Child's Play: The Don Mancini Cut

Featured
Updated
childsplaymancininew_front
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Never Take Anything for Granted.
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1988
Original Running Time:
87
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
82
Time Cut:
5
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Child's Play (1988) with a restructuring that aims to restore writer Don Mancini's original intentions of leaving it ambiguous during the first half whether Chucky is actually alive or not.
Intention:
When writer Don Mancini penned the early drafts of what would become Child's Play, he had something quite different in mind. Originally developed as "Batteries Not Included", then retitled "Blood Buddy" before settling on "Child's Play", Mancini's approach had several key differences from the finished film. For starters, there was no Charles Lee Ray and no voodoo, the doll was a sort of catalyst for Andy's darker traits (this all would get carried over to the 2019 remake, in quite a few ways closer to Mancini's story than the original film was), and most important, for quite a good chunk of the story the narrative played up the ambiguity of whether Chucky was actually alive or it was all in Andy's mind. Which in my mind is way more interesting than the structure that director Tom Holland and/or additional screenwriter John Lafia ended up using by starting the film with Charles Lee Ray becoming Chucky. The movie as released is highly enjoyable but also kind of frustrating, knowing that it could have been so much more.

So, enter this edit, which aims to recreate as much as the original structure as posdible. While Mancini's structure can't be entirely reconstructed (both Charles Lee Ray and the voodoo stay, both for consistence with the rest of the series and for lack of any alternative material to replace them), the film is now once again a mystery for a good portion of its running time, by moving the Ray scene to much later as a flashback, trimming the early kills to avoid showing that it's Chucky doing it, removing all early indications of the doll being anything else than just a harmless toy, and having the reveal exactly where Mancini wanted it: when the mom discovers the unused batteries.

DISCLAIMER: It goes without saying that, despite the title, Mr. Mancini had no involvement in the creation of this edit.
Other Sources:
- "The Boy and the Pirates" (Bert I. Gordon, 1960) for a clean music cue as the movie plays on TV.

- Freesound.org for the audio clip of an object hitting the ground, used for foley replacement.
Special Thanks:
- Robulon, whose "Therminator: The Hunt for Sarah Connor" edit was key in reigniting my interest in doing this project, and then provided highly valuable feedback and ideas.

- Blueyoda, for everything.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Sony Vegas Pro to do the actual editing, Audacity for demuxing and remuxing the audio and do tweaks, and MKVToolNix to mux the final .mkv file.
Cuts and Additions:
- Added FE.org logo at the start.

- Removed the Charles Lee Ray scene to be used much later in the film.

- Added customized credits in the style of the originals to the scene of Andy preparing breakfast.

- Cut Chucky turning his head to pay attention to the news report. Slowed down a shot of a still Chucky to cover the gap.

- Cut Andy asking Chucky why he is not looking at him, and Chucky turning his head again and saying "Hey, wanna play?" Replaced the music cue from the movie playing on TV with the same cue taken from the original film (if you are curious, it's 1960's "The Boy and the Pirates") to get rid of the sounds of Andy playing with the toy tools.

- Tweaked the audio of the line "Aunt Maggie, Chucky wants to watch the nine o'clock news" so the word "news" does not stand out so much as obviously taken from a different take and quite crudely spliced in.

- Cut Andy asking Chucky if he wants to see his room.

- Cut Andy telling Chucky about Maggie getting angry if he watched the news, then kissing Chucky goodnight and going to sleep.

- Shortened shot of Chucky running in the background before the Maggie kill so it is less clear who it is. Tweaked the pitch of Chucky's breathing sounds so they sound less like those of a grownup.

- Cut scene of Andy noticing the flour on Chucky's soles.

- Trimmed the end of the scene of Andy and Chucky in bed while Karen listens behind the door, to avoid showing Chucky moving his head in a too revealing way.

- Heavily trimmed the Eddie Caputo kill to get rid of the shots of Chucky's hands inside the house, and of Andy outside. Once Andy leaves to "go tinkle", that's the last we see of him and of Chucky in the scene. Chucky's offscreen laugh to startle Eddie is replaced with the sound of a falling pan hitting the ground.

- Cut Mike and Karen's exchange about Charles Lee Ray's last words to him (out of necessity, as I had to cut those last words from the actual scene due to the original credits rendering the shots unusable).

- Charles Lee Ray scene, trimmed and turned to B&W, used as a flashback depicting Mike's memories while he drives, right before getting attacked by Chucky.

- Cut elevator scene with the neighbors ("ugly doll"). It is kind of a non-sequitur, and showing neighbors in the building sort of have the unconscious effect in the viewer of making Andy feel less isolated and devoid of help while Chucky is going for him.

- Trimmed the fireplace climax to have Andy be more proactive. He doesn't just stand there watching for so long, and reaches for the matches without Karen having to tell him to do so.

User reviews

5 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(5)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(5)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(5)
Narrative
 
9.8(5)
Enjoyment
 
9.4(5)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Recently started watching the show Chucky out of curiosity (not a terrible watch by any means) and then I saw this edit dropped. Figured I’d give it a watch and man am I glad I did.

Out of all the fanedits I’ve watched, I think this one may have one of the smartest choices I’ve seen and it pays off HUGE! Moving the Charles Lee Ray prologue to much later in the film and making the small tweaks leading up to it really make this movie hit so much differently compared the the theatrical version. The original is certainly enjoyable but this edit will forever replace it for me.

It’s been a minute since I’d seen the original and I went into this cold without reading the cultist. I’ll probably find myself doing that more often now. There were no out of place audio or video cuts whatsoever so top marks there for sure. It’s funny, watching it I felt like there were some subtle cuts that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Reading the cut list after made it make sense. All of the little trims used to eliminate you seeing Chucky’s hand, feet, etc. leading up to the big reveal was what I was “missing.” Anyone watching the movie for the first time would never think it was edited any different.

Overall and incredibly enjoyable watch! If you like the Child’s Play series or are even a casual horror fan, check this out for sure. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Dwight Fry killed it.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is a very clever fanmix which transforms the classic Child's Play into more of a psychological horror thriller which reminded me, in some parts, of "The Shining" and the very underrated "The Babadook".

From the perfect opening credits to the excellent editing choices (executed flawlessly) this fanmix exceeded my expectations and it will be a replacement copy for me. While the original is a classic in its own right, it still has that gadgety horror vibe from the 80s. This fanmix elevates Child's Play to a true psychological thriller / horror mind-bender while staying true to its canon and its sequels.

Dwight Fry knocked it out of the park with this one. If you want to watch Child's Play again or even if it's your first time, do yourself a favor and watch this one.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This was a great way to watch this movie. My go to version actually. I like how in the first part it feels more psychological before going B Movie slasher on the back end. The cuts were not even noticeable and everything flowed well. A much better movie than the proper cut of this film or the remake could hope to be.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Quite simply, this is a masterful edit. It's great to see a seasoned editor like Dwight Fry back in the game, particularly when he's tackling such an iconic horror film as Child's Play.

To be honest, I didn't know much around Don Mancini's original outline for the film - i.e. to make it less obvious that Charles Ray's evil spirit was somehow transferred into a Good Guy doll who would then start killing people off. However, now that I do, and having watched this scenario come to life thanks to the skillful slight of hand editing by DF, this would easily have been the more effective version of the film had they gone with this approach.

By keeping the viewer guessing as to whether Andy is imagining things and even posing the question that perhaps Andy could be the killer, this cut of Child's Play is far more unsettling and intriguing. Even though I obviously knew the back story and that serial killer Charles Ray is possessing the doll, it was still incredibly fun and rewarding to see how it could have played out had they taken Mancini's original approach. It would have been far scarier in my view.

The editing is all done with an expert touch, to the point where you would never know anything was missing. I rarely score edits a perfect 10, but for me, there's literally nothing to mark down here - be it visually or on the audio front, this is a masterclass of fanediting for me.

I've always enjoyed Child's Play... but now, with Dwight Fry's cut of the movie, it elevates the whole film experience to another level. A fantastic edit.
L
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
(Updated: November 04, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This edit freaking rocks!

I came into this completely cold. I had never watched a single one of these films. I was not even remotely interested. Seriously...asking for the suspension of disbelief long enough to even consider a doll as a serial slasher was a little too much for me. Check that box with the ludicrous Leprechaun and Troll movies. At least Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees kind of touched on possible realism in the first movies.

Dwight Fry, my man (stolen from L8wrtr)...you made this movie into a horror classic! The narrative choices that you made really worked. I loved the placement of the b&w flashback and the discovery of the batteries. If I hadn't know better, I would have thought this was the way the story would unfold. Your editing is seamless!

If it wasn't for my inability to suspend such disbelief for any amount of logical time (the reason for the "9" on enjoyment), I would say that this a perfect edit. Your contribution to improving it is perfect.

Thank you so much for allowing me to preview your art! And thank you for allowing me to create my art to represent your art. I'm honored. Try saying that fast, bud!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 3 0