By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Certainly a curiosity piece, Living Dolls is a documentary which focuses on an unusual assortment of doll collectors. A young man who lives with his companion and parents has an obsession with collecting Barbie dolls and her accessories. A very eccentric artist loves turning Barbies and other dolls into robots for stop motion sex films. A married man lives out erotic fantasies with his collection of anatomically correct love dolls and meets with other similar enthusiasts. A married woman uses dolls to escape reality and her responsibilities as a wife and mother. Finally, a doll hoarder has so many dolls in her home that she and her husband do not know what to do.
Director Maureen Judge obviously wants to highlight the more bizarre and sometimes unnerving varieties of doll collectors. As fascinating as the subjects are, perhaps it would have been more educational to also show a more positive side to this hobby. I’m sure not all doll collectors are of the creepy and disturbed variety, but Judge’s film only focuses on those types. Nevertheless, her well produced film will engross and probably perturb audiences interested in the subject. Judge does take an empathetic approach with some of her subjects. It is not a complete side show spectacle.