is a 1988 horror film
written by Don Mancini
and directed by Tom Holland
. It was released on November 9
. The film met with moderate success upon its release, and has since developed a cult following
among fans of the horror
genre. The film is the first in the Child's Play film series
. The film is currently being remade with Mancini writing the script. The remake is expected in late 2009.
had a budget worth $9,000,000 and was released in 1,377 theaters, having an opening weekend of $6,583,963. The domestic gross was $33,244,684 with it making $10,952,000 overseas. Worldwide, the film made $44,196,684.
Critical reviews were surprisingly positive. Roger Ebert called it "an effective horror film." The film earned a 67% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The story begins on November 9, 1988. While being chased by detective
Mike Norris, Charles Lee Ray
"), the notorious "Lakeshore Strangler", is shot and mortally wounded by Norris. Before dying, Charles takes cover inside a toy-store finding boxes of Good Guy dolls, and uses a voodoo
ritual that will transfer his soul into one of the dolls. The store is then struck by lightning
, and it burns to the ground.
Later that morning, Andy Barclay and his mother, Karen are introduced to the audience. It is Andy's sixth birthday and he wants a Good Guy doll he has seen in television commercials. However, his mother cannot afford the doll, it being very expensive, and instead buys a different toy. Realizing her son's deep disappointment, she later buys a Good Guy from a homeless peddler, the doll purchased being the recipient of the voodoo ritual.
That night, as Andy is playing with the doll (who's revealed himself as Chucky via the talking feature of the doll), Karen's friend Maggie, who is babysitting, takes the doll away when Andy is insubordinate in going to bed. The audience then sees a first-person perspective of a small figure taking a hammer and striking Maggie with it. She falls out of the apartment window, tumbling several stories to her death. The killer's identity (either Andy or Chucky) is left ambiguous. Andy, when questioned, insists that Chucky has revealed himself to be alive and that he killed Maggie, though he defends Chucky's decision by stating that Chucky told him "Maggie was a real bitch" and that she "got what she deserved".
The next day, Andy, apparently upon Chucky's request, visits the house of Eddie, Chucky's accomplice who had betrayed him which led him to his death. As Andy urinates outside of the house, Chucky is revealed as being alive. He sneaks into Eddie's house and blows out the pilot light on the stove and turns up the gas; Eddie, in panicked self-defense, fires his gun and the house explodes, killing him.
Later, authorities place Andy in a psychiatric ward after he is found near the crime scene and suspected for murders. Karen believes the doll to be the culprit after she finds that his battery compartment is empty and threatens to throw him into the fireplace. Chucky comes alive in her hands, bites her and runs out of the apartment. She contacts Mike Norris, who is now investigating Maggie's death. Although he initially doubts her story, the homeless man who sold Karen the doll confirms that he retrieved it from the burnt down toy-store where Charles Lee Ray was killed. Norris becomes a firm believer after he is attacked by Chucky in his car and survives only by shooting the doll.
Chucky later meets with John (credited as Dr. Death), his voodoo instructor from years past, and asks why his gunshot wound bled. John, under torture via voodoo doll, informs him that his body is slowly conforming to that of a human's, and that he will soon be trapped in the body if he does not transfer his soul into the body of the first person he revealed himself to, which is Andy. Offhandedly remarking that he will "get to be six years old again", Chucky stabs a voodoo doll in the chest and leaves John to die. Karen and Detective Norris, following leads from Charles Lee Ray's case file, find John as he lay dying and receive instructions on how to kill Chucky; although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.
Andy escapes from the psychiatric unit, Chucky brutally kills the head doctor (a cameo appearance by Jack Colvin) in the process. The authorities believed Andy killed the doctor while escaping. Mike and Karen rush back to the apartment hoping that Andy is there. They confront Chucky in the apartment just as he is preparing to transfer his soul into Andy's body. After a prolonged struggle, Chucky is thrown into the fireplace and as Andy prepares to light him on fire. Chucky says " Andy,no, please! We're friends to the end, remember?". Andy replies "This is the end, friend!" and throws the match in the fireplace. Andy and Karen, thinking Chucky is dead, go to help the injured Mike Norris. After Andy gets the first aid kit from under the sink, he discovers Chucky is gone. Chucky chases after Andy and Karen; Karen shoots him several times, missing his heart, but scattering his head, an arm, and a leg in the hallway. After Norris' partner arrives, the scattered doll parts attempt to attack at the instructions of Chucky's screaming, severed head, but Norris finally shoots Chucky in the heart, rendering Chucky, dead.
Child's Play was filmed at the following locations:
- Chicago, Illinois (on location) The Chicago landmark the Brewster Apartments located at Diversey and Pine Grove served as the location of the apartment where Andy and Karen lived. It is pictured on the movie poster. Silent filmstar Charlie Chaplin occupied the penthouse of this building when he lived in Chicago.
- Culver City, California (in studio)
- It is rumored that the "Good Guy Dolls" were based on the My Buddy dolls created by Hasbro. However, during an airing of the movie on the morning of 7 January 2007, AMC claimed the creator modeled the doll after the Cabbage Patch Kids; he was tired of seeing commercials for the dolls. This was confirmed by an interview with the creator, Don Mancini, which was featured on the Seed of Chucky DVD.
- Don Mancini has stated that his original script toyed with the audience a bit longer, making them wonder if young Andy was the killer rather than Chucky. The actual film does make the viewer wonder for more than a few minutes, although it grows increasingly obvious that Chucky is the murderer.
- Chucky's full name, Charles Lee Ray, is derived from the names of notorious killers Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray.
- Maggie's death was originally going to be by electrocution while taking a bath. The idea was later used in Bride of Chucky.
- You'll wish it was only make-believe.
- Andy Barclay has a new playmate who's in no mood to play.
- This doll is killer.
- Something's moved in with the Barclay family, and so has terror.
It has been adapted in comics
a couple of times:
There are several mistakes in the movie:
- After Chucky became alive, his red overall buttons appear and disappear throughout the film.
- Andy places Chucky in a rocking chair that is missing a runner on one side; minutes later, Chucky is gone and the chair is rocking, both runners intact.
- When Chucky is trying to get out of the fireplace, before he is set on fire, you can see a hand pushing him into the fire screen.
- The drink Andy makes changes color.
- In the police station when Andy is being interrogated by the detective, Andy smacks Chucky because he won't talk and his hair is in disarray. In the next shot his hair is slicked down.
- When Chucky follows Andy home and drops from the chimney and kicks the cover off, it can be easily seen that this isn't Chucky, but it's a real person dressed as Chucky.
- When Andy's mom is looking at the Good Guy box, where it says "Batteries Included", it says "Play Partners Toys" in the bottom left-hand corner. The company that produces the Good Guy dolls is called "Play Pals Toys", not Play Partners.
The film was first released on DVD by MGM
. The film was presented in an open-matte full screen presentation and included a theatrical trailer and a "Making Of" booklet. The DVD was re-released in 2007
with a lenticular cover.
A 20th Anniversary DVD was released by MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on September 9, 2008. Special features include two audio commentaries with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks, Kevin Yagher, producer David Kirschner and screenwriter Don Mancini, " a "Selected Scene Chucky Commentary," "Evil Comes in Small Packages" featurettes," a "Vintage Featurette: Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child's Play," an "Chucky: Building A Nightmare" feature, "Theatrical Trailer" and a "Photo Gallery."
On October 20
, David Kirschner, the producer of the original Child's Play
, had an interview where he announced that his next project was another "Chucky" movie, which is a remake of the original. He said that they were in talks with Don Mancini and also announced that Chucky, like in the previous films, would be animatronic
rather than CGI
. It was announced by Don Mancini in April that Brad Dourif
will reprise his role as the voice of Chucky