There’s still a lot of value in the “Maniac Cop” horror movies (the first two are still top notch slashers), especially as they can be creepy slasher films that confront racism, classism, police brutality and police corruption. The first two “Maniac Cop” films almost hit the nail on the head, all the while “Badge of Silence” doesn’t do much with the formula at all. In the end of the day its low budget is its downfall as the movie does almost nothing to match the pacing and suspense of the first two movies.
It’s a shame that people still think there’s some horror fodder to be mined from worry dolls, because so far I’m not seeing it. “The Devil’s Dolls” plays out like a gory TV movie, or an extended episode of some supernatural series. There are a lot of bland characters trying to stop what is a pretty convoluted and goofy plot device involving a murderer and evil dolls. Director Padraig Reynolds’ film isn’t a complete misfire as it achieves some level of eeriness in some instances. I really do like how our characters look when they’re possessed by evil worry dolls that turn them in to psychopathic maniacs, but that’s lost in a haze of pretty mediocre melodrama and a hazy sub-plot about voodoo.