Perhaps I mention this too much, but one more time couldn’t hurt: Child’s Play is my favorite horror film. It is one of my earliest memories of watching a horror feature, probably before I should have. Though it gave me recurring nightmares about Chucky trying to kill me, I couldn’t get enough of it, or its sequels. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Child’s Play was getting the coveted Scream Factory Blu-Ray treatment (just a few weeks ago, I raved about their release of Carrie). And this time, they are offering fans a little bit more than their usual releases contain with the deluxe limited edition, which streets on October 18, 2016.
The deluxe limited edition of Child’s Play consists of a 2-disc Blu-Ray with reversible insert sleeve; two slipcovers for the Blu-Ray; two 18″ x 24″ posters; and an exclusive new Good Guys Chucky figure from NECA. The first disc has a new 2k scan of the film from the interpositive, and like everything else that Scream Factory touches, it looks great. Some areas of the film do appear to be a lot more cleaned up than others, but the overall look of it is still beautiful, retaining that nice, soft aesthetic.
Also on the first disc are four commentaries, three of which are old ones carried over from a previous release. The newest commentary is with director Tom Holland, moderated by Nathaniel Thompson of Mondo Digital. I love listening to Holland talk about anything, but hearing him talk more at length about Child’s Play than I’ve heard before is amazing. He points out all the directorial choices he made that I’ve always admired about the film, and is still very proud of the movie to this day. He also seemed excited to just be watching the picture again, enjoying the suspense sequences and jump scares, often with hearty laughter. A highlight is when Holland pauses to watch the explosion of Eddie’s house and then just says, “That was fun.”
The second disc has many of the same featurettes from previous releases, along with the original theatrical trailer and an image gallery. The new features include two separate 40-minute interviews. “Howard Berger: Your Special Effects Friend ‘Til the End” is a look-back by the effects guru regarding the trials of working with the Chucky doll, and he has great memories to share about the making of the film and the people involved. I have always known that Chucky was in part played by a little person in a costume, but have never heard him talk about the role before, so I loved “Life Behind the Mask: Being Chucky,” an interview with actor Ed Gale. His perspective really adds a great new layer to the movie. I am a little disappointed that there aren’t newer interviews with people like Chris Sarandon, Don Mancini, or Alex Vincent.
The feature that surprisingly had me geeking out the most was the behind-the-scenes footage provided by Howard Berger. Most of the time, these BTS features are interesting, but kind of surface-level, and usually pretty short. That’s not true here. Thanks to Berger and Scream Factory, mega-fans like me are treated to an hour-long smorgasbord of raw BTS footage that is absolutely fascinating. The first thirty minutes or so are the special effects crew in their shop, building and testing out the various mechanics of the doll. The second half is footage from the actual filming of the movie for various scenes. Watching this feature, and actually seeing all of the time and work that went into making Chucky look believable on screen, really makes me think that Child’s Play should be regarded more so than it already is as an amazing achievement in practical effects.
But there’s still more to talk about! There is new artwork by Justin Osbourn that appears on the reverse side of the insert sleeve, the slipcover, and the poster. His creation is a beautiful rendition of evil Chucky with the burn mark, holding his voodoo knife, and towering over the Barclay’s living room–as if to say that true evil has taken over this innocent family. The other new piece of artwork is the Good Guys Dolls poster and slipcover, only available in the deluxe edition. This art was custom-made for this release and is a real treat for hardcore Child’s Play fans, just because it’s something different from all the other “scary” artwork featuring Chucky.
Also exclusive to the deluxe edition is the new Good Guy figure from NECA. The figure is 5 and a half inches tall and comes inside a 7-inch yellow Good Guys box, as seen in the film. The pictures that were released earlier of the figure don’t do it much justice because it looks like a much more screen accurate version of Chucky. I have one other Chucky doll from part 2, but have always wanted something that really captured the look of Chucky in the first film, when he looks best. I wish this figure was bigger, but I won’t complain too much.
The Child’s Play Deluxe Limited Edition is yet another great output from the folks at Scream Factory. It comes with a bit of a hefty price tag at $60, and is probably only for the diehard Child’s Play nerds like me. For those that still want the film but don’t have the cash, the Collector’s Edition is available for $25, and still comes with a poster of the Osbourn art while supplies last. However, I hope that this release–with the extra poster, slipcover and figure–is a success for Scream Factory because it would be great if they could include extra goodies like this in future releases, where appropriate. I can only give Scream Factory a resounding “THANK YOU” for putting such great effort into Child’s Play, a movie that will be my friend ’til the end.