Due to his seemingly never-ending film series, most movie-goers have at least heard of Chucky. Chucky is of course the killer doll from the Child’s Play series that came to life after the serial killer Charles Lee Ray transferred his soul into it. The series has spanned a total of seven movies and a remake that came out this year.
While the franchise varied in quality over the years, the original film directed by Tom Holland is often considered one of the most iconic horror films of the ‘80s. Even though Chucky is well known around the world, there are some things you might not know about the first movie. Here are 10 Things You Didn't Know About Child's Play.
10 Don Mancini Was Inspired by the Cabbage Patch Kids
There are a lot of movies today based on killer dolls, but back in the ‘80s, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini was inspired by the Cabbage Patch craze. Seeing how popular the toys were and how the marketing for them made people go crazy, Mancini decided to make a “dark satire about how marketing affected children”.
Mancini was also inspired by the Living Doll episode of The Twilight Zone, which featured an evil doll named Talky Tina. Chucky’s design was also clearly inspired by the My Buddy dolls, which made their debut in 1985.
9 Andy And Chucky Were Almost Blood Brothers
Horror buffs are pretty familiar with the origins of Chucky. Originally however, the script had a completely different premise. The movie was first called Batteries Not Included and later changed to Blood Buddy. The first script had a plotline about the dolls having realistic flesh that could rip and bleed like a human. Children would then have to buy Good Guy bandages in order to fix and take care of their toy.
Mancini has explained that the first idea was to have Andy accidentally cut his thumb, mixing his blood with Chucky’s (originally named Buddy). This brought the doll to life and caused Chucky to attack the people that Andy didn’t like, such as a mean babysitter or a teacher.
8 Tom Holland Wasn’t The Only Director Considered
After writer John Lafia retweaked certain parts of the script, the people behind Child’s Play felt confident enough to meet with directors. Tom Holland initially passed on the project, but he eventually agreed to direct the film. At the time, Tom Holland was most known for directing Fright Night.
Before Holland signed on however, there were other directors that Don Mancini and producer David Kirschner talked with. Kirschner revealed that he talked to William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist) as well as Irvin Kershner (director of The Empire Strikes Back).
7 Don Mancini Never Liked The Voodoo Plot Line
While Child’s Play is one of the most famous films featuring an evil doll, one element of the original film has always been odd: the voodoo. When Charles Lee Ray transfers his soul into a Good Guys doll, he uses a voodoo ritual to do so. It’s always been sort of a weird origin story, one that the filmmakers of the remake decided not to use. That being said, Don Mancini was never really a fan of the voodoo plotline.
Writer John Lafia says it wasn’t his idea though, saying his original idea was to have an inmate on death row transfer his soul into a Good Guys doll as he was being executed.
6 It Took 11 People To Control Chucky
While animatronics and CGI are commonly used today, they were both up and coming technologies when Child’s Play was being filmed. The majority of the scenes were filmed with an animatronic puppet, but it wasn’t the easiest thing to use. It took 11 different people to control Chucky, with a different person handling each part of his body to his legs to his eyebrows.
Special effects shop supervisor Howard Berger once recalled it took them 27 takes to just get Chucky to hit a button to electrocute a doctor. Chucky’s aluminum fingers would often poke through the latex fingers, which ultimately started eating up costs.
5 They Set Ed Gale On Fire
While an animatronic doll was used for many of the scenes, some of the more complex scenes were filmed using Ed Gale. The effect was pulled off by building the sets 30% bigger, but most people can still tell someone is behind the Chucky mask.
Gale was also the actor to wear the Chucky costume when they had to do fire sequences. Each take with fire would last around 45 seconds, but the actor got more injured when he needed to be pulled up a fireplace for a shot. The crew pulled the actor up, but accidentally dropped him 6-8 feet, which injured his back.
4 Jessica Walter Almost Voiced Chucky
Today Brad Dourif is most known for the role of Charles Lee Ray and the voice of Chucky. Dourif has voiced Chucky in every Child’s Play movie to date, except for this year’s remake, where he was replaced by Mark Hamill. Since the voice of the demon in The Exorcist had been by Mercedes McCambridge, Tom Holland thought they should go with a woman for the voice of Chucky.
As Holland described it, “I tried to use an electronic overlay to the voice, like a Robbie the Robot kind of thing, because that’s how the toys with sound chips worked.” When it came time for Mancini to see the first cut of the film, it was Jessica Walter’s voice heard instead of Dourif’s.
3 Chucky Almost Had A Theme Song
The Good Guys dolls are advertised as being children's toys, so it would make sense to give the toy a theme song for marketing purposes like commercials. While the full song didn’t make it into the final cut of the film, Chucky did have his own theme song.
The song was composed by Joe Renzetti, who wrote the score of the film, while the lyrics were performed by Simon Stokes. The song would have played during the closing credits, but was taken out since it was thought to be too silly. This was yet another idea that the remake stole from the original plans for the 1988 Child’s Play, as Mark Hamill sings a Buddi song during the film's credits.
2 Chucky Was Also Played By Alex Vincent’s Sister
Ed Gale played Chucky for some of the more complex scenes of the film, while animatronics were used for the majority of closeup shots. However, Alex Vincent’s sister dressed up as Chucky to film one scene.
She can be seen in the movie as Chucky when the killer doll is chasing Maggie down the hallway. It’s unknown why she was chosen, but it was likely because Gale looked too big to be a doll when running behind the actress.
1 Tom Holland Has A Cameo
Tom Holland is mainly known for his work in the horror genre and actually has more acting credits to his name than directing credits. Tom Holland also appears in Child’s Play… sort of. Holland has two cameo roles of sorts, one being the host of the Good Guys program, but you can only hear his voice.
Andy Barclay’s dad isn’t present in the movie, but a picture of his father can be seen briefly inside Karen’s room and Andy’s room. The man in the photograph is none other than Tom Holland.