She Will Never Say No: All Dolled Up

Published on May 12th, 2016 in: Documentaries, Feminism, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews, Science and Technology, Teh Sex |

By Christine Makepeace

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“Then again, she will never say anything at all.”
All Dolled Up: Love Dolls and Those Who Love Them documentary narrator David Hockey

RealDolls are hyper-realistic, life-size mates used for sex and companionship. Conceptually, RealDolls don’t stoke any fires in me. I don’t find their mere existence to be offensive. I’ve always been fascinated by them, and the people they spend their time with.

Since, at their core, these are customizable dolls designed for copulation, I see why some may find them a bit weird or troubling. If I’m to be overly reductive, these are women (they also offer male dolls) created in lieu of coupling with a real person, and the implications of that are, in fact, troubling. But I’m not anti dildo, and the simple act of commissioning a fuck-doll/cuddle buddy isn’t absurd or offensive.

All Dolled Up: Love Dolls and Those Who Love Them, found streaming on Amazon, is absurd and offensive.

This super low-budget romp seems innocent enough. It presents us with a man, David Hockey, dipping his toe into the world of RealDolls. He starts by procuring Bianca, the purported star of Lars and the Real Girl. He hauls her, and three plush women, across the Canadian border and into the US where he proceeds to interview people about their dolls. Low production values and awkward interviews abound. Interviewees with blurred faces lovingly talk about their dolls. They are companions, and their “owners” are not shy about the value these silicone women have added to their lives.

Multiple talking-heads speak, often clutching a perfectly lifeless, manicured hand. As the minutes drag, this 56-minute “movie” tiptoes closer to boring than offensive. It’s the man behind the camera though. There’s something mocking in his tone and treatment of the dolls he’s chosen to lug around. Constantly straightening her hair and changing her clothes (off-screen because this is PG-13), Hockey often talks to Bianca, relating to her as a traveling mate.

The end goal is to get Bianca, who was built without a vaginal opening, to the RealDoll factory for augmentation (or to be made “real”). Our fearless filmmaker continuously makes coy jokes on why he’s so concerned about getting her a pussy. There’s no real reason for this, so Hockey appears leering, and his jovial tone unsettling.

It gets uncomfortable when Bianca arrives at the place of her birth, Abyss Creations.

Her given name is used. She is referred to as a “patient.” She is handled with the utmost care. She looks so real, on her back, as her makers attempt to pop her hip back into joint. The way her flesh folds as they bend her leg—it looks like mine. And I feel sick.

I push it down because this is just a documentary with goofy music and a guy asking innocuous questions to people that really seem to like their dolls. And, mission accomplished, Bianca does get “fixed”! She becomes worthwhile again because she has a hole between her legs. Hockey places her in the passenger’s seat of his rental car and fusses with her hair. Bianca clutches a map. They drive off.

It comes out of the blue—their trip to go skydiving. Hockey wants someone to dive with Bianca attached to them. He makes a comment that she may not “land in one piece.” And I wonder why I’m ready to cry. Thoughts rush through my head and I flush. I am not longer a detached observer of this media; I am entrenched.

They suit her up and place her in the belly of the plane with a group of strange men, and I am so worried for Bianca. An irrational fear grips me and I want to turn it off (and I do at one point). The men start to pull down her jumpsuit, grasping for her breasts. One sticks his tongue in her mouth. My fear has been realized.

Once left alone, the first impulse of this gaggle of skydivers is to molest her.

What follows is a bizarrely long freefalling sequence that Bianca walks away from unscathed. You know, apart from being fondled and groped. It’s all in good fun, I’m sure. No one would ever dare treat a real woman that way.

After the men jokingly toss one of the stuffed woman-shaped dolls at the ground, Bianca is placed in her wheelchair and patted on the head. She’s back on land and being treated with dignity once more. It’s strange to watch—how tenuous and teetering these men’s decorum seems to be around her.

The doc ends with a talking head of Matt McMullen, the RealDoll creator that was also instrumental in Bianca’s surgery. McMullen directly addresses the fact that the dolls are not to replace women; they are to be treated with a “high degree of respect,” as you would a living, breathing lady. Matt might have the right idea, and his spiel seems genuine, but after sitting through nearly an hour of antics, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

All Dolled Up is a disgusting attempt at lighthearted humor. The disjointed manner in which the subject is approached—serious sentimentality coupled with profane detachment—is grotesque. This is a snapshot of a woman as disposable vessel. The filmmaker has no affection for the shapes he carries with him, and that’s clear in his treatment of them. Love dolls appear to be most problematic when in the wrong hands.

Here’s a quote pulled from this article that perfectly sums up why this film is so revolting. “Girls learn to filter their existences through messages of powerlessness and cultural worthlessness. Girls might be more inclined to depression because coming to terms with your own cultural marginalization and irrelevance is depressing. Why isn’t this making you angry?”

Oh, it is. I’m fucking livid.

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