Tag Archives: Chucky

You Just Can’t Keep a Good Guy Down: Why the Child’s Play Franchise is Anything but Stale

All honesty, I’ve never been one for rebuttals when it comes to writing about horror. I respect the opinions of others and understand that we won’t all see eye-to-eye very often, if at all. Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong?

However, a recent article from 1428 Elm wondered whether the Child’s Play franchise was not only spreading itself thin, but if it was in danger of getting stale.

I cannot abide. So here we go.

Having recently spoken with Child’s Play 2’s (1990) Christine Elise, she used a phrase that struck me, “Don Mancini’s empire.” Though I had never thought of it quite so succinctly, it’s no less true, because it is Mancini who drives the franchise, not Chucky, he’s merely the vehicle.

The man not only created this universe we all know and love, but has written all seven installments, directed the last three, acted as executive producer for Bride of Chucky (1998), and as of this writing, is slated to, at the very least produce the television series.

Child's Play TV seriesAt a glance, it would appear that seven features and an upcoming TV project may appear to be a bit much, maybe even spread thin, but not when you consider that the original film hit theatres in 1988, and we have seen gaps of seven, six, nine and four years from Child’s Play 3 (1991) to the most recent effort, Cult of Chucky (2017).

What’s more, the last two films are the very reason Wade Wainio’s assertions are askew.

Mancini has always possessed perfect pitch when it comes to his franchise, not only in tone and atmosphere, but with what is or is not resonating with the fans. After Child’s Play 3, Mancini felt as though he was beginning to tell the same story over and over, and believed it was time to switch things up. And he was right, 3 didn’t have the same energy as the first two, which led to that first seven-year hiatus. Mancini made the decision to fully embrace the badboy one-liners and humor inherent in his demonic doll, and gave us the thoroughly enjoyable popcorn horror thrill ride that was Bride. And the fans loved it. That Jennifer Tilly entered the equation as Tiffany didn’t hurt one bit because Mancini realized that the time had come to give Chucky a wing-man, or wing-woman as it were. And make no mistake, Tiffany is adored by Child’s Play fans, so that particular call was a stroke of genius. And it wouldn’t be the last.

When Mancini attempted to build on the final frame of Bride with Seed of Chucky (2004), it seemed to fall flat, at least in this writer’s estimation, but as previously stated, I could be wrong, I’m sure there are many who dig the fifth film. That said, the injection of a humor focus worked for Bride, but not so much for Seed, so Mancini again took his time before unleashing the next chapter.

Nine years later, we would find Chucky venturing back to his darker roots with Curse of Chucky (2013), and though we would get our first glimpse of a new Mancini trick – the end credits tease – it wasn’t the hint of Andy’s (Alex Vincent) return that made the film, but rather the introduction of a new character, Nica Pierce. Beyond the rare slasher trait of continuity, something that has always set the Child’s Play franchise apart is the sense of family, not only on-screen, but off. Those who have built this “Mancini empire” truly appear to be a tight-knit group, and what could be more familial than casting Brad Dourif’s daughter to play the human lead? And as we all know, Ms. Dourif didn’t just get the part because she’s Brad’s offspring, she has added layers of vulnerability, strength, emotion and depth that has elevated the entire franchise.

Fiona DourifFrom Curse, the most recent foray was with Cult last year, and pound-for-pound, it may be Mancini’s finest effort yet. Not only was Chucky at his hilariously villainous best, he is now legion, complete with Hannibal references that warm the heart. Fiona again delivered a sensational performance, Tilly was involved, Tiffany made an appearance, and of course, Andy is back in the fold. The story was strong, the writing spot on, it had creative kills, and despite a clinical setting, it was visually pleasing, and the climax had fans aching for what’s next.

Truly think about that last statement. We are talking about a franchise’s seventh film. Typically with such scenarios, we’re off the rails, numerous writers and directors have veered so far from the original vision that it’s almost, if not completely laughable. But Child’s Play is not Hellraiser or Friday the 13th or Children of the Corn, because it’s always had Mancini.

The final few minutes of Cult were eye-bulgingly fantastic. Chucky’s chant finally worked, and when Nica rose from her wheelchair and Ms. Dourif gifted us one of the most spot-on mimics in cinematic history, we felt chills. What is Chucky going to do in that body? Where is he going to go? What awaits down the road?

Fiona as Chucky walked out into the snow to Tilly while Andy was stuck in a cell, most likely to be framed for the slaughterhouse inside the mental health facility, to say nothing of the small army of Good Guy dolls ready to wreak havoc at Nica / Chucky’s command.

The fun didn’t end there, however, because Mancini had one last face-breaking smile left in his bag of tricks. He sent a friend to pay a visit to Chucky’s head, left at Andy’s secluded cabin, and when the sliding door opened and Kyle (Elise) walked in, you could almost hear the squeals of delight from every corner of the country.

Kyle CultEvents, intriguing events, that will lead into the television series, and perhaps the next feature, whenever that might be.

When a franchise spreads itself thin, over-saturation is almost always the culprit. A new movie, shoddily pieced together to make a deadline focused less on quality than a cash grab. And if a television series were to be a thing, it would usually fall sometime during the height of its run, not more than three decades after it began.

Thirty years and seven movies on, that is where the Child’s Play franchise stands. It’s not only alive and well and thriving, but almost incomprehensibly improving the further it wanders from the night we met Charles Lee Ray.

And that’s as far from stale as it gets.

Chucky

Could There Be A Chucky Game In the Making? New Teaser Hints At That!

It’s a very fun time to be a Chucky fan! That little malevolent bastard is popular as ever it would seem. Fans are already anticipating an upcoming TV continuation of the current Chucky lore, while an unexpected Child’s Play remake is also in the works. How this is going to work is anyone’s guess right now. Not to mention the official Child’s Play 2 replica (by Trick or Treat Studios) proved to be a Kickstarter success – and believe me, I saw one of those things face to face and it looks entirely too real – allowing sickos and psychopaths to cuddle up with their very own Good Guy doll! If that doesn’t light your fire your wood’s wet.

Now, thanks to Fireblitz Games, it would seem we may also have a ‘Chucky’ game to look forward to. That’s right, my Nasties, you read that right. However, for now, it’s not being called Chucky, but just from a casual glance – thanks to this newly dropped teaser – we can easily see all the trademark signs of our favorite maniacal doll.

Sadly there’s not a whole lot known about this project and some are calling it a little sketchy. Originally the website offered more pics, some featuring models from the Bride of Chucky, or the stitched-faced Chucky, model. It’s also been claimed that the logo on his snazzy overalls which now reads “Cool Boys” originally said “Good Guys.” Not to mention, Charlie is wearing the familiar shirt, overalls, and by the maniac gods if that’s not Chucky’s face then I don’t know what is. This is Chucky in everything but name. It’s definitely something I want to know more about and it’s teased my curiosity.

This year games like Dead by Daylight and the massively successful Friday the 13th proved the high demand for horror films brought to video game formate. While we were all heartbroken to hear the sad news that halted all new content for any further Jason DLC, gamers are still piling into Camp Crystal Lake’s haunted woods to face off with the grueling might of Jason Voorhees. Meanwhile, Freddy, Michael Myers, Pigface (SAW) and Leatherface are playable denizens over at Dead by Daylight.

This is a new age of horror gaming! Where we the fans are finally given the chance to jump in and match our wits and wills against the dangers and awe of some of our most cherished horror franchises!

Child’s Play would seem like the perfect video game platform. Given what we learned from Friday the 13th – where players are allowed to step behind the fetid mask of Jason and stalk helpless campers to their messy demise – I would love to think we could become Chucky, oh I’m sorry, Charlie and hunt down random dipshits and sharpen our killing skills on their screaming faces.

Let’s get a properly liscenced Child’s Play game. Drop the Charlie bullshit and give us an authentic Chucky experience! Look at the titanic success other games are enjoying. Plus it would only help spread popularity in the property. It’s a clear win-win!

So here’s the teaser. Let us know what you think in the comments. Should this become a Chucky game? Would you be just as fine playing as Charlie?

The Rare “Child’s Play” VHS Screener Footage From 1989

The ’80s were a grand decade for the little plastic nightmare known as Chucky and I think it’s fair to say, this era belonged exclusively to the slasher. From Freddy, Jason, to Michael, the 1980’s coined the word slasher and turned it into an unstoppable phenomenon. Between brilliant marketing from all those inducing ass-whoopings from calling 1-900 numbers to every kid on your block dressed up as Freddy; sporting a plastic garbage bag Ben Cooper costume on Halloween. The era of the slasher was a glorious time to be alive for horror fans. And in 1988, a small but fierce force entered into that iconic fraternity of slasher legends in the form of what looked like, a My Buddy doll from the seventh layer of Hell.

When Child’s Play opened in theaters back ’88, no one expected the pint-sized Good Guy to launch the kind of fanfare Chucky brought to the horror game. The movie made on a less than stellar budget of only $9 million ended up pulling in almost four times that amount worldwide upon its theatrical release and ended up spawning seven sequels over the past 30 years, including an upcoming Child’s Play series in the works!

The Rare "Child’s Play" VHS Screener Footage From 1989

 

Back in the glory days of the Polaroid cassette videotape, studios such as MGM would send out promotional VHS screeners of new releases to mom and pop video stores in an effort to get that movie lined up on their shop shelves. On a side-note, I remember the first time seeing Chucky’s face at my local one-stop rental shop Action Video and my seven-year-old self, fresh off a viewing of Dolls, was immediately impulsed to rent the little sucker. Not knowing a thing about it, and so glad I did.

Anyway, these VHS screeners sent out apparently also contained some extra promotional material intended to fancy up the marketing. In this case, a six and half minute promo of a stiff as fuck Chucky salesman breaking into a rap about his movie and the cheese is so delicious my friends. Also, you gotta appreciate the gangster aspect of good ole’ Chucky taunting both Freddy and Jason in this promo.

“Jason? HA! He’s so scared of me, he’s gotta hide behind a mask.”

Beautiful. Check the video out below uploaded by YouTube channel DoctorSnowcone!

Fright Rags Launches Wickedly Retro Child’s Play Collection!

In case you’ve been living inside Gollum’s cave of blissful ignorance, renowned specialty horror tee company Fright Rags is the bee’s knees when it comes to horror shirts. From brilliantly awesome images on the soft quality tees, buttery-soft lounge pants, and kick-ass enamel pins, Fright Rags continues to outdo themselves seemingly at least twice a month.

With the online store constantly updating their merch, I feel like I should have a goddamn Fright Rags fund jar set up next to my rent monies. Yes, it’s that bad.

 

Fright Rags Launches Wicked Child's Play Collection!

 

Anywho, this past Wednesday, the website that will force me to declare bankruptcy in the near future, launched an officially licensed Child’s Play collection that will make any fan of the original films drool all over their Good Guy overalls. The Chucky Collection includes four new tees, two pairs of socks, and FIVE enamel pins (including a RED VARIANT pin of the iconic Good Guys Feet)! Featuring original artwork by Eddie Holly, Nathan Milliner, Jason Edmiston, Matthew Skiff, Matt Ryan Tobin, and Sara Deck, the collection is available right now!

 

Fright Rags Chucky