Five Dolls For An August Moon on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review

Five Dolls for an August Moon

Five Dolls For An August Moon is a film I’d not heard of before, but amongst Arrow’s vast back-catalogue of slasher horror cult classics, I’m slowly working through them one by one and filling in the gaps of my horror knowledge.

It’s based on the Agatha Christie story Ten Little Indians, which was recently remade by the BBC as the three-parter, And Then There Were None. However, Christie originally titled it “Ten Little Niggers”. Can you imagine the BBC using that title today? Thankfully, attitudes have changed over the years.

The film begins with a party, and one of the guests is dishing out knives with which to pretend to stab each other. They’re on a deserted island, too, so this is clearly weird from the start and, rightly, some guests abstain from choosing one. Elsewhere, all the men want to pay chemist professor Farrell (William Berger) $1m apiece for a formula which led to certain experiments, but he claims he won’t sell as his best friend died during those. So what’s he got to hide?

Being a slasher movie, the partygoers die off one by one, but by whose hand? Or gun? Or knife? Or all of the above? However, the first time we saw a body wrapped in plastic and put in the cold storage room on the island – given that they had nowhere else they could put him, it was weird because, they didn’t really have to string them up like a piece of meat. Surely it’s better to just lie them down on the ground? Clearly, in the ’70s, health and safety went out the window for the actors in question.


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Dexter’s waxwork springs into action.. sort-of.


Five Dolls For An August Moon also includes a typically daft scene, late on, when the culprit is revealed, and they explain their dastardly plan to one of the few remaining, just before they bump them off. Really! I mean, why spend several minutes explaining things when you’re about to kill them? Do you think they’re going to remember once they’re dead??

And don’t forget, there’s a spinning bed, later championed by Austin Powers, which is utilised for making sexy time.

There are two versions of this film available to view – an Italian version with Italian credits, while the English version has English credits, showing that Arrow go the extra mile where a lot of other companies wouldn’t, as most of them would just default to the original credits and then add additional subtitles for the credits. That said, I put the English language version on and it’s clear that the dialogue was English, too, although whether the actors onscreen were doing the original voices is questionable.

With music that sounds like it came from an old porn movie from decades ago, this piece of Italian exploitation slasher cinema (or ‘Giallo‘) didn’t do a lot for me – especially as the ensemble cast seems to struggle to find a single actor between them, so when one of them dies, you don’t really care why. In fact, some of them made the cast of defunct British soap opera Eldorado look like The Revenant. However, it’s a cult film and there’ll be a lot of people eager to get their hands on this movie given what a stunning print it has.

And one final observation which I’ll hide behind a spoiler tag:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Go to page 2 for the presentation and the extras…


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When not onscreen, the cast just hung out backstage…


Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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