Child's Play: The Don Mancini Cut

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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.
image
Special Thanks:
- Robulon, whose "Terminator: The Hunt for Sarah Connor" edit was key in reigniting my interest in doing this project, and then provided highly valuable feedback and ideas.

- ArtIsDead for the amazing poster art.

- 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

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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(12)
Visual Editing
 
9.9(12)
Audio Editing
 
9.9(12)
Narrative
 
9.7(12)
Enjoyment
 
9.7(12)
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Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
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9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I really enjoyed watching this edit and would recommend as my preferred version of the film.
The video and audio quality was great. An excellent restoration. If you have a new viewer of the film, the reveal is fantastic.

The new structure and lack of context on Chucky really adds to the suspense.

The edits for the most part were seamless. The only one that sticks out for me was the flashback scene. The build up and return to the character feels a bit off. The other half of my brain says that's how movies of the time were edited so I am at a draw.

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Yes
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10.0
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Just wow...

This is the first fan edit I have watched and I am blown away. Child's play is one of my all time favourite series and as soon as I saw that this I knew I had to have it!

This cut's intention is to make the first part of the movie more ambiguous and gets us asking the question... is the doll really doing this? Or is Andy doing these killings and blaming it on the doll? All the references to chucky being alive have been removed, from looking at the TV, to looking at his mother outside the bedroom door, and it really does add an interesting spin on this movie. A movie that I have seen quite a fair bit suddenly felt fresh and revitalised because it felt so different to the original!

Hands down to Dwight Fry for pulling this off. An amazing edit of one of my all time favourite movies, and I will be 100% adding this version to my annual watch list of the Chucky Franchise!

I am so glad that this was the first fan edit that I watched, it really has shown me how much time and love you editors put into these projects, and I cannot wait to see more!

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
D
Top 500 Reviewer 10 reviews
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10.0
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10.0
An excellent restoration of the movie to its original intentions. Not only does the mystery add to the film in terms of making its young hero seem like a sinister Omen-style kid for the most part, but choices like his "Good Guys" sneakers make more sense in this new context. Also, the magic spell-casting Brad Dourif feels less jarring now coming in the movie where it does now (in flashback) rather than dropping fantasy coldly into the first act as setup that the audience hasn't been adequately prepared for.

Not only a fantastic edit of an already good movie, the comparison between this and the theatrical cut could serve as very useful instruction for aspiring screenwriters in terms of structure, ambiguity and the kind of things that can go wrong when studio notes start interfering with the final product. Great work, and congrats on the well-deserved award.

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Yes
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Digital
R
Top 50 Reviewer 106 reviews
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10.0
This edit of Child's Play stands for everything fan-editing should aspire to be. It has a straightforward premise, some historical context, and is executed to great effect. The simple action of removing/moving explicit references to Chucky's origins until the "big reveal" at the midpoint turns the story on its head in a brand new way.

It heightens the drama of detective Norris' suspicion of Andy, elevates his mother Karen's unraveling sanity, and imbues Andy's performance with a sinister air that makes for a incredible film even if Charles Lee Ray was omitted entirely.

There's a particularly chilling look Andy gives the camera before he and Chucky visit Eddie Caputo that completely sells the ambiguity of whether or not Chucky is alive or a projection of Andy's murderous psychopathy. Even after the big reveal to Karen, the rabbit hole in which she descends in search of answers remains equally ambiguous as her own sanity remains in question. This section reminded me of the psychological horror aspects of the first Candyman.

I haven't seen too many edits that have made something feel so new whilst doing relatively little to the source. The edit excels in exponentially escalating the action, elevating the big reveals, and increasing the ambiguity to keep us guessing until the end.
P
Top 500 Reviewer 6 reviews
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10.0
Very good.

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