Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Kindly but eccentric John Hoyt runs a business called Dolls, Inc., carrying a line of very life-like dolls. His secretary Janet yells at some Girl Scouts who get too close to some very special dolls in clear plastic cylinders. The next day, the secretary is gone and Hoyt hires June Kenney in her place—though we notice a new doll looking very much like Janet in one of the cylinders. June soon discovers that the local mailman, who was nearing retirement, has vanished, and she feels a creepy vibe from Hoyt. John Agar, a visiting salesman, hits it off with June and she rather impulsively decides to head back to St. Louis with him. He says he'll let Hoyt know that she's leaving, but the next morning, it's Agar who seems to have taken a powder. Oddly, there's a new doll on the "special" shelf that looks just like Agar. Soon, June finds out Hoyt's secret: he can, using high-pitched vibrations, shrink people, which is what he's done to Janet and the mailman and Agar and a couple others, and now June. His intentions are almost kindly: he wants to keep the people he likes near him, and he tells them that their new lives are idyllic—no taxes, no responsibilities, just hanging with each other and partying. But Agar plants the seeds of mutiny, and with the police nosing around because of all the missing people connected with him, Hoyt has a plan to throw a last party at a marionette theater, then kill them and himself. As many critics note, there is no "attack" as promised in the title, just some escape shenanigans inspired by THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN which came out the year before. Still, this unusual low-budget film is interesting partly for its lack of horror or villainy; though clearly Hoyt has gone off the deep end, he's not out to conquer the world, just his acquaintances. The effects are OK, and there is a fun reference to THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN, a previous film from the same director, Bert I. Gordon. The best scene involves Hoyt making one of his puppet people sing a pop song called, "I'm a Living Doll." [DVD]

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