Charlie Boy (1980)

Charlie Boy

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Charlie Boy is actually an episode of the UK TV series, Hammer House of Horror. I didn’t know that going in. I just found an old VHS tape at a thrift ship and picked it up, because I always pick up odd looking horror VHS tapes whenever I get the chance. All I knew going in was that Elvira was on the cover, and I love Elvira.

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SOLD

Graham and Sarah have just inherited an art collection from Graham’s late uncle. Graham plans to sell most of it, but Sarah asks Graham if she can pick something out to take home. And what does she choose? Why, the most creep-tastic voodoo doll she can find of course. She dubs him Charlie Boy (only the little people in her mind know why) and naturally bad things begin to happen.

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With a face like that, it should have been expected.

As far as anthology episodes go, this is a pretty formulaic little outing. I kind of have a soft spot for creepy dolls run amok movies (I find that creepy little doll from the Trilogy of Terror absolutely delightful), but Charlie Boy remains as sedentary as sedentary can be, and all the bad incidents are purely the result of voodoo magic. That said, the episode does have a sex scene and some shockingly gruesome deaths

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Surprising, he didn’t see any of that coming.

But the way the episode is set up means that you’re going to see everything coming about five minutes before it ever happens, so any attempt at suspense kinda gets shot to hell.

The actors are all right for the most part, but Sarah accent seems to fade in and out sporadically. I also noticed a few overall sound issues that made parts of the episode hard to hear, but other than that and one noticeable editing mistake it wasn’t half bad.

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And, since this was an Elvira tape I suppose I should mention that, as always, Elvira’s segments were exuberant, and cheesy, and very pun-filled fun. I really must get a couple more of her DVD collections. I’ve missed watching you, Elvira. It’s been far too long.

But as for the episode, Charlie Boy is fairly decent. It’s not bad as far as early 80’s horror show episodes go, but it’s also not one of my favorites, or something I think I’ll revisit. I think I’ll probably stick with Tales from the Crypt episodes for my horror show itch.

Hammer House of Horrors, including the Charlie Boy episode (which is the sixth episode of season one, by the way) is available on a variety of streaming services, including free on Pluto and Tubi TV.

It is also available on DVD.

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Michi

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