Taglines: This doll is killer.
On the night of November 9, 1988, serial killer and wanted fugitive Charles Lee Ray is seen running through the streets of Chicago’s South Side. After his accomplice Eddie manages to escape, he is left to fend for himself. After he is fatally shot in a toy shop by Chicago homicide detective Mike Norris, Charles transfers his soul into a ‘Good Guy’ doll via a spell. This causes lightning to strike inside the shop to explode. After this, Mike, who survives the explosion, finds Charles’ body.
The next day, a widow named Karen Barclay purchases the same doll (now known as Chucky) for her six-year-old son Andy from a peddler. That night, Karen’s co-worker Maggie Peterson babysits Andy. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. Maggie had stopped Chucky from getting live updates on his former accomplice Eddie Caputo, who abandoned Charles when he transferred his soul. As a result, the police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation.
The next morning, Chucky orders Andy to skip school and take the train downtown. While Andy is urinating, Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot light but turning up the gas. Eddie is killed in the explosion. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a mental hospital by Dr. Ardmore until further notice. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her hand, and escapes. She then finds Mike at the station and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. After almost being killed by Chucky in his car, Mike finally agrees to help Karen.
Chucky goes to John, Charles Lee Ray’s former voodoo teacher. When Chucky asks why he is able to bleed, John informs him that the longer his soul remains trapped within the doll, the more human the doll will become; in order to escape the doll’s body, Chucky must possess the first person to be told of his possession with that being Andy. When John rejects Chucky’s plea for help, Chucky fatally stabs John using John’s own voodoo doll. Chucky escapes just before Karen and Mike arrive on the scene. Before dying, John tells them that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.
Child’s Play is a 1988 American supernatural slasher film written by Tom Holland, Don Mancini, and John Lafia, and directed by Holland. It is the first film in the Child’s Play franchise and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif. Hicks plays a widowed mother who gives her son a doll for his birthday, unaware that the doll is possessed by a notorious killer’s soul.
The film was released on November 9, 1988, and grossed more than $44 million against a production budget of $9 million. Along with the film gaining a cult following, the box office success spawned a franchise consisting of five sequels and comic books. Child’s Play was the only film in the series released by MGM/UA, as the rights to the series were sold to Universal Studios in 1990, right before production on Child’s Play 2 started.
Child’s Play (1988)
Directed by: Tom Holland
Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif, Ed Gale, Dinah Manoff, Jack Colvin, Neil Giuntoli, Juan Ramírez
Screenplay by: Don Mancini, John Lafia, Tom Holland
Production Design by: Daniel A. Lomino
Cinematography by: Bill Butler
Film Editing by: Roy E. Peterson, Edward Warschilka
Costume Design by: April Ferry
Set Decoration by: Cloudia Rebar
Music by: Joe Renzetti
Distributed by: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, United Artists
Release Date: November 9, 1988