Horror Movie Review: Miss Leslie’s Dolls (1973)
Miss Leslie’s Dolls was released in 1973 and subsequently disappeared having been thought to be lost. Until 2018 when Network Distributing restored and released it. Now, everyone can experience the uniquely dated, brazenly bizarre and undeniably entertaining film.
Directed by Joseph J. Prieto and starring Salvador Ugarte and Terri Juston. Miss Leslie’s Dolls sees a professor and three of her students see shelter after a hefty storm kicks off. They make their way to a nearby house, the home of Leslie Lamont.
A transsexual woman, Leslie isn’t used to guests but she agrees to let them stay until the storm passes. Partially because she is transfixed with one of the girls who bears an uncanny resemblance to a woman who worked in her mother’s doll factory. A woman who died in a fire, decades before.
Leslie is an odd woman and it’s clear she’s hiding something. However, her guests are way more interested in having sex. The two female students sharing the one male and the professor behaving incredibly inappropriately with one of them too. A large portion of this movie’s runtime is given to the inane bed swapping.
So, what’s the deal with Leslie? She’s into the occult as it turns out and has been collecting corpses so she can transfer her soul into one of them. The failed ones, turned into life-like dolls in a sort of ceremonial room.
Sounding odd? That’s because it is. Especially as it transforms into a slasher as Leslie loses the plot and takes an axe to her guests. Just what the hell is going on in Miss Leslie’s Dolls?
That’s part of its appeal. Its dream-like atmosphere and outlandish story-telling. Even if the dry moments, and there are a lot, harm the experience. As the does the low-budget visuals and awkward performances. It feels and looks quite amateurish but for such a ridiculous movie, it seems almost intentional.
It’s not what most would call a good horror movie. It’s far too slow, far too nonsensical and far too silly to call it that. However, it’s a unique slice of movie history that shows imagination and ambition.
Miss Leslie's Dolls (1973)
The Final Score - 5/10