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CHILD’S PLAY

     

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: While it’s far from my favorite, I herewith acknowledge the horror hit ‘Child’s Play,’ which spawned a six-film franchise (with a seventh due next year) and has now earned a Blu-ray upgrade from the Shout! Factory under its Scream label. My Deseret News review was published on Nov. 9, 1988.

“Child’s Play” gets this year’s award for dumbest movie.

And in its own unintentional way, it is also one of the year’s funniest.

That this movie stars the charming Catherine Hicks and the wonderfully edgy Chris Sarandon, and was co-written and directed by Tom Holland, of “Fright Night” fame, is simply proof positive that talented people can make really idiotic movies.

The “possessed toy” plot is not particularly original to begin with, as fans of “Trilogy of Terror” or “Asylum” or countless other old horror yarns with similar stories already know.

     

A seemingly benign 'Chucky' with Alex Vincent, 'Child's Play.'

This time out, a sweet-looking doll has been invaded by the dying spirit of a “strangler” who is gunned down in a toy store. The doll, of course, falls into the hands of an innocent 6-year-old who has no idea that this is a perverted Pinocchio.

Even when the doll starts talking and running around, the kid innocently thinks the toy is his friend. Even when it dispatches his babysitter with a hammer and knocks her through a window. Now that’s loyalty.

Given, however, that the doll looks like a Garbage Pail Kid from the outset, the audience will likely catch on much quicker.

     

Catherine Hicks is attacked by evil doll Chucky in 'Child's Play.'

The wonderfully ghoulish sense of humor co-writer/director Holland displayed in “Fright Night” is virtually absent here, the film is loaded with preposterous dialogue and situations, and the acting is most uneven – including the performances by Hicks and Sarandon.

Worst of all, however, is that the movie just gets more and more ridiculous as it goes along.

The question you may well ask as you leave the theater is the most obvious one – how does a movie like this get made in the first place?

“Child’s Play” is rated R for violence and profanity.