The Child’s Play series has always been a little more fantasy based when compared with some of its contemporaries like Halloween or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Because the killer is a living doll, audiences are immediately more accepting of increasingly violent, imaginative and absurd ways of dispatching people. Over the course of six films, Chucky has used a variety of weapons in a variety of situations. Some of these kills are planned, but most come from him having to think on his little feet.
The Child’s Play series isn’t always as gory as some of its counterparts but as evidenced by the scenes below, we know that Chucky can hold his own. He is a sadistic, psychotic killer who isn’t afraid to use his size to his advantage. Here are ten of the most imaginative kills from the Child’s Play franchise.
Father Frank (Curse of Chucky)
This death is memorable for the buildup alone. We’ve seen Chucky’s tiny hand move up to the table and poison one of the bowls of chili at this big family dinner but we don’t know which bowl. The tension mounts and continues to do so as we try to figure out who has been poisoned. It’s only when the Father gets up suddenly and says he’s not feeling well that we figure it out. On his way home, he gets in a serious car accident. When the paramedics try and lift him out of the car, they take off his head. After being out of practice for a decade, this was a great way to reintroduce Chucky to audiences. [Editor’s Note: Having been on set for a portion of this production and getting the opportunity to see this scene orchestrated practically made watching it unfold even more amusing].
John Ritter plays a pretty awful, antagonistic character in Bride of Chucky. Just about everything he does makes the audience anticipate his death more and more. And they should not be disappointed, as they get to see him die twice. First, he has nails shoved through his face (Chucky quips “why does that look so familiar?”) and when that doesn’t kill him, Chucky goes to town on him with a knife. It’s the first part of the death that makes this list more than the second. Sending those nails flying up into his face might be physically impossible, but it’s inventive nonetheless and a good callback to a certain horror franchise
While he sounds like a video game villain, Botnick is actually the barber at the Kent Military Academy, played by Andrew Robinson of Dirty Harry and Hellraiser. His character was completely over-the-top and really added something to the movie, so giving him a proper sendoff was important. He spots the doll in his office. Then he looks to make sure no one’s around to see and decides to give the doll a haircut. Before he can disturb Chucky’s gorgeous ginger locks, the little monster slits Botnick’s throat with his own razor. It’s a weird and surreal sequence but it’s also kind of a riot.
Mr. Sullivan was introduced in the second film as the owner of Play Pals Toys Inc., the company responsible for not only creating the Good Guy doll but also sweeping the Andy Barclay case and all of the bodies that go along with it under the rug. On his mad rush to get to Andy, Chucky forgets to kill Sullivan off in the second film and so he corrects that mistake at the beginning of the third. The brand new Good Guy of the 90’s was gifted to Sullivan so he takes it home to his lavish penthouse apartment.
It’s full of toys, which makes sense as Sullivan creates them for a living. Chucky uses the environment to his advantage. He hits Sullivan with a club, makes him trip on marbles, assaults him with remote control action figures and finally strangles him with a Yo-Yo. Chucky kills the old bastard with his own toys. It’s as fitting a death as there could be for the man who was about to put the doll back on the market.
Unfortunately, we never get to know too much about the night watchman except that he’s really bad at his job. He’s got plenty of cameras in front of him. There have been two kids and a doll running around the factory for some time before we’re even made aware of this guy’s existence. He only takes notice when he gets an alert for faulty equipment. Turns out it’s the equipment that does him in. Chucky knocks him onto the assembly line and there he meets his demise. Two doll eyes lower down, stabbing through his own and pushing them inward. It’s easily the grossest scene in the film but also one of the most memorable.
Child’s Play 3 constantly builds up Colonel Cochran as a highly decorated, seasoned war veteran who has seen a lot of stuff in his day and is about as tough as a man can be. He’s the guy that all the wannabe soldiers look up to and the guy whose authority is respected by everyone. All of this serves the eventual punchline that is his death. After two tours in ‘Nam and all the supposedly awful things he has seen in his time, when Chucky bursts out and raises his knife Cochran promptly has a heart attack and dies on the spot.
The death given to Tiffany in Bride of Chucky was actually supposed to be the first Chucky kill of the entire series, as it was originally written for Maggie in the first Child’s Play. It works better for Tiffany, though. It’s also a weird kill for Chucky because it’s done as much out of love as it is out of rage. She’s really only dead for a moment or two before he brings her back as a doll like himself. Still, it counts. In the scene, she’s taking a bath and watching Bride of Frankenstein on the TV. Chucky bursts in and pushes the TV into the water with her, electrocuting her to death. This one’s kind of her fault though, I mean, who has a TV in their bathroom?
Maggie is Karen Barclay’s best friend which makes her like an aunt to Andy. She has a fun, lively personality and looks like she might serve as the comic relief in the movie. Instead, she becomes Chucky’s first victim. The majority of this scene plays out through the doll’s POV. We see almost nothing of Chucky himself during the attack. This is a smart decision as it prolongs the suspense of seeing the doll come to life for the first time, but also makes it seem like either Chucky or Andy could be the killer. He sneaks up on Maggie, whacks her over the head with a Good Guy hammer and sends her flying back through the window and down to the street below. It was a big, dramatic note with which to kick off the franchise.
Chucky has always had a bit of a problem with authority figures, so of course he targets Andy’s nasty third grade teacher, who has already made an example out of the boy on his first day of school. It harkens back to the original intent of the franchise, which was that Chucky was going to be a manifestation of Andy’s id, taking out the people Andy subconsciously felt had wronged him. Even without that, the scene works. Here, he’s doing it as much to screw with Andy as he is to satisfy his own bloodlust. Killing someone with a ruler may not seem like the most inventive death in the world, but it all comes down to context. In this situation, it’s the most inventive and appropriate death for the situation, giving a teacher a taste of her own medicine.
Not only the most inventive death scene in the Child’s Play franchise, but also one of the most inventive deaths in horror film history. The man who taught Charles Lee Ray all he knows about voodoo comes to immediately regret his decision when Chucky visits him as a doll and kills John with his own tools. This is all black magic that he taught Chucky to use in the first place, now being spit back in his face. The scene was by far the most supernaturally inclined kill in the whole series, but it is also one of the most remembered. That’s because it works. Chucky really draws this one out. First he breaks the doll’s leg, then its arm and finally stabs it through the heart while we witness the same things happen to poor old John.