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John’s Horror Corner: Tiki (2006), the killer doll movie that just might scratch your really bad movie itch.

January 5, 2022

MY CALL:  This is bad. Really bad. Like shot on “porn-video-quality” very, very bad. But if you’re looking for that, then I guess this works.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Tiki: Well, for more (and much better) killer doll movies go for Child’s Play (1988), and then I might skip all the way to Curse of Chucky (2013) and Cult of Chucky (2017)—not that I didn’t enjoy them all to some degree. There is also the excellent remake of Child’s Play (2019). Other quality evil doll films include The Boy (2016), Annabelle: Creation (2017), Dolly Dearest (1991), Dolls (1987) and Puppet Master (1989).

From scene #1 writer and director Ron Ford (Witchcraft XI) really wants us to understand his cruise business owner’s villainous motives, which are far more elaborate than we need in a movie about a killer Tiki doll shot on porn-quality video… especially when we consider that this villain is only in this first scene! I keep watching, and this keeps feeling like a stale-acted adult movie that just never leads to a sex scene. But yeah, there eventually is nudity. You don’t get a low budget killer doll movie without nudity. So fear not, if that matters. Truly, among bad movies, the nudity is kind of phoned-in.

Thankfully, the effects are exactly the kind of “so bad it’s good” effects we needed: a skittering puppet literally moved across the screen by someone’s hand just below out of frame, clunking shadows of shaky doll figures “running” without limb movements, and little goblinoid snarls, babbles and laughs as the miniature fiend is running among the clutter of the set avoiding any efforts to find him or whack him with whatever object a soon-to-be-victim had at hand. This little demon toodles around the screen like a sprayed roach.

The gore might be better than I deserved when I bought this movie with this deplorable DVD sleeve and poster image. Fingers are sliced off (off-screen) but spew delightfully (on-screen). When this little monster appears behind a guy’s head and jimmies his eyeball out with his itty bitty spear, I knew I had a winner. And then this little tiny doll uses a wire to strangle a dude, murders a girl by jamming a shampoo bottle in her mouth and Mario-jumping on it to pound it deeper, and sloppily and brutally scalps a girl… pure incredulous nonsense. This movie is terrible, but I had my share of bad movie giggles.

Let’s be clear, there’s nothing “good” about any of this. But it’s so bad it’s fun, and they did the best they could executing some of these deaths considering the obviously tiny budget. I appreciate the effort and the chuckles that this clunky little killer doll afforded me.

All told, this was bad, as expected. But it was so bad it was enjoyable, for which I hoped it would be! I’ll call that a in.

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