Killer dolls are popular once again and now seems like a better time than ever for Chucky to enter stage left and remind people that once upon a time he was the plastic maniac with a butcher knife. 1988’s “Child’s Play” is still a mini-classic that dabbles in the killer doll sub-genre and offers up its own twist. It’s essentially a slasher movie through and through, but it has small doses of the supernatural, and mysterious to add some kind of logic to the origin of Chucky. Brad Douriff’s turn as Chucky is immortal as he plays serial killer Charles Lee Ray, a man who is chased by police during a robbery. After being mortally wounded during a shoot out, Ray ducks in to a toy store and finds no other option but to summon magic to keep himself alive. Said magical incantation allows his soul to be transferred in to a popular doll named the “Good Guy Doll.”
Convinced Charles Lee Ray died the police try to move on as the tainted doll is stolen. We cut to working single mom Karen Barclay whose son Andy is reaching his next birthday. All he wants is the in high demand Good Guy Doll, and it’s sadly sold out. That is until she’s taken to the person who stole the tainted doll. Unaware of its past, she buys it for Andy, and soon mysterious events begin to occur around the house, including Andy talking to the doll he calls Chucky, and inevitably the unusual deaths of trusted friends that Andy begins to blame on Chucky. As it becomes apparent Chucky is alive, Karen begins trying to find a way to end the doll’s reign of terror, all the while Chucky begins going on his own mission looking for a way to get his soul out of the doll before he becomes permanently stuck in the body.
Tom Holland’s horror film isn’t as great as it’s usually buzzed to be by horror fans, but it’s a neat diversion with a very creative premise that works thanks to Holland’s direction, and the brilliant performance by Douriff. Even as a voice actor, Douriff’s menace and smarmy evil comes through when the doll is angrily screeching at Andy, or stalking him in a local hospital. The work of puppetry, body doubles, and animatronics still works in the favor of the maniacal doll, as Holland’s ace direction brings the character to life, making him one unpredictable and slimy movie maniac. “Child’s Play” hasn’t aged much at all, as it is still a fine horror movie with a great cast and very well realized narrative.
The collector’s edition two Disc from Scream Factory comes with a reversible cover with new art. Disc One of the release comes with three audio commentaries. There’s a new one with director Tom Holland, who comes on board for this commentary but is missing from most of the supplemental features from past releases. There’s a second commentary with Alex Vincent, co-star Catherine Hicks, and “Chucky” designer Kevin Yagher, a commentary with producer David Kirschner and screenwriter Don Mancini. Finally, there’s a commentary with Chucky, who offers commentary during select scenes. On Disc Two, there’s a whole series of featurettes about Making Chucky. There’s “Behind-The Scenes Special Effects Footage” clocking in at an hour in length, which garners a of raw home video footage from the effects warehouse, the various stages of building the character, animatronic work, and there is footage of the crew filming various scenes from the movie.
“Howard Berger: Your Special Effects Friend ‘Til The End” is a forty minute talk with Howard Berger, the man who is the B in KNB effects, who explores in detail the work on the set of “Child’s Play,” and the effects. It’s a very detailed discussion filled with great anecdotes, about he cast et al. There are more home videos from this segment on the set with various cast members. “Life Behind The Mask: Being Chucky” is a forty minute lengthy interview with actor Ed Gale, who played the body double for Chucky in scenes filmed at a distance, as well as stunts, and motion shots. He also talks about how they made the toy store looked stacked with Chucky Dolls, and delves in to some very good material for the fans to chew on.
“Evil Comes In Small Packages” is a twenty four minute carry over from a previous edition as the writer and producer leads a discussion about the movie. “Chucky: Building a Nightmare” is another transfer from a previous edition with archive footage of Kevin Yagher working on the animatronics of Chucky. “A Monster Convention” is another segment from previous editions. It’s a five minute look at the convention panel many years back with stars Catherine Hicks, Alex Vincent, and Chris Sarandon. “Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child’s Play” is another carry over; it’s a vintage “Making Of.” There’s a five minute “Vintage Featurettes” from the studio made during the film’s release. Finally there’s a TV Spot, the original Theatrical Trailer, a Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery, and a gallery of Posters and Lobby Cards.