Horror’s Icons: Chucky
THIS IS NO CHILD’S PLAY
In 1988, the movie Child’s Play was released and with it the horror world witnessed the creation of the world’s most infamous homicidal doll, Chucky. In the original film, a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), also known as the “Lakeshore Strangler”, is being chased by police and his accomplice flees the scene. Stranded, Ray enters a toy store where he is shot and slowly bleeding to death. He swears vengeance on the police that shot him and his partner that left him. Then he performs a ritual which transfers his soul into a Good-Guy doll while his human body eventually dies.
The following morning, Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) is preparing to celebrate his 6th birthday and wants nothing more than a Good-Guy doll, even though his mother Karen cannot afford to get one. However, after her friend heckles her, Karen purchases one from a street-peddler. This turns about to be the one that Ray possessed and that night, Chucky, as he is called, kills Karen’s friend while she is babysitting Andy.
The police believe Andy is responsible for the death although he denies it constantly. Chucky gets his vengeance on his partner and Andy is believed to be guilty again. Andy is committed to a mental hospital while Karen struggles with the recent events. Curious about Chucky, she inspects the doll and realizes there are no batteries in the doll. Eventually, Chucky comes to life and attacks Karen. The cop that has been working with the family eventually also gets attacked and now they try to find a way to stop Chucky.
They search for the man who taught Voodoo to Charles but Chucky finds him first. He explains to Chucky that if he does not transfer his soul soon, he will remain in that form forever. Chucky then kills the man and heads to off to find Andy to transfer his soul into his body. But the cop and Karen find the voodoo teacher before he dies and he explains what Chucky is trying to do. The two get to Chucky before he is successful in possessing Andy’s body and eventually kill him by shooting the doll in the heart.
WATCH OUT JACK, CHUCKY’S BACK
Chucky would return in Child’s Play 2 and continue his attempt to move his soul into Andy’s body. Andy is now living in a foster home and Chucky is remade by the doll’s manufacturer to try to prove that there is nothing wrong with the doll. After failing once again, Andy kills Chucky by pushing him into hot wax and putting a hose in his mouth which blows his head up.
Then, in Child’s Play 3, eight years have passed and Andy is in a military academy. The Good-Guy doll factory reopens and some of Chucky’s blood gets into the wax, recreating Chucky once again. Still trying to escape his doll form, Chucky seeks out Andy and tries to take his body once again. Chucky fails once more though and is destroyed when he is chopped into pieces.
CHUCKY GETS LUCKY
After Child’s Play 3, seven years would pass until Chucky would return with 1998’s Bride of Chucky. And this time he would not return alone. Set just six months after the last film, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), one of Charles Lee Ray’s former girlfriends, gets Chucky’s remains and stitches him back together. She resurrects Chucky and he then kills her and transfers her soul into a doll dressed as a bride. The two killer dolls force a young couple to bring them to Ray’s grave where Chucky plans to use an amulet to get a new body. The couple kill the dolls in the end but before Tiffany dies, she gives birth.
The newborn doll Tiffany gave birth to would be present in the next film in the franchise, Seed of Chucky. This film would see the child, Glen, resurrect Chucky and Tiffany but be disgusted by their murderous ways. They force a pregnancy on the actress Jennifer Tilly (playing herself) and speed it up with voodoo. Glen dismembers Chucky and when Tilly gives birth to twins, it gives Glen a male and female body to show both sides of his split personality. Chucky does survive though and mails one of his arms to Tiffany and Glen to strangle them. Strange, I know.
THE DOLL MAKES A COMEBACK
As the series turned into a horror-comedy joke, the franchise seemed dead. But, later this year, Chucky will be resurrected in Curse of Chucky, a straight to video release that promises a return to straightforward horror. The film will chronologically follow Child’s Play 3, before the franchise really took a turn for the worst.
The film will follow Nica (Brad Dourif’s daughter Fiona) as she grieves over her mother’s suicide. Her sister, Barb, arrives with her family to help settle their mother’s estate. As they butt heads over different issues, Barb’s daughter comforts herself with Chucky, who recently arrived mysteriously in the mail. Soon, the bloodshed begins and it seems as though Chucky is to blame, as he sets out to finish what he started long ago.
The movie will debut on VOD on September 24, 2013 and will be released on Blu Ray and DVD in the U.S. on October 8, 2013.
THE VOICE OF THE DOLL
Brad Dourif portrayed Charles Lee Ray in the original film and has voiced Chucky in every film of the Child’s Play series. Dourif’s voice for the killer doll is perfect as he gives the doll the perfect sense of craziness and attitude. His maniacal scream can send chills down a person’s spine while his hysterical laugh can be very unsettling. Dourif has made a simple doll frightful, unnerving, and humorous all by only being able to use his voice.
Dourif is a seasoned actor with many movies to his credit. Besides being the voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play franchise, he has had notable roles in films such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Mississippi Burning, Dune, The Lord of the Rings series, and Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. He has also had memorable roles in television series including Deadwood, The X-Files, Fringe, and Wilfred.
This episode of Horror’s Icons is done, but Chucky is far from finished. With the newest film to be released in less than a month, Chucky is set to make a comeback and, if this film is successful, more is sure to come. If your a fan of the series, especially the first three films, Curse of Chucky seems to be headed back to that style when Chucky was scary and not a comedy act. I just hope that turns out to be true. And if you want to upgrade your collection at the same time, look for the franchise’s Blu Ray collection that is also set to be released with most of the films making their Blu Ray debut.
But now that the pint-sized killer is done here, we turn our attention to a more modern horror villain. One that made his debut in 2004. I’m talking about John Kramer, a.k.a. Jigsaw, the mastermind behind the traps of the Saw franchise. He is such a great villain that his impact was felt in seven films, even though he was dead for four of them! Talk about leaving a legacy! But that is exactly what we like here with Horror’s Icons. See you next time.