As we approach the latest reboot of 2019, the upcoming return of slasher cult-classic Child’s Play and the reappearance of Charles Lee Ray, AKA Chucky, the knife-wielding killer doll who dominated the camp b-movie horror of the 90s. We can’t help but think back to the original film and take a peek behind the dummy that equally terrified and delighted a generation.
With the Mark Hamill reboot only a few months away, having the trailer dropped just last week, we thought we’d take the time to look back at the first instalment of what would become an incredibly lucrative horror franchise.
Co-written and directed by Tom Holland in 1988, Child’s Play is an American horror film produced by David Kirschner and based on a story by Don Mancini. Starring Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif. Hicks plays a widowed mother who gives her son a seemingly unassuming doll for his birthday, unaware that the doll is possessed by the soul of an infamous and unstoppably dangerous serial killer.
Taking $44 million at the box office from a $9 million budget, the film did what most couldn’t and became both a cult-classic and a commercial success landing six sequels. The original, though, had our first introduction to Chucky the killer doll of your nightmares. Full name Charles Lee Ray the character was named after three serial killers, Charles Manson – the infamous Hollywood killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated JFK, and James Earl Ray the man who took Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.
His satanic stare became synonymous with the kitsch and cut-throat lines that the killer doll delivered that landed him as an unlikely anti-hero. He trumped most central killers like Freddie Kreuger (whose glove appears in Bride of Chucky) and Jason Vorhees for Halloween, as his one-liners and menacing eye felt more authentic coming from something entirely synthetic.
As a first introduction to a character who would become the focal point of a large franchise, his backstory being slowly built out with each movie, the 1988 Child’s Play challenges the traditional killer character and delivers heaps of tacky, cheesy and ultimately gory moments of crescendoing camp horror.
So while the 2019 version of Child’s Play may provide a new version of Chucky for a new generation, we can’t forget the original with these amazing behind the scenes images and the film Child’s Play Behind The Scenes – Making A Nightmare.