I only recently saw this film, but I remember the unforgettable VHS box from when I was a kid: a creepy ventriloquist dummy, with bugling blue eyes and a distorted resemblance to Anthony Hopkins, peering over the simplistic title on the front… Magic.
This is more of a psychological thriller than flat-out horror, but the inclusion of the dummy is what makes it so damn creepy. Anthony Hopkins plays a nervous ventriloquist who is usually at odds with his puppet “Fats”, whether it comes to their performance, fame, or women. It’s this latter element that causes the greatest disruption between Hopkins and the dummy. When Ann-Margret, an old high-school crush of Hopkins’, comes into the picture, Fats becomes increasingly jealous.
This one was directed by Richard Attenborough. You may remember him from Jurassic Park as the jolly John Hammond, coaxing a tiny raptor from it’s egg by repeating “Come on, love. Come on, love.” At least, that’s how I like to remember him.