Monsters Are Such Interesting People: The Chucky Saga (Part One)

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Child’s Play (1988) Andy wants a “Good Guy” doll for his birthday more than anything, but at a hundred bucks, that’s out of his single mom’s price range. But as luck would have it, she finds one at a discount from a homeless peddler. Little does anyone know that this doll is possessed by serial killer Charles Lee Ray, who transferred his soul into the doll as he lay shot on a toy store floor. No blood on the box or the doll though. Andy is thrilled with his new talking doll who calls himself “Chucky”, but the doll comes to life and throws the babysitter out of an apartment window on the very first night. In my favorite scene in the movie, young Andy explains to his grieving mother that Chucky said that “Aunt Maggie was a real bitch who got what she deserved.” Chris Sarandon (Fright Night) plays a cop who hints that Andy himself may be responsible for the accident, and even more so when another murder occurs. Andy soon gets wise to fact that Chucky is committing crimes and leaving him to take the blame. The mom eventually sees the doll in action, and tries to convince the cop, who happened to be the one who shot Charles Lee Ray in the first place. Meanwhile, Chucky has to transfer his soul into Andy or risk being trapped in a dolls body forever. Directed by Tom Holland, who had previous writing credits on Class of 1984, Psycho 2, and Fright Night. This was the first in the franchise that spawned five sequels, so far.

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Child’s Play 2 (1990) For unclear reasons that had to do with public relations, the company that produces the Good Guys dolls obtains the destroyed version of the accused killer doll “Chucky” and fixes it up good as new. It comes back to life, kills a buncha people and goes looking for Andy, the kid from the first film whose body the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray wishes to occupy. Andy is now in foster care after his mom was committed. When Chucky hits the scene, murders continue and Andy takes the blame. The parents don’t believe, but Andy teams up with fellow foster kid and troubled teenage girl Kyle. Jenny Agutter (An American Werewolf in London) plays the foster mom. Watch for a great kill scene involving a Xerox machine, and a great ending in the doll manufacturing factory and an assembly line. At least the dolls are made in Chicago and not Hong Kong! This was nearly as fun as the first.

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Child’s Play 3 (1991) How do they resurrect a destroyed doll with a soul yet again? Some blood got into the next batch of dolls, or does it really matter? Chucky continues his search for Andy, now 16, played by a different actor, and being roughed up as the new guy in military school. Chucky arrives on the scene and the bloody mischief begins, including switching paint-bullets for live ammo in a war games situation, and slashing up a sadistic barber, played by Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser). Chucky decides to make a younger student his target, so Andy, with all his Chucky-fighting experience, now becomes the protector. This finale takes place on a surprisingly detailed haunted rollercoaster at a pop-up carnival. Weakest entry so far, this one was directed by Jack Bender who would go on to work on Sopranos, Lost and Game of Thrones, to name a few.

 

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