REVIEW: CHILD’S PLAY

CAST

Alex Vincent (Just Like In The Movies)
Catherine Hicks (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride)
Brad Dourif (Alien Resurrection)
Dinah Manoff (Grease)
Tommy Swerdlow (Howard The Duck)
Jack Colvin (the Incredible Hulk)

On the night of November 9, 1988, serial killer and fugitive Charles Lee Ray is seen running through the streets of South Side, Chicago. Charles is left behind after his accomplice Eddie Caputo manages to escape. After he is fatally shot in a toy shop by homicide detective Mike Norris, Charles transfers his soul into a “Good Guy” doll via a Haitian Vodou spell. A bolt of lightning causes the shop to explode. Mike, who survives the explosion, finds Charles’ body.The next day, widow Karen Barclay purchases the same doll (now known as Chucky) from a peddler as a birthday gift for her six-year-old son Andy Barclay. Later that evening, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson babysits Andy. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. The police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation.The next morning, Chucky orders Andy to skip school and take the Chicago “L” downtown. While Andy is urinating, Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot light but turning up the gas. Eddie is killed in the explosion. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a psychiatric hospital. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her in the arm, and escapes. She then finds Mike at the station and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. After almost being killed by Chucky in his car, Mike finally agrees to help Karen.Chucky goes to John Bishop, Charles Lee Ray’s former voodoo teacher. When Chucky asks why he is able to bleed, John informs him that the longer his soul remains trapped within the doll, the more human the doll will become; in order to escape the doll’s body, Chucky must transfer his soul to the first person he revealed his possession to, which happens to be Andy. When John rejects Chucky’s plea for help, Chucky fatally stabs John using a voodoo doll. Chucky escapes just before Karen and Mike arrive on the scene. Before dying, John tells them that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.At the mental hospital, Chucky steals the key to Andy’s cell, but Andy is able to trick Chucky with pillows under the bed sheets and escape his cell. Dr. Ardmore finds Andy and unsuccessfully tries to sedate him. Chucky kills Dr. Ardmore with an Electroconvulsive therapy machine and follows Andy home, knocking him unconscious with a baseball bat. As Chucky begins possessing Andy, Karen and Mike arrive and stop him. Chucky slashes Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. Soon, the pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him. Thinking Chucky is dead, Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but a heavily burned Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots off his head, arm, and leg. Mike’s partner Jack Santos arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story just before Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. During the struggle, Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot at Chucky’s heart (as John told them to do) which Mike does finally killing him. While Mike, Jack and Karen go to the hospital, Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky’s burned remains before closing the door.Overall this is a slasher movie that had a lot of cool and new elements to work with when it came to the direction at the time. And it’s understandable how Chucky became one of the most memorable killer villains from the 80’s. Thanks to Brad Dourif signature voice as Chucky.

 

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REVIEW: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS (1990)

CAST
Anthony Perkins (Psycho)
Mia Sara (Birds of Prey)
Robert Reynolds (Brass)
Jack Coleman (Heroes)

Arriving in Romania, American Katherine Thatcher, (Mia Sara) determined to find herself a new life. While searching through the city with Max, (Dezso Garas) keeps seeing a strange dragon symbol that resembles a design on her medallion she wears which helps her along with the search for her missing father. Meeting with local Grigore Protoescu, (Robert Reynolds) who helps her along, and she manages to do a little more digging into the past, eventually coming across Anton, (Anthony Perkins) who has a terrible secret for her. Eventually cornered with the realization that her father is a member of a secret society of vampires that needs their blood to stay alive, and that everyone else she trusts is either a member or are a willful helper, she tries to escape from their clutches before she becomes one of them.

There’s some good stuff to this one. One of the best is that there’s a habit of including really neat scenes in random order throughout the film. Some of them are pretty creepy, including a rather intense chase of a black-robed figure through the streets at night, which leads into the incredibly explosive finale that really ends it the right way. The foot chase to the taxi later on is also pretty good, and it even manages to get in some pretty good stuff later on. There’s the whole finale to this, which is where most of the fun in the film comes from. From the creepy torture dungeon to the stable hideout, there’s some good locations for the all-out action assaults. Those are great, as there’s the torture segment in the dungeon which is actually really cool, as the sight of the vampire being strapped to a machine that lets in daylight to scar and torch the hands, arms and face, and the impressive visual of that happening, is a great site and manages to make them feel a lot more threatening when it occurs. Then there’s the confrontation in the stable, which is just great. From the introduction of the fire to set everything ablaze to the brawling with the vampires and the destruction of the location and the thrilling escape, it’s really fun and enjoyable. It’s also got the fact that the vampires are all knocked off by being set on-fire is really great, as there’s plenty of great scenes that show them running around on fire. It’s a great site, and mixed in with the really great setting and fun action make the ending fun. What makes these work is the really entertaining storyline for this one. There’s a really great mystery angle at work, with the reason for the journey to Romania a logical one that allows for some creepy goings-on that it manages to incorporate because of what’s going on, and they’re all done really nicely in here because the story allows them to.

With some very good points to this and only a few really noticeable flaws that hold it down, this one ends up as being one of the better entries available. Give this one a chance if it sounds interesting or find these kinds of films themselves quite fun, otherwise the flaws here will be quite worthwhile.