Chucky’s back and he’s ready to strike fear into the hearts of the summer crowd. With the reboot now in theaters let’s take a look at the film that started it all. Child’s Play was released on November 9, 1988 and terrified audiences! It told the story of a serial killer who transfers his soul into the heart of an innocent looking doll and begins terrorizing the family that purchases him. Spawning six sequels, merchandise and comic books, Chucky is a horror icon. So, let’s go back and learn the top five facts about the original Child’s Play!
#5 – Chucky’s Real Name Origin
Before entering into the body of the Good Guy Doll, Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) was known as the Lakeshore Strangler in Chicago. After being gunned down by Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), Ray summons his soul into the doll in order to cheat death in human form. Production notes state that the name of Charles Lee Ray is taken from three infamously real-life murderers. They are Charles Manson (The Manson Family), Lee Harvey Oswald (assassinated President John F. Kennedy) and James Earl Ray (murderer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
#4 – Blood Buddy Was The Original Title
Don Mancini’s script was originally designed as a whodunit movie. The doll, Chucky, would have fake blood inside of him so that if he were injured during playtime, the kids could purchase bandages for the doll. The story would’ve been that little Andy (Alex Vincent) would’ve gotten his blood mixed with Chucky’s causing him to become alive. Chucky would then kill anyone who targeted Andy because Chucky would’ve absorbed Andy’s suppressed rage through the blood. It was written in a way that the audience wouldn’t know if the killer was Andy or Chucky!
#3 – Child’s Play Changed Distributers After The First Film
Child’s Play is considered a cult classic and was a box office success. MGM was the distributer but with the film’s violent tone it was decided that horror films wasn’t what MGM wanted at the time. After a bidding war for a sequel Universal Pictures picked up the franchise and has distributed every movie since Child’s Play 2! The reboot is being handled by a different team entirely though, United Artists Releasing is distributing that film.
#2 – Controversy Upon Release
It’s no surprise that when Child’s Play was released that parents were shocked! The on-screen violence appalled movie-goers especially with the idea of a doll trying to kill a child. Numerous protesters lined the block when the film was released urging the film to be banned. It was believed that it would incite violence in children if they saw the film. In fact, two United Kingdom murders were committed in 1992 and 1993. The murder of James Bulger gained international attention and just as important the murder of Suzanne Capper (which received less media attention during the trial for the Bulger murder). Director Tom Holland responded and defended Child’s Play stating that viewers of horror movies could only be influenced by their content if they were “unbalanced to begin with.”
#1 – Achieving The Movements Of Chucky
Even though the movie may be violent for some, from a filmmaker’s perspective, it’s a wonder to watch. Chucky’s movements were achieved in a number of ways including RC animatronics and little people or child actors. There were different Chucky dolls used during filming- a flailing tantrum Chucky, a walking Chucky and a stationary Chucky. The face movements were controlled via remote control while Brad Dourif (voice of Chucky) provided the dialogue in a separate room. He was hardly on the set in fact! Dourif did announce back in 2009 that a remake of Child’s Play was in the works but was cancelled due to the negative reception of other iconic horror remakes- A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. Mark Hamill provides the voice of Chucky in the reboot.