Another gimmick-driven Full Moon Pictures production, though this time the ratio of comedy-to-gore is better balanced and there's enough goofy ideas on display for three films. We get a malevolent pinheaded billionaire, a captive all-girl rock band, a one-eyed dwarf in a tuxedo, a sado-masochistic industrialist, and a clown-faced, snaggletoothed henchman named "Mr. Mascero." That list doesn't even include the titular puppets, a trio of racially exaggerated dolls that do their creator's sinister bidding. It's all astoundingly ridiculous and played with straight faces and majestic overacting, making Blood Dolls a lightweight but enjoyable thrill ride. Director and screenwriter Charles Band lets the plot veer crazily from science fiction to horror to rock video to love story, and even tacks on a William Castle-style alternate ending for the hell of it. Blood Dolls was originally planned in conjunction with music magnate Miles Copeland, and was to be hyped with a soundtrack album and concert tour for the sexy girl rockers who appear as secondary characters in the film. Various difficulties caused this plan to collapse, which is fortunate, since not only were these actresses unable to play their instruments, but the music they were given to mime is wretched, uninspired goth rock nonsense. Anyone familiar with Band's lengthy track record will be reminded of his Puppet Master series and its similar "killer toy" motif. Is it unfair to suspect that Blood Dolls is just an elaborate advertisement for the "collectible" action figures that Full Moon Pictures had planned for sale before the film's release (casually mentioned by Band on the DVD's commentary track)? Probably not. Still, as crass merchandising franchises go, it's one of the best that this low-rent production house has in its bulky, inconsistent oeuvre.