Plot: An eerie, unstable man spends his days in a haze of fantasies, self abuse, and voyeurism. He watches the people outside his window and passing by on the street, especially a woman who catches his interest. As he masturbates, he envisions all kinds of dark visions and fantasies, often ones that take disturbing or violent turns, with the woman sometimes as the focus. But will he be content to leave these experiences inside his fantasies, or will he push himself to take his horrific daydreams to the next level and experience those fantasies first hand?
Entertainment Value: Doll Syndrome is a dark, artistic vision of horror, told from the perspective of an obsessed, unhinged man. This is wild even by the bizarre, outsider standards of Domiziano Cristopharo, who has a resume loaded with dark, creative “horror as art” pictures. This is more of an experience than a narrative, though some character driven story elements emerge, especially the man’s fixation on the woman he sometimes encounters. But there’s minimal dialogue and no real traditional progression, so those who need a more grounded, clear narrative are likely to be baffled or frustrated by Doll Syndrome. I think it is a remarkable creation however, as it has tense and eerie atmosphere, a fearless lead performance, and a stylish, artistic presence that makes it stand out from most horror movies. Of course, this is bound to alienate more sensitive viewers, so make sure you have adventurous or open minded tastes before you load up this one. I think Doll Syndrome is a twisted, haunting experience that shows artistic threads throughout and for those who appreciate outsider, risk taking horror, it is well worth a look.
This one has frequent, vivid male nudity, as our lead is often naked and engages in quite a bit of sexual hijinks. This includes graphic masturbation sequences, urinating all over himself, and some sex scenes, both with a woman and an inflatable sex doll. The sex scenes with the female show little aside from his bare ass, but the other scenes have erect penises and his love for the plastic doll are shown in great detail. So if you can’t handle seeing a man ejaculate or urinate, be ready to cover those eyes. This one has an intense vibe and our lead seems capable of violence, but there’s not much blood in most of the scenes. The lead rubs his gums until they bleed, coughs up blood, and then slices up his own genitals with a razor blade, then late in the film we have some torture, more slashes, and even fetishistic staple sessions. So the blood starts flowing slowly, but really opens up as the movie progresses. The dialogue is minimal here, so no points here only because of the nonverbal approach used. In terms of the craziness scale, Doll Syndrome is eerie, dark, and unsettling throughout, with a bizarre lead performance, surreal moments, and sudden bursts of violence. This is just a really strange ride, one that never even flirts with traditional cinema elements.
Overall Insanity: 10/10