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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Child's Play 2 (1990)

Child's Play 2 (1990)

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Released 15-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 80:22
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:28) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Lafia

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Alex Vincent
Jenny Agutter
Gerrit Graham
Christine Elise
Grace Zabriskie
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Graeme Revell

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Back in 1989 or thereabouts, a group of executives at Universal Pictures sat down for a bite to eat and discussed their release strategy for the following year. The option of making new, exciting, and original films was brought up, and so too was that of making a sequel to another film that barely had enough story to fill one episode, leave alone two. Since this is a review of Child's Play 2, a sequel to the minor hit of 1988, I'm sure I don't need to elaborate on which option was chosen. I'm sure I don't need to tell you either that no funds were allocated to the development of an original script or a new plot idea, rather that the entire film was churned out as cheaply and badly as possible.

    Having said all of that, Child's Play 2 is not a bad little film if you're in search of an evening's entertainment, or a basis to stage an impromptu live version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 with friends. The film picks up a little while after the unfortunate happenings of Child's Play, where Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) is still in a state of shock after being attacked by a seemingly harmless Good Guy doll. Andy's mother is nowhere to be seen in this episode, so he is instead placed in the foster care of Joanne (Jenny Agutter) and Phil Simpson (Gerrit Graham), one of the most nauseating couples I've ever seen in a film. Exactly why Andy would be removed from his mother and placed in foster care when they were the victims of what would look like one serious programming snafu is anyone's guess. Still, in spite of being burned and shot apart, Chucky (voice by Brad Dourif) is still animated, and he decides to go looking for the young Andy due to the need to transfer his own wicked soul into Andy's body, lest the poorly simulated voodoo powers Chucky used when he was "alive" trap him in a doll's body forever. If you're confused about that, don't worry, because it only gets worse.

    Several new characters are introduced in this episode of the Child's Play franchise, the most important ones being the Simpsons and their other ward, a teenage girl who goes by the name of Kyle (Christine Elise). She is by far the most interesting character in this film, but a total running length of just over eighty minutes does not allow for much in the way of character development. Speaking of the film's running length, it is a common complaint among IMDB users that this film is, to use the common term, padded. After having sat through what is essentially a sixty-five minute build-up to a fifteen minute climax, I have to agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. One could have cut the film down to less than half its length and the story would have made just as much sense, but then we'd have to miss out on all the hilarious moments when grown men and women are killed by a doll that looks to be about three feet tall.

    Obviously, if you enjoy things like logic and drama in your films, then this is one that should be well avoided. Even fans of the original Child's Play would be advised to skip this instalment and go directly to episode three.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    There seems to be an unspoken law among film and home video distributors that the worst films must receive the best possible transfers, because Child's Play 2 receives what I would call a very good transfer.

    The transfer is presented in the theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 Enhanced.

    The transfer is surprisingly sharp, considering the low-budget pedigree of the film, with plenty of fine detail spread throughout the frame, which is really only used effectively once or twice throughout the feature. The shadow detail ranges from being below average to slightly above average, with dark sequences such as at 48:17 only just having enough detail in them to make sense. There is no low-level noise.

    The colours in this film are generally quite muted and subdued, with only the toy factory's colour scheme really having any life to it. Whether this was merely an artistic choice or an effect of the budget limitations that would have been in place, I am not sure, but I do suspect the latter. The transfer captures the colour scheme that was in the film without a hiccup.

    MPEG artefacts are not a problem in this transfer. It is, however, surprising that the bitrate varies at all, given that there is only a total of eighty-one minutes worth of material on this disc, spread more or less evenly over two layers. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing at various points in the feature, the most noteworthy example coming in the ridges on the side of a train at 1:35. Film artefacts consisted of some small black and white marks on the picture that were in surprisingly small quantities considering the age of the film. Overall, this is one of the cleanest transfers I have seen of such a B-grade movie in quite some time.

    The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles present on this disc contain minimal information regarding sound effects, and I mistook them for being ordinary English subtitles at first.

    Surprisingly, this disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change taking place between Chapters 11 and 12, at 46:28. This is just after Phil Simpson is loaded onto the ambulance.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The video transfer was quite impressive, but the audio transfer makes so little effort that it seems criminal at times.

    There are two soundtracks included on this disc, both of them in Dolby Digital 2.0 with a bitrate of 192 kilobits per second: the original English dialogue, and a dub in German. I listened mainly to the English soundtrack, and compared brief samples of the German soundtrack just for a giggle.

    The dialogue is generally quite clear and easy to understand, although much of it consists of incoherent screaming. Suffice it to say that all the important plot points are easy to follow, while you have the usual clichéd moments with the protagonists making no sense at all as they are being chased. The audio sync appeared to be more or less spot on.

    The music in this film is credited to Graeme Revell, and I am sure that this is one film he would rather forget having anything to do with. Much of the score in this film features tinkling bells and other such "childish" sounds, and it is very much the sort of thing you'd expect to hear during an episode of Play School. I believe that this was the point, however, even if it does sound a little silly.

    There is no usage of the surround channels during this film, and only the most minimal of stereo separation. This is not surprising, considering that the film was probably originally presented with two channel audio, and there is little, if any, going on during the film that really requires use of the surrounds.

    Similarly, the subwoofer was not used by this soundtrack, although it is missed somewhat more because there are a few violent sound effects that could have used it.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The collection of extras on this DVD is uninspiring.


    The menu is static, based around the image of Chucky with the Jack-In-The-Box and the scissors that the film's theatrical posters and video cover was based around, and it is 16x9 Enhanced.

Teaser Trailer

    This trailer, clocking in at forty-eight seconds, is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Definitive information about the Region 1 version of this title was hard to come by, so I had to rely on the say-so of online retailers. Production notes and web links about such a poor film are hardly anything to get excited about. Since both discs are 16x9 Enhanced, we can call this one even.


    Child's Play 2 is an irredeemably bad film, worth watching only for the fifteen minute climax. The script was obviously to blame here, as there just doesn't seem to be much of anything for the actors to do except live or die, which both camps do with similar indifference.

    The video transfer is very good.

    The audio transfer is functional.

    The extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Dean McIntosh (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
Sunday, November 11, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySamsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-835
SpeakersYamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

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