Dr. Giggles (1992)

SEPTEMBER 27, 2007


I know for a goddamn fact that Dr. Giggles was a Universal movie when it was originally released, so why it’s on Warner’s box set is beyond me. But I finally own a copy of this oft-referenced movie (my dream – to write and direct Dr. Giggles vs. Shocker, which would be nothing but a 90 minute punfest between the title characters), and having not seen it for 14 years, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Granted, a lot of the puns are just terrible, and you gotta wonder just how much stuff Giggles fit inside his little bag, but whatever. The movie is a shitload of fun (this is possibly the fastest-paced slasher movie ever), and Manny Coto’s direction is quite energetic. Also, it stars Holly Marie Combs, who went on to be the only reason I ever tuned into Charmed. And poor Glenn Quinn, who played Doyle on Angel and then died of an OD (way to go, fucktard) plays her boyfriend. The rest of the cast is as unknown today as they were then, and for good reason for the most part. As a bonus though, Cliff DeYoung (Farley Flavors!) shows up as Comb’s dad for a few scenes.

Larry Drake is amazing as Giggles though. You gotta wonder why this guy gets relatively little work. He plays Giggles with a ridiculously high amount of energy, and even makes a few of the lousier puns work. Come on, if you don’t laugh at the “Time to do what doctors do best!” line, you’re just some sort of asshole.

There is some controversy (for lack of a less ridiculous term to describe the following situation) regarding the film’s aspect ratio. The original laserdisc was 2.20:1. The DVD simply claims to be scope, which means anywhere from 2.20 to 2.40:1, but is in fact 1.85:1. I didn’t notice any obvious visual information missing from the sides, which leads me to believe that the film was shot open matte and thus this release is simply adding to the top and bottom. But I don’t see any of the extra head room/boom mikes that often accompany such cases either. So what’s the deal??? I don’t want to be under the impression that nearly 20% of the film is still unseen by my eyes. Anyone out there have the laser disc? I can’t sleep until I know the truth about Dr. Giggles’ aspect ratio.

(Robert Stack voice) UPDATE! A thread at HorrorDVDs has screenshots and has confirmed that the DVD has actually added information to the top and bottom, not cropping it from the sides. Finally, a week later I can sle-*thud*

During the film’s ridiculously long climax (it definitely coulda used another editing pass), my friend Abbie and I came up with a few puns for a similar film involving a murderous window treatment guy. The Drapeman (a job I once really had, sans the killings) would kill with blinds, curtain rods, etc., and say things like “It’s curtains for you!” and “Someone’s gonna get draped!”.

...It would be the worst film ever made.

What say you?


  1. Back in the day I only knew Drake from the role of the retarded office worker her played on LA LAW (showing my age). He played that role so well that I actually believed he was retarded in real life. So when I saw him as the villain in Darkman, it was a revelation for me, and instead of thinking "Wow, how well he's doing for a challenged person" when I saw him, now I started thinking "Wow, this guy kicks ass at acting!" Which is what I still think.

    I agree he needs more work, esp. in villain roles. He was disturbing as the sadistic gangster in Darkman (cigar cutter! ouch!), and here too, albeit cracking more jokes.

    And wasn't he in some well-regarded slasher movie about scarecrows way back in the day? I think he was retarded in that one too, though.

    Let's start a fan club.

  2. BENNY! I thought he was handicapped for real as well until I saw Darkman. He was also in that great Tales from the Crypt with the killer Santa. The man has a niche.

  3. Hey Brian, Manny Coto is one of our Executive Producer's here at Dexter. He just told me they shot Dr. Giggles 2.40:1

  4. Okay, this is getting spooky: I also though he was genuinly disabled in LA Law, an I too found out he wasn't when I saw him in Darkman!

    I wonder how many people of a certain agegroup only found out that Benny wasn't genuinely disabled by watching him chop off fingers...

  5. He was also in another episode of Tales from the Crypt that I loved as a kid. He was a butler who watched over an orphan that a rich couple adopted. The couple locked the kid in his room and ged him cake, pie, ice cream, and other fatty foods, to fatten him up. The big twist is that you find out that the couple are vampires who want to eat the kid, but then there's a double twist when it turns out the kid was a werewolf the whole time and he winds up eating the vampire couple.................. Oh yeah, Larry Drake is badass and he needs more work.


    This is probably one of the first movies I saw that really got me into horror when I was younger. And I still have my laserdisc!! Ohh mannn, it's still secretly one of my top favorite cheesy horror films ever. There's just something so perfect about it. This is entertainment, hahaha.


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