I remember seeing Dollman for the first time around 1997 or so. We’d headed to the video store specifically to find something goofy. When we saw the teaser for this movie (“Thirteen inches… with an attitude”!) the decision was made. And if you think the teaser’s goofy, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Dollman. Doll. Man. Even the name sounds stupid. But then, stupid-sounding titled have never stopped director Albert Pyun, who’s helmed the atrocious Kathy Ireland vehicle “Alien From L.A.,: “Cyborg” with the incomprehensible Jean-Claude Van Damme, and “Brain Smasher- A Love Story” with Andrew Dice Clay. To Pyun, whose movies are the cinematic equivalent of peeing on a wall, a movie about a tiny spaceman who comes to Earth and barely defeats illiterate street punks and a disembodied head sounds spellbinding in comparison.
But I digress. Dollman (Tim Thomerson) is actually Regular-Sized-Cop-Man on his home planet Arturos, but goes through a size-reducing dimensional portal to Earth while chasing an evil head named Sprug (Frank Collision). As if this weren’t hard enough to digest, they land in the gang-infested South Bronx, and Dollman aids the virtuous Debbie (Kamala Lopez) against a street gang led by Braxton Red (Jackie Early Haley)- the same gang that’s joined forces with the evil head! Dollman fears Sprug’s super-destructive dimensional bomb will end up in the gangs hands and wreak havoc on Earth, but I suggest that any gang that graffiti-paints the word “FAGS” on their own van probably isn’t much of a threat, and they prove me right almost immediately by getting blown to bits by Dollman’s molecular-gun-blasting-something-or-other gun while trying to kidnap Debbie.
Braxton’s unhappy that Dollman wasted half his gang; plus he’s bleeding to death, which is no fun. Sprug uses his outer space powers to heal Braxton’s body, but Braxton’s not good at playing with others and he squashes the head for no particular reason, then rounds up the rest of his gang to get revenge. The henchmen turn up and yank Debbie off the street, then fight off some elderly people who show up out of nowhere- maybe they were feeling spry that day, I don’t know. But luckily Dollman sneaks aboard the getaway car (or at least his stunt doll does- watch for the doll’s legs swinging back and forth on the car!). This leads to a predictable final battle scene that’s about as action packed as a Bazooka Joe comic. Dollman sneaks around, shoots a bunch of guys and rescues Debbie.
But wait! There’s still a plot device out there somewhere- it might be, it could be, it is! Braxton unleashes the evil head’s dimensional bomb, which… is a dud, basically. It shoots a bunch of blue light around and nothing dies except your faith in human decency.
Dollman finds Debbie, Debbie finds Dollman, everybody’s safe and sound, and then he gives the worst one-liner since, well, ever, “Debbie… tell me size doesn’t matter.” And so this movie boils down to a two hour anatomy joke, which might have been interesting if the director had bothered to mention this before the last line of the last scene!
There’s a sequel, Dollman vs. the Demonic Toys, where Dollman finds a Dollwoman and gets busy, but this movie’s a much better bet for goofy laughs.