Child's Play (partially found footage of two-hour cut of horror film; 1988)
Child's Play was an American horror film that was written and directed by Tom Holland and released on November 9, 1988, in the United States. The film received mixed to positive reviews upon its release and went on to have a cult following that lead to a media franchise that spawned six sequels, a reboot, comic books, and a television series that started airing on SyFy in October 2021. However, the film that was made in the first two months of 1988 and the film that was released in November 1988, were completely different.
The opening scene originally included detective Norris in women's clothing and attempting to catch the film's killer Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray. Norris leaves a bar while Charles and Eddie Caputo follow him in a car. Charles gets out of the car, stalks Norris (still in disguise) on foot and then confronts him in an alley. Norris then reveals himself and kicks Charles in the groin. Charles gets up, throws a trash can at Norris, and flees from him which leads to the chase shown in the final film. The voodoo spell that Charles performs to transfer his soul to one of the Good Guy dolls had an extended chant.
While Andy shows Chucky his room, he shows the doll a photo of his deceased father, saying to Chucky "This is mom and my dad Bob. He died in a car wreck, but mom and I loved him very much". Andy also shows Chucky the toy train he got. Andy was originally shown falling down a well during the explosion of Eddie Caputo's house and Caputo's death due to the blast, instead of in the final film where Andy is only outside of the house and away from the explosion.
The character John Bishop (also known as Dr. Death) is performing a voodoo healing with his mother on an infant while dressed in voodoo priest clothes in Haitian Creole. He rubs an amulet on the infant which is seemingly cured by the ritual and John gives the amulet to its family to keep. The family then pays John and leaves shortly before Chucky arrives. Karen and Mike visit the burnt toy store at the start of the film after Karen asks about Charles and they find a bunch of undamaged toys in the alleyway beside the store, explaining how a homeless man named Peddler found Chucky.
Children's psychiatrist Dr. Ardmore places a normal Good Guy doll in Andy’s room at the psychiatric clinic attempting to convince Andy it's just a toy and that it’s not alive. Andy is not convinced however and Ardmore admits the truth but does not believe Andy’s claims that Chucky is coming to kill Andy and leaves and locks Andy up. Chucky is stalking Andy at the clinic and he climbs up to Andy's window who blocks it with a table, forcing Chucky to find another window to get inside.
The film originally had an alternate ending where after Chucky breaks into the apartment to perform the ritual, Andy sets up an R/C car with a knife taped to it. Chucky enters the kitchen and gets stabbed in the leg by the R/C car. Andy finds Chucky and squirts Drano in his face with a water gun. This causes a chemical reaction with the plastic which gives Chucky immense pain. Part of Chucky's face melts away and Andy squirts his leg. Chucky hides quickly and knocks Andy out by choking him with a Slinky. Mike searches for Chucky and gets knocked out by him. Karen throws Chucky in the fireplace as several officers arrive. Jack grabs a baseball bat and knocks Chucky's head off which rolls and bites an officer in the leg. Karen then shoots Chucky's body in the heart as he says "I love you. Hidey-ho, ha ha ha". The officers collect the doll's remains as Jack tells them it was never alive and offers to buy them a drink.
Chucky's original voice
Aside from the aforementioned scenes, there was also a significant difference in Chucky himself. As he was originally voiced by the late Jessica Walter (who would later appear in Arrested Development and Archer). Which was inspired by her performance in Play Misty With Me, as well as Mercedes McCambridge's performance in The Exorcist. But her vocal performance as Chucky was cut because Holland claimed
"I tried to use an electronic overlay to the voice, like a Robbie the Robot kind of thing because that’s how the toys with sound chips worked. Then I tried Jessica Walter, who had been in Play Misty for Me. She could make the threats work, but not the humor. So we went back to Brad."
- Holland on the reasons for Chucky's voice change.
When the first cut of the film came in it ran for two hours and when it was shown to a test audience, it resulted in very negative reactions. So 25 minutes were cut from the film, taking out most of Chucky's screen time and Walter's audio was redubbed with veteran actor Brad Dourif (who was known for films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dune and Blue Velvet). The new cut of the film now ran for 87 minutes and later test screenings fared much better with audiences and lead to the film that was released in November 1988.
Several photos of the two-hour cut can be found online. The only scene from the two-hour cut to have surfaced was the alternate voodoo chant that was part of a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary that ironically wasn't released until Scream Factory included it as a special feature on the Blu-Ray release of the film in 2016. The script for the two-hour cut that includes the deleted scenes and alternate ending can be found online. While deleted scenes from the other films in the Child's Play films have surviving deleted scenes, no other footage from the two-hour cut has surfaced and it's unknown if any footage from the two-hour cut still survives since the film is owned by MGM and any other film in the franchise is made by Universal. Rumors about the fate of the two-hour cut have circulated over the years that film negatives being destroyed by accident to Tom Holland having the workprint of the cut with the scenes intact, but these have never been confirmed. However, when the film's writer Don Mancini was promoting Seed Of Chucky in 2004, he states that the original cut is in a vault "somewhere in the valley".