FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Sep 3, 2008

VHS Week, Day 5: Living Doll

VHS "Week" continues with one of the most memorable episodes of The Twilight Zone: "Living Doll"! Can I get a "Righteous!" up in here??

Telly Savalas (Kojak, y'all- holla!) is Erich Streator, a real crank of a guy who practically flips out when his wife and stepdaughter return home from a shopping trip wherein they have been so bold as to have made purchases. Amongst these purchases is Talky Tina- a large doll that can move a little and talk, "My name is Talky Tina and I love you" being her favorite phrase...

...until she starts talking to Erich, who's a big bully.


It doesn't take Tina long to get from "I don't think I like you" to "I think I could even hate you" with Erich, and at first he thinks it's his wife having one over on him. When Tina starts winking at him (seriously creepy) and won't say mean things in front of anyone else, he decides to get rid of her and tosses her in the garbage.

The phone rings and it's Tina: "My name is Talky Tina," she says to Erich, "and I'm going to kill you."

This episode is so awesome!

Throwing Tina away won't work- she manages to get out of the garbage can- so Erich takes to drastic measures: he puts her head in a vice, but she won't squish! He takes a blowtorch to her face, but it won't stay lit! He tries to cut her head off with a power saw, but it cannot pierce her eeeevil doll "flesh"! Erich is naturally freaking the fuck out, but Tina just giggles: "I can take it if you can!"


This episode is SO AWESOME!

Is Tina really capable of murder? Is she actually threatening Erich, or is he simply going all nutcake? This is The Twilight Zone, folks, so what do you think?

June Foray provides the voice for Talky Tina, and she also provided the voice for Chatty Cathy- that's so deliciously twisted. How many parents grew wary of those dolls after this episode aired?

June Foray also provided the voice for Witch Hazel, which is kind of beside the point...although I bring up Witch Hazel whenever I can because she's one of my favorite Looney Tunes characters. So there.

I found a copy of this on VHS (along with 3 other Twilight Zone episodes), but you can watch all the righteousness yourself courtesy of The Internet:

Living Doll: Part 1
Living Doll: Part 2
Living Doll: Part 3

In related news, the best part of The Twilight Zone's title sequence is when the bewigged artist's mannequin goes flying by.

12 comments:

Adam Ross said...

Great episode, and it inspired one of the best moments in "Simpsons" history with the evil Krusty doll ("Yep, someone switched this thing to 'evil!'")

Another good one similar to this is "The Dummy." Not as scary, but nutty enough for your tastes.

christine said...

AH! Best TZ ever!! Fabulous post!!

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

This episode is great, but I believe Blofeld probably would have had his henchman take care of this Doll after his first creepy encounter!

spartickes said...

Given your dislike of dolls how did you make it through this thing? Tina is creepy as hell, I'm pretty sure she started my own doll aversion way back when. And probably simultaneously started my love affair with The Zone. (Also a man-crush on Rod Serling, that we best not delve too deeply into.)

Rachel said...

Did you notice that when Talking Tina winks, she does it upside down? So that it looks like instead of opening and closing an eyes as you would in a wink - she is really opening one eye really wide!

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Chadzilla said...

I want a Talky Tina doll.

And the very last line of this episode is just Gold.

James said...

My niece collects those ridiculously overpriced American Girl dolls and this episode of the Twilight Zone always springs to mind whenever I see one of them. Oh sure, my niece's dolls all have cute names and way-too-drawn-out backstories, but we all know they're just little plastic murderers waiting for the lights to go out so they can get their kill on.

Although, if I had to inject a little reality into the situation of murderous dolls, would the little dolls really be able to cause that much physical damage? It would seem that since the average doll doesn't weigh any more than 1-5 lbs., would it really have the capability to gain enough momentum to throw itself at you in a threatening way? Would it really have the strength to throw you around as it was choking you or threatening you with a knife? Couldn't you just brush it off like it's no big thing? I would think so, but then - I've never been faced with this situation (yet).

Consequently, this is also why horror films about rogue killer body parts never do anything for me. I just can't suspend my belief long enough for me to really think that, even for a second, someone could be tossed around a room by a disembodied hand or whatever... Mayhaps I think too much on this subject, but it's just a thought that enters my head when I should really be focusing on something else.

Anyways... My personal favorite Twilight Zone was "Mr. Garrity & The Graves" - it's not as popular as other episodes, but it's got a great, deliciously twisted story and a great payoff (like the best episodes have).

Theron said...

Witch Hazel is awesome indeed, but June Foray will always be Rocky Squirrel and Natasha Fatale to me...

ladracul said...

"Marge, Marge, the doll is trying to kill me and the toaster has been laughing at me!!!"

Anyhoo...love June Foray. She was actually on an episode of "The Simpsons" as the receptionist at a baby sitting service and also had a tribute of her in another episode where Homer met the lady who plays Itchy and Scratchy.

Momel said...

Have you seen Black Devil Doll from Hell yet? Is it any good?

Mick O'Brien said...

I remember catching this episode not too long ago was pleasantly surprised at how eerie it was. This is definitely one of my favorite TZ episodes.