How to Make a Doll (1968)



It’s mind boggling as to what exactly constituted “watchable” enough that a movie theater would spend the money to get it.  But what do I know?  Apparently Herschell Gordon Lewis never lost a dime on any movie he made.  That makes the situation even more dire because that means people paid and were forced to sit and watch How to Make a Doll.  How the HELL on God’s green Earth was it possible for this tedious, unfunny and annoying movie to be shown in a theater?  For that matter how was it possible for Lewis to watch the finished product without any sense of guilt over ripping off the public?

This movie isn’t even worth talking about.  It was a bonus feature on the Doctor Gore DVD from Something Weird.  That means the folks at Something Weird didn’t even feel comfortable mentioning it on the cover of their DVD as part of a double feature like they usually do.

So what’s all the fuss?  H.G. “I only make exploitation films with no thought to any quality at all” Lewis made a comedy.  A fucking comedy!  As evidenced by the negative tone this review is taking, it should be painfully obvious that H.G. Lewis CAN’T DIRECT A FUCKING COMEDY!!!

So what constitutes “comedy” in the world of H.G. Lewis?  A bumbling, 32 year old college professor, who lives with his exceptionally (deliberately?) creepy mother and doesn’t notice the sexy ladies around him, goes to a make-shift, low budget looking laboratory and, with the help of a mad doctor/sleazy old man, creates women to have sex with. HIIIIILARIOUS!!!

No actually, there IS potential with this topic.  After all John Hughes made Weird Science (not that I’m a John Hughes fan, mind you) so there is potential for humor to come out of the situation.  But alas, that is not the case with this film.  There are definitely attempts at humor, primarily the professor bumbling and stumbling; he gets his tie caught in a door and has to cut a piece off in one scene and he doesn’t notice all of his students getting it on in class in another.  Oh and he drives a funny car.

The laboratory looks neat and retro futuristic, with all those outdated computers and other gadgetry, and the machine which creates the women looks like a Star Trek transporter, but daaamn is that laboratory annoying!  While the dialogue is barely audible, the laboratory sure makes a lot of the sounds!  Just a bunch of buzzing and whirring.  Also the doctor goes into the sex making machine to make more sex with the women he creates.  God this movie sucks.

Honestly, after 2/3 of this pile of tedium, the novelty wears off and you just want it to end.  And, to be perfectly honest, the fact that I couldn’t hear a lot of dialogue combined with the numbing tedium made it difficult for me to really get what was going on by the third act.  I guess he got sick of the crazy life he created for himself and wanted to settle down with a real woman he loves?  If that IS the case, then it means technically the climax occurs at least 15 minutes before the movie actually ends.  I don’t know, it’s all such a blur at this point.

The poster is also completely misleading; “Will sexy girls overrun the country?”  Who knows?  Maybe?  Either way this question is never even broached in How to Make a Doll or, rather, if it was, I couldn’t hear it because of all the annoying sounds being made in that laboratory!

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