There’s a fine line between cute and creepy when it comes to children’s toy. Even the most innocuous of playthings can cast a sinister shadow when stripped of context and placed in an inappropriate setting. Such as a pool of blood.
This Saturday, Graveyard Shift pays tribute to creepy toys, killer dolls and scarred childhoods with a double feature presentation of CHILD’S PLAY and DOLLS. Both films will be screened from original 35mm prints and admission to both movies is only $10. The show starts at 7:30 PM but arrive early for a custom pre-show and a few giveaways.
CHILD’S PLAY, of course, is perhaps the best known movie to feature a pint-sized plaything with murderous intent. Directed by Tom Holland from a story by Don Mancini (the man who has shepherded every film in the series – including the forthcoming THE CURSE OF CHUCKY), CHILD’S PLAY is a genuinely scary film – a shock to some who may be more familiar with the later comedic sequels. Catherine Hicks stars as a single mother who, with a selfless gift to her demanding son, opens her home up to a doll possessed by the soul of a notorious serial killer. Brad Dourif provides the voice for Chucky, the killer doll seeking revenge against the cop who killed him, Detective Mike Norris (played by Chris Sarandon, who previously worked with Holland for FRIGHT NIGHT). Excellent special effects, an impressive amount of restraint on the part of Holland (seriously, considering how popular of a character Chucky has become – it’s shocking to revisit the first film and realize just how judiciously Holland used the character to build dread) and great performances from all involved make CHILD’S PLAY a movie that has aged extremely well over the last 25 years.
DOLLS, released a year before CHILD’S PLAY, is the second feature from director Stuart Gordon. Following the release of RE-ANIMATOR, Gordon re-teamed with ‘80s horror mega-producer Charles Band to usher in what would be the first of many, many, many movies Band produced starring pint-sized murderers. DOLLS is a black comedy/horror about a group of strangers who spend the night in a creepy old mansion to escape a storm. Their hosts, a generous elderly couple who make toys, welcome their guests with open arms. The animate and psychotic dolls that also live in the mansion aren’t as welcoming, though. Like most of Band’s films, DOLLS features some really impressive practical effects. More importantly, though, the movie is almost completely bats**t insane! Seriously – if you’ve never seen this movie before, you are in for an absolute treat.
Leave the kids at home and come to the Alamo Drafthouse – Mason Park on Saturday, January 5 at 7:30 PM for a double bill that will leave you looking over your shoulder every time you pass the toy aisle at your local supermarket. Rotten Cotton will be on hand with some awesome exclusive shirts and we’ll have some surprises hidden under select seats within the theater. What kind of surprises? Well, let’s just say there’s a fine line between cute and creepy when it comes to dolls.