Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DVD REVIEW: Child's Play (Chucky's 20th Birthday Edition)

The other day I bought Child's Play (Chucky's 20th Birthday Edition) from Walmart for $6.00. I mostly wanted it for the Special Features. So instead of reviewing the movie - because I know everyone has already seen it - I'm just going to review the Special Features.

Evil Comes in Small Packages is a group of vignettes featuring Don Mancini, Tom Holland, John Lafia, David Kirschner, Kevin Yahger, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks and Alex Vincent talking about their experiences on the set and how Chucky was brought to life.

The first vignette, The Birth of Chucky, is about the Child's Play script and how the story was developed. The second, Creating the Horror, is about the casting of the characters and their experiences on the set. The third, Unleashed, is about the release of the film.

Chucky: Building a Nightmare is a short feature about how they made Chucky. Everyone I previously listed were included, with the addition of FX experts Tom Savini, Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gills.

A Monster Convention is a recording of a cast reunion panel at Monster Mania 2007, featuring Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and Chris Sarandon.

There is a vintage featurette included titled Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child's Play, filmed when they were making the movie.

The theatrical trailer is also included. And there is a photo gallery which is mostly comprised of stills from the movie, but also includes a few interesting pictures taken on the set.

There are also a few different commetaries. One featuring Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and Kevin Yahger, one with David Kirschner and Don Mancini, and a few on selected scenes with Chucky.

Here are some interesting things I learned about Child's Play:
  • It was inspired by the Living Doll episode of The Twilight Zone. Don Mancini wanted to write a script where the doll was treated as a full-fledged character.
  • The original script was titled Batteries Not Included, but was changed to Blood Buddy when they found out that Steven Speilberg was making a movie of the same name.
  • In the original script Good Guys dolls were filled with synthetic blood. Andy cut his finger and Chucky's to do a blood brothers ritual and that is when Chucky came to life. Chucky's killing spree was a supernatural manifestation of Andy's ID, murdering people who Andy felt unexpressed rage towards.
  • The original script was a dark satire of children's marketing. Karen Barclay was supposed to be the advertising executive behind the Good Guys campaign to make the satire more obvious. But her character was changed to a recently divorced single mother so Andy would appear troubled and the audience wouldn't know if he was crazy or if Chucky was real.
  • They considered putting a beard shadow on Chucky to show his change from plastic doll to living doll.
  • They were going to only use Brad Dourif for the opening scene and then hire a woman to do Chucky's voice, but it sounded horrible so they begged Dourif to come back.
  • Catherine Hicks met her husband, Kevin Yahger, on the set. They have been married for 17 years and have one child.
Overall, the Special Features are interesting and a good length, all of them being 10-15 minutes long. But Don Mancini mentionned that the original film was well over two hours long and it was cut down to an hour and a half. And I'm pretty disappointed that they didn't include any deleted scenes, since those are always my favourite part of Special Features and usually the only part I watch. If you're a huge Child's Play fan the Special Features are definitely worth buying the DVD (it's only $6). But I'm going to give it a 4 because of the lack of deleted scenes.

Rating: 4/5 (I would give Child's Play the film 5/5)

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