BABY OOPSIE (2021)
Directed and written by William Butler.
Starring Libbie Higgins, Justin Armistead, Lynne MacPherson, Marilyn Bass, Diana Frankhouser, Josephine Bullock, Michael Carino, Shamecka Nelson, Michael O’Grady
Find out more about this film here!
Charles Band and Stuart Gordon’s DOLLS was an effective little horror movie about evil toys and turning living people into formerly living dolls. 35 years later, Band and his Full Moon Pictures are revisiting similar themes in BABY OOPSIE, which was released as a multi-part streaming series by Full Moon Pictures last month and now the whole thing is available to binge. It seems Band is responding to the CHUCKY series which will be released on ScyFy this fall, giving us some brand new demonic doll horror. While Full Moon Pictures has stumbled of late to deliver the quality of horror that they used to back when Empire morphed into Full Moon back in the eighties, I am always curious to see if Band can move past stoner horror like THE GINGERDEAD MAN and THE EVIL BONG and return to his serious horror roots.
BABY OOPSIE is a step in the right direction. The character is one of the DEMONIC TOYS, a film series about toys that are…demonic. That’s about all the backstory I could gather from watching the whole BABY OOPSIE film and I don’t know if there is even much more story to tell. The story here focuses on Sybil Pittman (Libbie Higgins) a doll enthusiast and self proclaimed Doll Whisperer. Sybil receives a mysterious package in the mail containing the damaged head of Baby Oopsie and decides to give it some tender, love, care, and restoration. But Sybil’s preoccupation with dolls makes her somewhat of an outcast and once restored, Baby Oopsie is more than willing to enact vengeance upon anyone who crosses Sybil.
While definitely made on the cheap, there does seem to be some solid production gone into BABY OOPSIE. Band is a pro at making stuff out of nothing and there are scenes that take full advantage of the creepiness of dolls. Oopsie herself is quite disturbing with drooping eyes and a bad complexion. Giving the baby doll texture and blemishes really does make for a twisted little monster. Dolls are creepy looking in general, and director/writer William Butler takes advantage of that by zooming in close to these warped, damaged, and dull-eyed miniature terrors. It’s the same kind of horror touched upon in films like TOURIST TRAP and the aforementioned DOLLS that is harnessed in BABY OOPSIE. There’s a strong musical score and decent cinematography—something missing from Full Moon’s output in recent years. There’s also some OK acting, as these actors aren’t really Hollywood material, but they seem to be giving their all and it makes the terror feel more palpable because of it.
In the end, Oopsie is sort of just a Chucky clone, but one done with low budget and practical effects, so there’s a low fi charm to the little shit. The film doesn’t hold back on the red stuff either. I could have used without some of the cliched kills like a toaster in the bathtub. But once baby gets to stabbing, it’s gruesome fun seeing the puppeteering that makes the baby look like a living and wheezing little monster. Some of the cliched dialog Oopsie spouts while killing should have been cut. When Oopsie picks up a mini-chainsaw, she says “The saw is family.” A little too on the button-nose if you ask me. Still, I do like it that Oopsie maintains her twisted sweetness asking for a pizza party if after she finishes murdering some people.
I wouldn’t call this high cinema. It’s no budget stuff, but BABY OOPSIE has some potential in delivering the goods when it comes to dolly horror. It’s good to see Band and Co. taking horror seriously again. This is a breezy one, clocking in at about an hour and ten minutes, so even if there are parts that are tough to take, the whole thing goes by like a flash. This is harmless horror that celebrates its low budget and really doesn’t aspire to be anything more than schlocky doll horror and I think it successfully reaches that goal.