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"Doll Shark" (2022) | ZombieFuel.net


 by Bone Jawnson

In the past week, I deviated from my normal Saturday horror movie viewing by pushing it back to mid-week. While trying to decompress during a rough week, I asked the Facebook hive mind what their independent horror movie suggestions would be. Kevin Coolidge, From My Shelf Books bookstore owner in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, suggested "Doll Shark." As it turns out, Kevin is one of the film’s actors. The title made me chuckle, so I conducted a Google search and found some information on it. I discovered that "Doll Shark" was successfully crowdfunded in July 2022 and released by Wellsboro, Pennsylvania-based Polonia Bros. Entertainment with SRS Cinema in November of the same year. Polonia Bros. Entertainment has specialized in micro-budget films since the mid-1980s. As I dive more into filmmaking's low-budget/micro-budget/no-budget world, I discovered that so many films could be considered cult classics. The writers and directors of these films are creative, beyond the perceived restraints of Hollywood. Low-budget film directors are the MacGyvers of cinema.

"Doll Shark" starts with a father slaying a killer shark and sending a souvenir shark tooth stuffed inside a shark plush toy back to his, seemingly estranged, son Kirby. Unbeknownst to the father, the shark tooth transferred the killer shark's power to the stuffed animal. We then learn about Kirby and his mother; a woman whos only purpose seems to reside in a wine bottle. She then runs away for a few days with a new boyfriend while leaving Kirby in the care of a babysitter named Lyla, played by Danielle Donahue. 

Over the course of the film, the dynamic between Kirby and Lyla is played out while the stuffed shark springs to life and commits numerous murders around their small town. Police investigators are brought in after a group of neighbors are slain and they begin to track down the source of the killiings. Thoughout the film, Kirby begins to notice that his prized stuffed sharks seems to change locations, periodically, after putting it down. This would indicate that the shark definitely jumps to life and goes on mini-rampages. The shark continues to kill person after person leading up to the father-son reunion climax. I'll let you watch the film to see the ending as I try not to include spoilers in these blog posts.

Police investigators are brought in after a group of neighbors are slain and they begin to track down the source of the killiings. Thoughout the duration of the film, Kirby begins to notice that his prized stuffed sharks seems to change locations, periodically, after putting it down. This would indicate that the shark definitely jumps to life and goes on mini-rampages. The shark continues to kill person after person leading up to the father-son reunion climax. I'll let you watch the film to see the ending as I try not to include spoilers in these blog posts.

I sincerely appreciated "Doll Shark." Honestly, it's hard for me not to like a microbudget film, as they are usually passion projects for everyone involved. This film is a great example of why I really enjoy the independent horror and horror-comedy film industry. Everything and anything seems to be possible in the indie world. Any idea you have as a filmmaker, such as a kill shark doll or a spider that gives you a major erection, is game. If you can think of it, you can make it happen. My experience with the industry and artform, so far, has been nothing but welcoming and appreciative attitudes ready to help breathe life into my weird ass idea.






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