Child's Play: The Don Mancini Cut

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1988
Original Running Time:
87 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
82 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
image
image
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 "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.
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1988
Original Running Time:
87 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
82 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
image
image
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 "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.

Trusted Reviewer reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
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.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual 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.
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9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(14)
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9.9(14)
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9.9(14)
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9.7(14)
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9.8(14)
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10.0
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Wow. I was intrigued from the jump when I heard about the premise, but this is so much structurally stronger than the original that I can hardly imagine going back. Fantastic work all around.

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(Updated: July 17, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
My only issue with it was the flashback. I would've preferred a cut of Billy Ray performing the ritual on the doll (Norris doesn't see him do this) and kept the audio, lightening, and explosion of the ritual. We see him attempt to perform the ritual later on Andy. I really liked all the "new" set-ups, with Charles Lee Ray being mentioned repeatedly on the news. Not really new, but with the beginning switched to a later flashback, they end up being set-ups to a pay-off later. As is, it is a superior cut to the studio edit.

Other than that, the only other issue is something that can't be fixed and that's a missed opportunity in the script for some further set-up, pay-off, and a bit of character development from Detective Norris. Earlier in the film, Andy tells Karen that the doll's name is Charles Lee Ray, and I wish Andy had repeated this in the police station later. This could've activated Norris' path earlier, and it would've been nice to see him do some sleuthing that would've teased out his flashback encounter with human Chucky and get him in doll Chucky's sights in a very natural way.

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This edit was nothing but amazing. Every single aspect was great. No issues at all.

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This is an excellent edit.. Absolutely worth watching. I'll be scaring the shit out of my kids with it this Halloween

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Overall rating
 
9.8
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9.0
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10.0
This is something I wished I seen first before the original. It seem to add more suspence and to what happening. Also pushes more on the thriller genre. Only one thing I would make diffent. Going into and out of the flashback would had like a small transition like a flash into it. If u never seen childs play this in one of those rare times I'd watch this edit first.

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