. They did their best to create, not only an entertaining movie but a movie that people will want to see. 

If you do get a chance to see this movie, you will not be disappointed.  The special effects were excellent. Lighting was a bit flat, but not distracting, Sound was amazing. Make up was excellent, set design was excellent, the score was amazing, the performances from the actors was a bit strained in part, but overall it worked out as the story line moved toward a climax. Editing was smooth and seamless, cuts were quick and followed the story and transitions were outstanding. 

TSIRS Rating:  A strong 4.7 out of 5

Title: Doll Factory 

Production Company: Barton Ct. Productions and Fan Fiction Cinema LLC

Writer: Stephen Wolfe

Film Location: Houston Texas

Sneak Peek Screening: October 29th, 2014 Alamo Drafthouse-Vintage Park, Houston, Texas

Genre: Horror and Comedy

Producers: Andy Palmer, Carlos Tovar, Stephen Wolfe and Joe Grisaffi

Cinematographer: Jeff Fountain

Editor: Jeff Fountain

Music by: Scott Szabo

Production Design by: Courtney Sandifer

Makeup: Andrea Schutter, Key, Cliff Holverson, Mandy Holverson, Rona Lamont and Lauren Noblin

Sound: Annalisa Cuano, Foley, Anthony DiFino, Brain Hoff, Christopher Mullins, Luke Odom and Michael Quinney

Special Effects: Tom Martino and Keryn Ledet

Visual Effects: Danny McCarty

Stunts: Jackson Burns

Waredrobe: Liz Tee

Music Department: Tina Dismukes

Casting by: Joe Grisaffi

Cast: Justin Herman, Nicole Elliott, Andy Palmer, Boo Gay, Eric Schneider, Tracy Collins, Marc Penarubia, Will Allday, Chris Fender, Patrick Sane, Mo Alhassan, Larry Carrell, Deke Anderson, Elizabeth Radpath, Joe Grisaffi, Sara Gaston, JP DeStefano, Sam Rivas, Chuck Norfolk, D'Andre Siggers, Susan Ly, Justyn Bradley, Tim Anderson, Nicholas Mills, Scott Lee, Gage Cattoni, Paxton Gilmore, Jade Warren, Xavier Flores and Stacy Thomas. 

Websites:

IMDB: www.IMDB.com/title/tt2247816/ 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dollfactorymovie 

www.DollFactoryMovie.com 

By: Hector Luna, October 30th, 2014

 
 

             

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