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Child's Play (20th Anniversary)
DVD disk
09.15.2008 By: Mathew Plale
Child's Play (20th Anniversary) order
Director:
Tom Holland

Actors:
Brad Dourif
Alex Vincent
Catherine Hicks

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After a serial killer (Dourif) transports his soul into a kid's doll named Chucky, he eyes a young boy (Vincent) as his spirit's next home.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What sort of kid would want a redheaded doll anyhow? Nevermind that Chucky is a frustrated serial killer with pent-up homosexuality (do you hear the excitement in his voice when he says, “I got a date with a six-year-old boy!”), no kid could possibly find a playpal in a doll with a burnt-orange top.

Unless that kid is Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), a lonely six-year-old who spends half the day shifting in his overalls waiting for the new episode of the ‘Good Guy’ cartoon show. His one birthday wish is for a talking Good Guy, which he receives one night from his mother (Catherine), a widow living paycheck-to-paycheck. Good and well until the doll, Chucky (voice of Brad Dourif), turns on the nine o’clock news all by himself…

But now, in 2008—20 years after serial killer Charles Lee Ray (that’s Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray) voodoo’d his soul into two pounds of plastic—now that we’re all grown up and don’t play with toys anymore, Child’s Play just isn’t scary. It’s just “that killer doll movie” we used to close our eyes during when we stumbled upon it on TV. This might be because I’m not seven anymore and Chucky’s not moving by himself anymore, or it might be because it was never all that scary to begin with; regardless, I’m scoping each scene for wires and a bearded guy pushing buttons.

Evil dolls may not always be scary. Remember Talky Tina from the ‘Living Doll’ episode of The Twilight Zone? The tricycle-riding puppet from Saw has already become a parody of itself. And Chucky, in his last two big-screen appearances (Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky), has all but lost his horror icon status, trading it in for a shot at stand-up comedy. Child’s Play survives today with its generation for one reason: the nostalgia factor.

But is that really a fault? There’s no shame in attending Monster Mania solely to reminisce with other fans about how convincing Kevin Yagher’s animatronics are, or admitting you locked up your My Buddy or Kid Sister every night so it wouldn’t call your mom a “slut” or slam a hammer into your babysitter’s face.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks, and “Chucky” Designer Kevin Yagher: Some interesting stories are thrown around, but it’s an overall jerky listen since Vincent’s commentary was recorded separately.

Audio Commentary with Producer David Kirschner and Screenwriter Don Mancini: This would be the track to listen to (if any), as it’s filled with tidbits from the production.

Scene Specific Chucky Commentary: Chucky offers his not-so-insightful thoughts for four clips, titled ‘Chucky’s Thoughts,’ ‘The Advantages of Being Chucky,’ ‘Chucky on Filmmaking,’ and ‘Up Close and Personal with Chucky,’ where he’s joined by Don Mancini.

Evil Comes in Small Packages (25:20) divides itself into three sections, complete with on-set & rehearsal footage and interviews with writers Mancini and John Lafia, producer Kirschner, actors Sarandon, Dourif, Hicks, and Vincent: The Birth of Chucky, which covers the evolution of the script; Creating the Horror, where the stars reflect on the production; and Unleashed, a look at the release of Child’s Play in 1988.

Chucky: Building a Nightmare (10:03) takes a look at the animatronics used in Child’s Play. Interviews with Kirschner, Tom Savini, and others are included.

A Monster Convention (5:25): This featurette takes us to Monster Mania 2007, where Vincent, Hicks, and Sarandon sit down for a cast reunion panel.

Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child’s Play (6:10): This vintage featurette goes beyond your standard promotional piece by providing behind-the-scenes footage of the special effects team at work with Chucky.

Rounding out the Chucky’s 20th Birthday Edition are Trailers and a Photo Gallery.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I don't expect Child's Play to get a better DVD release than this. Fans will love the special features, but the biggest draw here is that this is the first time the film has been available in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
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