It’s October and round these parts we are celebrating in a big, spooky way all month long. As part of that celebration, we have upped the ante to a horror double-feature each weekend, as well as featuring other “spooky” themed posts during the week.
For our first October Movie Scarefest weekend we include the second of our newest “horror franchise”, where we see the return of the killer possessed doll, and his “best friend forever” Andy, as well as some familiar faces from Logan’s Run, Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills 90210.
Our other film is actually more like 26 films all-together, as 26 different directors craft their horror short film that correlates with a letter from the alphabet. This could have been the most brilliant anthology feature ever, but many of the “letters” crossed lines into a level of disturbing that is just not for us.
Child’s Play 2 is the story of a somewhat ridiculous return of Chucky, who was almost completely destroyed in the first feature. Through a string of bad decisions and coincidences our “Buddy” doll is reunited with his “one true pair” best friend. The death count is way up, as are the special effects, but I’m not sure the story improved.
The ABC’s of Death is the first film in what looks to be a series wherein 26 directors are each given a letter of the alphabet. With this letter they have to produce a word, and with that word create a short horror film to go along with it. At times this worked in very unique and entertaining ways, but more often than not the vision was horrific in a very unpleasant/I can’t watch this kind of way.
So, hey everyone, better get comfortable, bring lots of snacks, stay hydrated and arm yourselves for danger and terror because this is going to be a long and creepy night. And, dont’ forget to stay tuned for more horror themed posts all month long.
As always, we welcome and request any and all of your horror movie suggestions. You can give us some titles in the comment section, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org (Laura), or my husband at email@example.com (Charles).
Please note, no choice is too cheesy or possibly bad, we accept the challenge to watch them all, the good, the bad, the awful, the hilarious, and everything in-between.
Also, if you are a producer or promoter of any independent horror films we would love to watch and review here, just reach out to us and send us a viewable copy and we will put it as part of our regular horror installment.
Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Written by Don Mancini
Directed by John Lafia
Child’s Play 2 begins two years after the first film. The movie opens to close-up shots of Chucky being rebuilt from near scratch by the “Good-Guy” PlayPals doll company in some feeble attempt to prove that the accusations about a “killer doll” were false. We hear mention that Andy Barclay was in the State’s care, and his Mother Karen institutionalized for corroborating her son’s story, though there are no mention of the detective who witnessed the doll in his murderous, and animated, state. Are we to believe that the detective denied what happened, allowing young Andy to be taken from his Mother, and his Mother to be put away in a mental facility?
During the rehab work on Chucky one of the men working on him is electrocuted through Chucky’s eyes, though it isn’t exactly made clear if it was intentional from Chucky, or not. The CEO of the company orders his assistant, Mattson (hey, look, its Greg Germann from Ally McBeal – good thing Chucky doesn’t have a “waddle“) to cover up the accident and get rid of Chucky.
Andy is eventually taken in as a foster child by Phil and Joanne Simpson (hey it’s Jenny Agutter from Logan’s Run, The Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier). He leaves his social worker, Grace Poole (hey, it’s Grace Zabriskie – Laura Palmer’s Mom from Twin Peaks). At the Simpson’s Andy meets their other foster child, a teenage girl named Kyle (hey, this is fun, there’s Christine Elsie who played misunderstood bad girl Emily Valentine from Beverly Hills 90210).
Mattson takes Chucky away in his car, stopping at a corner store briefly. While he is out of the car Chucky phones Grace Poole ( how did he know where to call?) to find out where Andy is, pretending to be a long-lost relative of the boy. He then carjacks the car and orders Mattson to drive outside the Simpson household, by gunpoint, from the backseat. Somehow Mattson doesn’t notice its the doll holding him up until right before Chucky suffocates him with the bag from the corner store.
In the house, Chucky accidentally activates “Tommy” another “Good-Guy” doll (does everyone have these horrible dolls?) and destroys him with a special ornament of Joanne’s, and then takes the time to bury “Tommy” in the garden (seemed like a waste of time, but okay – I guess this foster home ain’t big enough for two “Good-Guys“).
The ornament that Phil values more than his foster kids
The next morning Phil grounds both Andy and Kyle for breaking the special ornament as they both vehemently deny doing it. Later that night we see Chucky tie Andy up to his bed, and almost pull the voodoo soul-switch spell on him, but he is rudely interrupted by Kyle, who has broken her grounding and is sneaking back in through Andy’s bedroom window.
When Phil finds Andy tied up and Kyle in the room with him he looks to punish them again, but after Andy claims Chucky was really the one that tied him up, Phil throws him in the basement.
What follows is a series of confrontations and deaths, as Chucky attempts to get close enough to Andy to cast his spell that will transfer his soul from the doll, to Andy’s human body. Oh, and a lot of poorly made decisions and wrong place at the right time scenarios that made for much eye-rolling.
There is a “Final Girl” in this film, as is a set-up for the next movie in the series (at least if you watch the “extended ending“).
Thoughts from my husband:
I enjoy more than half of the Child’s Play films, and find that I like Child’s Play 2 a little better than the first film. While the story line in the first movie is slightly stronger, I find the pacing, and effects, of the second movie to be superior. Add to the fact that Chucky’s body count has actually increased from the first one making him a more convincing threat.
While there are some flaws to be pointed out during the film (I watch too many “Cinema Sins“), they are not numerous enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.
Giving Brad Dourif more lines other than “C’mon Andy, let’s play hide the soul” was a brilliant move. In this sequel Chucky’s extended dialogue puts him on par with Freddy Krueger in the “wits” department.
The only fault I can really name is that with the number of times that Chucky is actually alone with Andy you’d think he’d have been able to switch souls a few times over, especially since it seemed to only take about five seconds for him to do it in the first film – but Chucky continues to get distracted by stupid shit, ultimately dooming himself to life within a “Good Guy” doll.
A few fun facts:
Writer Don Mancini stated that in an early draft of his script, the film was set during the Christmas season; this would have explained why so many Good Guy dolls were in the factory during the finale.
Chucky appeared in a tuxedo at the 1990 Hall of Fame Awards to advertise the theatrical release of the film. He was introduced by Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger).
Chucky at the Horror Hall of Fame Awards in 1990
Child’s Play 2 opened as the #1 film at the box office.
All of Brad Dourif’s voice-over work for Chucky was recorded in advance so they could match up Chucky’s mouth with the words. Because of this, Dourif rarely appeared on set. Instead, recordings of his voice would be played back for Alex Vincent to go by.
Chris Sarandon was originally going to reprise his role as Detective Mike Norris from the first film, but his scenes were cut from the film due to budgetary issues.
The original script had an opening scene of a court hearing dealing with the events of the previous film. Catherine Hicks was to reprise her role of Karen Barclay in this sequence but it was cut before filming began. Elements of this scene appeared in a similar courtroom scene in Curse of Chucky (2013).
Despite not reprising her role Catherine Hicks was constantly on set for the sequel to see her husband, Kevin Yagher, who operated the anatomic Chucky doll.
The Good Guy doll Tommy is named after original Child’s Play director Tom Holland.
The murder of Andy’s teacher and the final showdown at the Toy Factory are both elements of Don Mancini’s original Child’s Play script that failed to make it into the first film.
Child’s Play 2 was Christine Elise and Adam Wylie’s film debuts.
Angry moments with a “Good Guy“
The ABC’s of Death (2012)
Written by Ant Timpson, Nacho Vigalondo, Adrián García Bogliano, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Marcel Sarmiento, Simon Rumley, Jon Schnepp, Dimitrije Vojnov, Yudai Yamaguchi, Noboru Iguchi, Simon Barrett, Ti West, Kaare Andrews, Bruno Forzani, Hélène Cattet, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Srdjan Spasojevic and Lee Hardcastle
Directed by Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Hélène Cattet, Ernesto Diaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani, Adrián García Bogliano, Xavier Gens, Jorge Michel Grau, Lee Hardcastle, Noboru Iguchi, Thomas Cappelen Malling, Andres Morgenthaler, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Jon Schnepp, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalondo, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard and Yudai Yamaguchi
The ABCs of Death is a 2012 American anthology horror film produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League. It contains 26 different shorts, each by different directors spanning fifteen countries. It premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2013, it was released on VOD January 31 and in theaters March 8.
The film is divided into 26 individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death. The varieties of death range from accidents to murders.
S is for Speed
A contest was held for the role of the 26th director. The winner was UK-based director Lee Hardcastle, who submitted the claymation short for T.
I had high hopes for this film as both my husband and I are huge fans of short story collections and anthology series, especially in the horror and science fiction genre. Though there were some genuine standouts plot wise, and some incredible cinematography and make-up artistry, as well, there were far too many disturbing stories that felt more than gratuitous, and highly unnecessary.
The worst dealt with sex acts with children, animal cruelty, a miscarriage, and body mutilation done from extreme body image hatred (though I could argue the latter did hit a huge emotionally-triggering societal message on self-hatred and body image). At times the film felt like it had too many directors that were bred on Faces of Death in the 80’s, or were going for shock value without rhyme or reason. There is a difference between horror and horrific, and too many times I had to hide my eyes because I’m a firm believer in “there are some things you can’t unsee.”
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion
That said, there were some high moments and some really great shorts in the bunch, namely E is for Exterminate, H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion and S is for Speed.
F is for Fart is the strangest story I’ve ever seen on film, D is for Dogfight is incredible in terms of cinematography and storytelling, Q is for Quack is so very clever, and L is for Libido is too disturbing to discuss.
F is for Fart
There is a sequel arriving in theaters on Halloween, but I’m not sure I can make it through another one, even for the gems.
Thoughts from my husband:
I think its easy to say I like anthologies, as much as I like short stories. While it is difficult to do a good short story (props to Harlan Ellison and Robert Bloch, true masters of the short story), it is equally difficult to do a good short cinematic anthology (props Rod Serling). Like a good short story, an anthology segment needs to pull you in quickly, bring you up to speed, and deliver a one-two punch, sometimes in less than five minutes.
A few of these stories in this film do an admirable job at it. Unfortunately, 90% of these stories fall short, with 5% of them being just downright disturbing (Timo Tjahjanto, you know I’m talking to you, shame on you).
Exterminate, Hydro-Electric and Speed are all well-worth checking out. Too bad that only burns up about fifteen minutes of this two-hour film. The rest of the time would be better spent perfecting popcorn flavors.
Q is for Quack
A few fun facts:
The opening shot of each of the 26 short films features the camera panning away from something red, for example, a red dinner tray in the “A” film, a red circle on a characters headband in the “S” film, etc.
The child featured on the movie poster is the son of director Kaare Andrews. He is also featured in Andrews’ segment in the film.
The characters name ‘Frau Scheisse’ means literally translated ‘Mrs. Shit” in German.