|A perfect doll and a killer... BUT WHICH IS WHICH???|
Okay, so Child's Play is schlock. But I've seen schlock-ier schlock. The satire is dead-on; I'm just old enough to remember the pop-culture wasteland of Eighties fad toys, each with its own tie-in cartoon (my personal Kryptonite was Rainbow Brite). The acting is across-the-board decent, even when the actors are asked to stray way beyond the call of duty (and over the line of dignity). Raymond Oliver, for instance, playing Chucky's former black-magic mentor, is handed the most inanely offensive voodoo stereotype this side of Live and Let Die, but damned if he doesn't just act the living shit out of it anyway. The whole movie is like that. Its parts are so determined to be better than the whole that the whole becomes somehow elevated.
For a film that gave birth to a slasher franchise, there's surprisingly little slashing in Child's Play: I'm pretty sure the death count stopped at two (three if you count characters reincarnated over the course of the movie). Since it's already leaning towards suspense rather than horror, it might have been interesting to see the script play longer with the Andy-or-Chucky whodunnit setup. But, man, who am I kidding? This is mediocrity in its most honest form, and maybe that's a good thing. The fairest thing I can say about Child's Play is if you think you might like it, you probably will.
|When you can't get Shelley Duvall....|