Triloquist (DVD)

Triloquist (DVD)
Updated: 07-09-2008

In spite of its skewed lingo (what the heck is a "triloquist"? Did Vans sneakers pull product placement, or what?), overuse of shaky-cam, hackneyed black & white flashbacks, and many musical montages, this outlandish little indie is a doll. And it's about a killer doll! What could be better?, I ask you. Nothing, that's what.


At least not at the moment. If you're pining for the next Chucky movie, you worship James Wan, and you have a petition out for the Fats postage stamp, then you are in luck: meet a deadly dummy named, appropriately enough, Dummy.


While Triloquist is an uneven outing at best, it's still got a lot going for it. For every unnecessary jolt of the picture, there are some beautifully composed shots, saturated with vibrant colors. For every joke that falls flat on its ass, there's a piece of ass. For every cliché, there's a flash of cleverness.


The story follows orphaned twins — blonde and brash Angelina, and dark and brooding Norbert — as they grow up on the road, living hand-to-mouth (and mouth-to… er, never mind) with their dead mother's only possession: a possessed ventriloquist's prop.


The lead actors are well-cast, as are the bit players (for instance: there's a hilarious, totally random cameo with Larry Manetti from Magnum P.I.). Star Paydin LoPachin is gorgeous and has some good acting moments — but she's got no sense of comedic timing whatsoever, which is unfortunate because Triloquist both stands and falls on its off-kilter humor. Looking exactly like the love child of Stephen King and Charlie McCarthy, Rocky Marquette is excellent in his mute pantomime as Norbert. Dummy is rather too grotesque to be genuinely creepy (that takes subtlety), but TV favorite Bruce Weitz does a fantastic job with his bawdy vocal machinations.


Buoyed by a well-defined score and surprisingly strong original songs, this skewed family fable brings to mind other lower-budget shockers like House of 1000 Corpses, Andre the Butcher, John Water's Pecker, and May. Not to mention Leprechaun and Rumpelstiltskin… probably because Triloquist is written and directed by Mark Jones, the perpetrator of those other two horror films featuring small slayers!


If you're looking for campy fun, and not expecting gore or too much more, then Triloquist is well worth the price of a rental.


= = =

Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson


Latest User Comments: