‘Child’s Play’ (1988): You Can’t Keep a Good Guy Down


With Cult of Chucky gearing up for a world premiere this fall, 1428 Elm is looking back at all of the films in the Child’s Play series starting with the 1988 original.

This last week saw the release of the awesome trailer for the new Cult of Chucky film. To celebrate Chucky’s return I decided to take a look back at all of the Child’s Play films and why we love them. So, sit back and let us discuss everybody’s favorite red-headed serial killer doll!

The original Child’s Play  was released on November 9th, 1988 and was directed by Tom Holland of Fright Night fame. It tells the story of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, also known as the Lakeshore Strangler as he terrorizes Chicago. Ray is cornered and gunned down by Detective Mike Norris in a toy store. As Ray is dying he invokes a voodoo curse which transfers his soul into a popular children’s toy, a Good Guy doll.

As the toy store goes up in flames Norris finds Ray’s body and it seems the reign of terror from the Lakeshore Strangler is over. Next we meet Andy Barclay, a curious six-year-old who lives with his mother. When we meet Andy we learn it is his birthday. Andy sees a Good Guy commercial on television and we see his eyes light up. He wakes his mother up and she gives him his birthday present.

You see and believe that a large box is a Good Guy doll, but Andy is disappointed to learn it is in fact clothes. Andy’s mother informs him that they were too expensive. As Andy’s mother goes to work a co-worker informs her of a peddler in the alley that is selling a Good Guy doll. With a deal too good to be true she buys the doll.

Courtesy of Universal

Still more reliable than purchasing from eBay.

Andy is elated with his new toy and takes him everywhere. As he is being babysat he begins to say bizarre things such as “Chucky wants to watch the news”, and whispers back in forth with his newfound friend. Andy is told they both have to go to bed, but when the babysitter exits and then reenters the living room Chucky is sitting in front of the television with Andy nowhere in sight.

The babysitter meets her untimely demise via a hammer to the face and the falling out of the window. When Andy’s mother returns home she is greeted to the Chicago Police Department and Detective Norris investigating the crime. Andy boldly tells Detective Norris that Chucky killed the babysitter.

The next day Chucky is whispering to Andy and we learn that Chucky has told Andy to skip school and go to a shady part of town. When they arrive Chucky exacts his revenge on his old partner Eddie Caputo via a gas line explosion for leaving him to die in the toy store.

Sweet revenge.

As the body count rises and the common denominator in them is Andy, he is placed into a mental hospital for observation. When Andy’s mother comes home she checks Chucky and discovers that his batteries were never put in. She demands he speak to prove her son is not crazy. Well she gets her wish. Chucky animates and latches onto her arm with his teeth and manages to escape.

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After convincing Detective Norris that Chucky is in fact alive, only after Chucky attempts to kill Norris in his car they set out to put a stop to Chucky’s murderous rampage. They learn that the peddler got the Chucky doll from the burned out toy store.

Meanwhile Chucky visits his voodoo teacher who tells him that the longer he stays in the body of the doll the more chance his soul has to be trapped forever. He informs Chucky that he must transfer his soul into the body of the person he revealed himself to first, which is Andy.

Chucky storms the hospital where Andy is being held. After knocking him out he attempts to transfer his soul to Andy, but he is stopped by Detective Norris and Andy’s mother. The final battle is waged and Chucky gets a great send off.

Next: It's All For You, Damien: Celebrating 'The Omen' (1976)

The original Child’s Play was a fresh and fun take on the killer doll story. With a great cast and the voice talents of Brad Dourif giving Chucky his signature voice, Child’s Play was a splattery good time. With five sequels and the new Cult of Chucky slated for release this year the old adage of “you can’t keep a good guy down” is true. Now say it with me friends, Ade Due Damballa.