Since starting his career with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Brad Dourif has steadily drifted out of the movie mainstream. By far his best recent role has been the voice of Chucky the killer doll in Child’s Play and its sequels. Dourif’s offbeat looks and oddball intensity just don’t fit many Hollywood high concepts. They are, however, ideal for these two straight-to-video thrillers, which give him something he doesn’t often get: star billing.
Unfortunately, neither movie gives him very much to do. Dead Certain, a poor man’s Silence of the Lambs, keeps Dourif behind bars, as a suspected serial killer who dispenses cryptic clues while the real murderer runs amok. Critters 4, a mildly amusing Alien imitation, sticks him in the middle of a motley spaceship crew menaced by those Gremlinlike man-eaters. In their back-of-the-box hype, both tapes make a big deal of Dourif’s nominee status. On screen, however, he’s just another casualty. Dead Certain: D Critters 4: C