''Child's Play'' was inspired by Trilogy of Terror and Twilight Zone

The creators drew from the dolls that had terrified them on TV.

CBS Television Distribution

He's your friend 'til the end!

At least, that's what was promised in the 1988 horror movie Child's Play, which introduced the world to a new horror icon: Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray, a murderous little doll possessed by the soul of a serial killer. Chucky is, in turns, hilarious and horrifying, making sharp quips while killing people in increasingly creative ways. These days, he's right up there with Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Freddy Krueger when people think of classic slasher villains.

Screenwriter Don Mancini had come up with the concept while still a student in college. The Cabbage Patch Craze was alive and well, and the lengths that people would go through to get this toy unsettled Mancini. 

"I wanted to write a dark satire about how marketing affected children," Mancini said. "Cabbage Patch was really popular. I put the two impulses together."

However, just having an evil doll isn't enough. It needs to be a terrifying evil doll. For that, the crew looked at the kinds of scary dolls that had haunted their own dreams.

"Being a horror fan all of my life, I had seen Trilogy of Terror, I had seen the Talky Tina episode of The Twilight Zone, and I knew the killer doll trope," Mancini said. "But what I realized was that it had never been done as a feature-length film in the age of animatronics."

"Talky Tina terrified me as a kid," added Executive Producer David Kirschner.

Tom Holland (no, not the guy from Spiderman), the Co-Writer and Director said "I quoted Trilogy of Terror to everyone. I basically got involved with this movie due to the sequence, 'Prey,' and how they put a camera on a skateboard for a doll to terrorize Karen Black, shaking it from side to side. It looked terrific."

With six sequels, a remake (starring Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky), a TV series, comic books, and a video game, Chucky will be carrying on the legacy of creepy dolls for a long, long time.

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Henderson 9 months ago
Loved talky Tina. Just wished at the end when she was laying next to Telly Savalas at the bottom of the stairs she should've said " I told you I was going to kill you"
Tresix 9 months ago
Another doll that scared me was the one from “The Doll” episode of “Night Gallery”. It doesn’t move or talk on camera, but it looks so creepy (like Bette Davis in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”).
4thtroika 9 months ago
I'd love to see the original script. Sounds like it would be good.
Runeshaper 9 months ago
YIKES! lol Interesting information on the creation of the character.
Bapa1 9 months ago
I'm not a big horror fan, but my nephew at the time was. I took him to see the first Child's Play movie, and I thought it was funny.
MrsPhilHarris 9 months ago
I can’t remember anything about Child’s Play. I’m not even sure I have seen it.
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