When: Fri., Feb. 24, 7 p.m. 2012
Note to those contemplating parenthood: Attending this month's Retrofantasma at the Carolina Theatre may make you want to get sterilized immediately afterward. Yes, the fear of being unable to protect your children is a major parental concern, but in horror movies, anything can go wrong. First proof is the classic 1988 horror flick Child's Play, where a satanically inclined serial killer (Brad Dourif) escapes death by casting his soul into a My Buddy-inspired doll ... and modern horror icon Chucky is born. The demonic doll's crude nature and sense of humor—along with the fact that it was just fun to watch him get mutilated—inspired a slew of sequels and made him a favorite among horror fans, though the increasingly jokey tone of the sequels diluted the fact that the original Child's Play was pretty damn scary.
Next up is 1974's It's Alive!, another franchise-inspiring cult classic. A product of low-budget pulp specialist Larry Cohen (The Stuff, God Told Me To, many TV shows including Branded and The Invaders), it's about what happens when a newly delivered baby turns out to be a hideous clawed mutant that kills its mother and everyone in the delivery room to go on a rampage. The worst that happened with my friends' new baby was he peed in their faces every time they took off his diaper. Perspective.
Featuring early Rick Baker makeup and a Bernard Hermann score, It's Alive! takes full advantage of parental neuroses and budget-saving POV shots, though that baby is a grosser once you do see it. Hoo-boy. The whole thing starts at 7 p.m. —Zack Smith