Child's Play & It's Alive
The Kids Are Not All Right
(R, 1988, 87 min)
Horror maestro Tom Holland (Fright Night) brings wit and devilish energy to this scare-fest about a murderer (Brad Dourif) who wills his soul into an innocuous doll named Chucky, and reveals himself only to the toy's owner, a frightened little boy. When an ensuing rampage of gruesome murders leads a detective (Chris Sarandon) back to the same toy, he discovers that the real terror has just begun!
(PG, 1974, 91 min)
A young couple joyously awaiting the birth of their newborn is in for a horrifying surprise in this thrilling low-budget '70s tale of terror which went on to gain cult status and spawn two sequels. Featuring genuinely creepy creature effects by make-up artist Rick Baker (King Kong, Star Wars), and a marvelously effective score by legendary composer Bernard Hermann (Psycho, The Birds).
What Jim says…
It’s hard to believe, but back in 1988, Child’s Play was sold as a legitimate horror movie and not the jokey, horror-comedy it later became in sequels. (A fate that also befell Freddy Krueger.) I recall parent’s groups enraged over the alleged violence towards children in this film. In the late-80’s, parent’s groups were always in an uproar about something. I knew their gavel-thumping had crossed into the national zeitgeist when Bloom County’s Bill the Cat and Steve Dallas argued with Tipper Gore during a congressional hearing to protest the lyrics of Deathtöngue’s ”Let’s Run Over Lionel Ritchie with a Tank.” To those of us in our early-20’s in the late-80s, however, Child’s Play wasn’t a politically-charged statement but merely a rollicking, creepy time, and it did not disappoint. As a double bill, I wanted to screen 1972’s The Other or 1980’s The Godsend. (No prints, same news.) It’s Alive nicely complemented the theme of this program. I’m uncertain if parent’s groups protested this 1974 film but, if they did, it would not be surprising.
Dennis Chong: Universal Pictures Repertory
Christopher Lane: Sony Pictures Repertory
Judy Nicaud: Paramount Pictures Repertory
Marilee Womack: Warner Brother Repertory
Kent Youngblood: MGM Repertory