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Happy 30th Birthday Chucky!
By James Whittington, Friday 9th November 2018
Childs Play

When you were a child, did you ever think that your toys came to life when you were asleep? Or, did you even think they could come alive and gut you like a fish? This second idea is the premise behind Child's Play, one of the most successful slasher series of all time.

OK, the idea of a killer doll or toy wasn't new, one only has to look back at movies like Dead of Night (1945), Magic (1978), and The Pit (1981) and countless episodes from anthology shows, but the way Child's Play was done totally straight gave it that special edge over what had come before.

Written and directed by genre master Tom Holland, Child's Play was based on an idea from Don Mancini and quickly become a slasher favourite thanks to its fast paced premise and slices of jet-black humour. A serial killer labelled the "Lakeshore Strangler" is but moments from death after being shot by the local police. He uses an ancient spell to transfer his soul into a large "Good Guys" doll with the plan to transfer into a real body just as soon as he can. Unfortunately for him he's sold and becomes a present for a young boy, Andy. So begins a deadly game of cat and mouse and possession.

With a cast that included Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif as bad guy Charles Lee Ray and the voice of Chucky, the movie was a huge hit across the globe. Audiences loved the fast-talking smart-ass Chucky who had a vicious streak to rival that of any Jason, Freddy or Michael.

Chucky was given no morals, no nice side that the audience could sympathize with, instead he was a cold-hearted killer with only two things in mind; to survive and be "reborn" into another body. Its this selfish and twisted side to Chucky that makes it truly chilling.

Viewed thirty years since original release the film does look slightly dated but its concept is smart enough to remain engaging and let's face it, Dourif is on top form as the voice of the little monster. This wouldn't be the same without him performing Chucky's lines, a bit like Freddy being played by anyone else, sorry Jackie Earle Haley.

As we all know a sequel soon arrived and in 1990 Child's Play 2 and set just two years after the first and like the original quickly made back its money and so Child's Play 3 followed a year later and was the first of the series to falter it wouldn't be until 1998 until the next movie came around and this time Jennifer Tilly was on hand to play Charles Lee Ray's girlfriend, Tiffany. She added a welcome fresh twist and anarchy to the series which was also the first to be directed by Don Mancini. From here on in, she would become a focus for some of the franchise.

Seed of Chucky in 2004 gave the little terror a child, the gender confused Glen/Glenda who would end up being as deadly as his/her parents. It wouldn't be until 2013 where Curse of Chucky took the series back to its original rawness and gave us the character of wheelchair bound Nica played by Brad Douriff's daughter, Fiona. One of the strongest of all the movies it gave the series a new direction. Cult of Chucky in 2017 continued Fiona's story as well as introducing the idea of "multiple Chucky's"!

The story doesn't end here though as Mancini is planning a TV series based on the film franchise but there's is also a remake of the original movie, not connected to any of the original crew in the pipeline. Only time will tell if this new Chucky will be our "Friend till the end!"

Fact fans might like to know Charles Lee Ray's name was derived from the name s of three notorious killers; Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray.


Related show tags: CULT OF CHUCKY, CURSE OF CHUCKY, PSYCHO II, SEED OF CHUCKY
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Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

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Horror Channel marks February weekends with eight action-packed premieres
Posted on Wednesday 15th January 2020

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Horror Channel beams in Captain Sulu for "George Takei selects Star Trek" on Saturday January 25
Posted on Monday 6th January 2020

George Takei, the legendary Star Trek actor, personally introduces some of his favourite Sulu episodes from the Original Series.

"George Takei selects Star Trek" will take over Horror Channel on Saturday 25 January, from 3pm, showing four specially selected episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series.

Here are George's chosen episodes with transmission order:

3pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - The Naked Time
A rescue party goes to save some scientists on a dying planet, but they are all dead when the team arrives. Can McCoy save the day?

4.05pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - Shore Leave
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10 of the best from 2019!
Posted on Sunday 22nd December 2019

The last 12 months has been a prime year for the horror genre fan with titles that stretched well-trodden ideas mixed with some truly original pieces.

We've had sequels, remakes, and more than our fair share of true oddities and for once the good outweighed the bad.

Here in no particular order are ten of the best the year had to offer either at festivals, in cinema or home entertainment.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot
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Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season
Posted on Tuesday 10th December 2019
Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season - a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski's hard-core hospital horror The Void and Jackson Stewart's throwback paranormal fantasy Beyond the Gates, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls and Lowell Dean's stylish, rage-fuelled WolfCop.

There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi's terrifying and moving horror thriller Hostile and channel premieres for Barry Levinson's brutal and ...

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Seasonal shocks aplenty on Horror in December including UK premiere of Tyler MacIntyre's Patchwork.
Posted on Thursday 21st November 2019

Wayward werewolves, genetic mutants, a female Frankenstein, man-eating spiders and the return of The Creeper... Horror Channel provides plenty of seasonal shocks in December, including the UK TV premiere for Tyler MacIntyre's incandescent comic horror Patchwork, a modern spin on Mary Shelley mythology, mixed with fun gore and a cheeky tone. It received rapturous applause when first screened in the UK at FrightFest Glasgow 2016 and will delight fans of classic 1980's scream fests.

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Renowned Author and critic Kim Newman takes us on a nostalgic trip through Horror Channel's Classic Monster Marathon Day on Sunday 24 November.
Posted on Tuesday 19th November 2019

When Universal Pictures secured the rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula, the property had just been made popular by a Broadway theatre adaptation. Stage star Bela Lugosi got his career-making (and-defining) gig as the Count ('I... am... Dracula') because Lon Chaney, star of Universal's silent Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame, had died and left a gap few thought anyone would ever fill. At the time, the industry classed Dracula as 'a mystery play', lumping it in with the old dark house spookiness of The Cat and the Canary. After the first talkie vampire became a big hit, folks started talking about 'horror films' and 'monster movies' - and the genre as we know it nearly ninety years later was founded. With Dr...

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All you need to know about Horror Channel's Classic Monsters Marathon!
Posted on Monday 11th November 2019

On Sunday 24th of November, Horror Channel is celebrating the beginnings of cinema horror with Classic Monsters Marathon.

Kicking off at 1pm, it features some of the most iconic monster movies of all-time, including: Ted Browning and Karl Freund's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the infamously seductive Count, James Whale's genre-defining Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Karl Freund's mesmerising The Mummy, with Boris Karloff further establishing himself as one of the great horror stars in film history, The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney, Jr. as the original werewolf and the pulp horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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10 things you might not know about Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Posted on Saturday 26th October 2019

It's the one where no one came home. It's the one without Michael Myers. It's the one that stalled at the box-office but gained a huge cult following over the last 37 years or so!

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Sinister, Terrifier and Tower Block amongst Horror Channel premieres in November
Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Psycho clowns, demented dolls and deadly snipers... Horror Channel is big on scares in November with eleven Channel premieres including murderous supernatural chiller Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, Damien Leone's screamingly shocking Terrifier and the riveting urban thriller Tower Block, starring Sheridan Smith and Jack O'Connell.

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13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 8th October 2019

For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.

Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...

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"We are all aliens until we get to know one another". Space 1999 lands on Horror
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019

Imagine it is the 1970s, the space race has been won and news of trips to the moon are fading from public interest. But you want to see more than just people playing golf and taking rock samples there. You want to see the human race make a base there, to use it as a launch pad to help reach further into space and maybe one day we could populate it.

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