Anger at TVB child killer film

TVB Pearl came under fire last night for screening the movie Child's Play with its demonic antics of a controversial doll, Chucky.

Youth groups and psychologists questioned the television station's taste in showing the film, which is part of a series linked to brutal murders in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Dr Peter Tsoi Ting-kwok, a psychiatrist and member of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups urged the station to 'think about what they want people to see'.

He said: 'Violence can be attributed to instinctual drive, but at the same time it can be learned from observation, imitation.

'If this picture has a lot of violent scenes, some people could unconsciously take it in and may behave in a way of imitation.' The deputy director of the pressure group Playright, Yvonne Becher, said: 'You can say [Child's Play ] is even unsuitable for adults.

'I'm sure it will be suitably classified, but how many adults actually adhere to that?' she said.

TVB, however, defended yesterday's screening.

'It's the second time we have shown it,' the senior manager for standards and practices at the station, Alan Hoo Chi-lun, said.

'The allegations do not concern this film. They refer to the third sequel.

'That one is banned by the Obscene Articles Tribunal in Hong Kong.

'It's just one of many other films. It's not worse than any other film. It's not more violent.' TVB would find it difficult to stop broadcasting this particular version of the film, which it had especially cut to make it acceptable, Mr Hoo said.

The British Home Office found no link between Child's Play and the violent murder of two-year-old Jamie Bulger.

However, the public reacted to suggestions of a link by burning copies of the video after it emerged the two youthful killers of Bulger had been Chucky fans.

In 1993, the character in the film was linked to the brutal murder of a teenager in Britain.

A man was jailed for life for leading a gang which tortured and burned to death Suzanne Capper, 16.

She had been held hostage in a Manchester flat where she was stripped naked, plunged into a bath of disinfectant and forced to listen to recordings of her attacker chanting: 'I'm Chucky, wanna play.' The film was also criticised earlier this year after the girlfriend of Tasmanian alleged mass killer Martin Bryant told newspapers he was obsessed with the horror doll Chucky.

Bryant was arrested after 35 people were slaughtered in a shooting rampage at Port Arthur in April.