Dolly Dearest

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Dolly Dearest
Directed by Maria Lease
Produced by Daniel Cady
Written by Maria Lease
Rod Nave
Peter Sutcliffe (story)
Maria Lease (screenplay)
Starring Denise Crosby
Sam Bottoms
Rip Torn
Chris Demetral
Candace Hutson
Lupe Ontiveros
Music by Mark Snow
Cinematography Eric D. Anderson
Edited by Geoffrey Rowland
Patriot Pictures
Channeler Enterprises
Distributed by Trimark Pictures
Image Organization
Release date(s)
  • October 18, 1991 (1991-10-18)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Dolly Dearest is an American 1991 horror film starring Denise Crosby and Rip Torn. The movie was initially supposed to be direct-to-video, but did get a limited theatrical release in the Midwest.[1]


American Elliot Wade (Sam Bottoms) becomes the new owner of the "Dolly Dearest" factory in Mexico. Somewhere else an archaeologist ends up dead by trying to break into the nearby tomb of Sanzia, an ancient Mayan Cult, and the evil spirit trapped inside for hundreds of years is released, finding refuge inside some dolls in the factory. Elliot's 7-year-old daughter Jessica (Candace Hutson) discovers one of the possessed dolls on a shelf, while his son Jimmy (Chris Demetral) finds what looks like an entrance to a cave protected by a wire fence. Dolly begins to exert a demonic influence on Jessica. Elliot's wife Marilyn (Denise Crosby) finds a disturbing drawing Jessica drew, and begins to notice unusual activities and changes within her daughter. Camilla (Lupe Ontiveros), the housekeeper, sends a priest to bless the house, during which Jessica throws a tantrum while in the car with Marilyn and Jimmy. Eventually, Dolly reveals herself to Marilyn and her family and uses Jessica to attack her mother. Jimmy shoots the doll, killing her, and the family head to the factory where Elliot is. Elliot and Resnick blow up the factory killing all of the other dolls which are also possessed. However, as the movie ends, the camera zooms in on the burning building, possibly implying that one of the Dolly dolls is still alive.


  • Denise Crosby as Marilyn Wade, Eliot's wife and Jessica and Jimmy's mother. She is the protagonist.
  • Sam Bottoms as Eliot Wade, Marilyn's husband, Jessica and Jimmy's father, and the toy maker and manufacturer of the "Dolly Dearest" toy factory.
  • Rip Torn as Karl Resnick, an archaeologist who is trying to find the remains of the Sanzia Devil child.
  • Lupe Ontiveros as Camilla, the housekeeper. She is later killed by Dolly.
  • Candace Hutson as Jessica "Jessie" Wade, Eliot and Marilyn's daughter and Jimmy's younger sister. (Credited as Candy Hutson)
  • Chris Demetral as Jimmy Wade, Jessica's older brother.
  • Ed Gale as the Dolly double. Serves as the film's antagonist.


Critical reception for Dolly Dearest was mostly negative,[2] with DVD Verdict writing that "aside from a handful of fun moments, there's nothing much here to separate it from the lineup of Child's Play clones it dwells among."[3] Variety Magazine praised Hutson's performance but criticized the movie's "clutzy dialogue".[1] DVD Talk panned the film, saying "in the "killer doll" sub-genre of stupid horror flicks, Dolly Dearest may very well be the most moronic".[4] The Austin Chronicle also reviewed the movie, giving Dolly Dearest 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Variety Reviews - Dolly Dearest Variety
  2. ^ Dolly Dearest X-Entertainment
  3. ^ DVD Verdict Review: Dolly Dearest DVD Verdict
  4. ^ Dolly Dearest DVD Talk
  5. ^ Dolly Dearest Austin Chronicle

External links[edit]