TOY STORY

Fran­chise mas­ter­mind Don Mancini tells Red Alert about his lat­est toy story

SFX - - Red Alert -

For­get Annabelle. Cin­ema’s lead­ing killer doll is back in Cult Of Chucky.

CHUCKY’S GOT UN­FIN­ISHED BUSI­NESS

1 Curse Of Chucky saw ev­ery­one’s favourite pint-sized stran­gler get a new lease of life and a new neme­sis in trou­bled Nica (Fiona Dou­rif ). Cut to Cult Of Chucky and the killing shows no signs of stop­ping. “We pick up four years later with Nica’s story,” re­veals se­ries over­seer Don Mancini. “The end of Curse saw Nica tak­ing the rap for Chucky and sent to the loony bin. She be­lieves Chucky was a delu­sion and she her­self is the mur­derer but when her psy­chi­a­trist in­tro­duces a Good Guy doll as a ther­a­peu­tic tool, mayhem en­sues. Chucky does what he does,” he smiles. “He has un­fin­ished busi­ness. He wants to set­tle the score.”

HE’S BACK TO BE BAD

2 Hus­band, fa­ther, un­kil­l­able hor­ror icon… Chucky’s cer­tainly ex­pe­ri­enced some changes since he first hit screens in ’88. De­spite a few com­edy de­tours, Mancini’s happy to re­turn him to his roots. “I al­ways have to keep in mind Chucky as a threat and re­mind the au­di­ence what he’s ca­pa­ble of,” Mancini tells Red Alert. “The pa­tients all have cer­tain is­sues,” he adds. “They all project onto the doll dur­ing the course of their ther­apy so Chucky means some­thing dif­fer­ent to each of them. There are real lives at stake.”

HE’S DEAD­LIER THAN EVER

3 “That’s al­ways chal­leng­ing when you work in a genre like this,” ad­mits Mancini. “I imag­ine even Agatha Christie had a prob­lem dream­ing up new ways to kill peo­ple.” He’s got a point. It can’t be easy com­ing up with in­ven­tive deaths seven films into a hor­ror fran­chise. “You think of it as op­por­tu­nity be­cause you’re al­ways look­ing to sur­prise,” he coun­ters. “That’s part of the fun of putting Chucky into this sub-genre of the men­tal in­sti­tu­tion mind-fuck movie – it’s a whole new can­vas. We’ve never seen him in a world like this be­fore. Then there’s all the new weapons he’d have at his dis­posal in a hos­pi­tal...”

ANDY’S BACK

4 Brad Dou­rif’s back to give life to Chucky’s iconic vo­cal chords but this time he’s re­united with orig­i­nal neme­sis Andy Bar­clay as Child’s Play’s Alex Vin­cent of­fi­cially re­turns to the fran­chise. “He re­ally stepped up to the plate,” says Mancini on Vin­cent’s re­turn to the Chucky-verse. “He’s re­ally good and I think peo­ple are go­ing to be sur­prised. Andy is a very proac­tive char­ac­ter and his re­la­tion­ship with Chucky is com­pli­cated be­cause it goes back to chap­ter one. It’s in­ter­est­ing to see what’s go­ing on with them at this point in their re­la­tion­ship.”

CHUCKY ISN’T GO­ING ANY­WHERE

5 Chucky may be near­ing his 30th birth­day but that doesn’t mean he’s past it. If Mancini has any­thing to say about it, this Good Guy gone bad will be around for a long time to come. “I’m al­ways a lit­tle bit ahead, some­times way ahead,” says Mancini on fu­ture fran­chise plans. “Af­ter 30 years I have files of var­i­ous Chucky ideas, I think that’s one of the rea­sons for the char­ac­ter’s longevity. He’s just very ver­sa­tile. He can be plugged into all kinds of dif­fer­ent movies in dif­fer­ent tones, as we’ve shown. I hope he lives to stran­gle an­other day.”

Cult Of Chucky is avail­able on DVD, Blu-ray and dig­i­tal down­load from 23 Oc­to­ber.

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