PLAYING WITH DOLLS: HAVOC * USA 2017 Dir: Rene Perez. 78 mins

If you’ve been keeping track, this is the third in Rene Perez’s slasher series in three years, following PLAYING WITH DOLLS (2015) and PLAYING WITH DOLLS: BLOODLUST (2016). This time out, the eponymous brutal slasher Havoc terrorises a small-waisted, big-breasted bimbo before escaping his cave dwelling and heading for a snowbound Californian cabin in the woods.
Pre-existing sub-plots involving the gun-toting Commandos and Richard Tyson’s millionaire “Watcher” are largely side-lined. It’s important to say that “Havoc” is a physically impressive figure and this film’s array of graphic kills are a fine showcase for excellent practical gore courtesy of Marcus Koch and Oliver Muller. You would think a movie couldn’t go far wrong with such a splashy variety of eyeball-skewerings, chainsawed-crotches, disembowelments and spine removals. Sadly, everything else is tedious beyond belief, with the pace torpedoed by endless dramatic scenes about the characters’ relationship woes. Featuring dialogue like “Women fall in love using their ears…” and charisma-bereft non-actors, the movie assumes the clunky form of a terrible Australian soap opera (“Sons And Slaughters”?!) gate-crashed by extreme violence every 15 minutes or so.

Review by Steven West

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