The Reel Story: Chucky, a “Good Guy” doll possessed by the undead spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, has been on a cinematic killing spree since 1988’s “Child’s Play.” In the first of the five Chucky films, a dying Ray uses a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul out of his dying body and into the fluff-stuffed body of the hottest doll on the market. The possessed plaything ends up in the hands of a young boy, whom Chucky repeatedly (and repeatedly) tries to kill in an attempt to trade in rubber and fabric for flesh and blood — apparently, being a living doll ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
In subsequent installments, the little hellion stays true to his quest for an actual human body, specifically the young boy he first met. However, by the time “Bride of Chucky” rolled into theaters in 1998, the evil talking doll was in the mood for love. After spiriting the soul of his sweetheart Tiffany (a diabolical Jennifer Tilly) into the body of a hot motorcycle bride doll, the two went on a killing spree that eventually ended with Tiffany going into labor and bearing the “Seed of Chucky.”
With holiday toy-buying season fast upon us, this raises an interesting question: At what point should the manufacturer of the “Good Guy” Chucky doll put out a recall for this monstrosity?
The Real Story: Years ago, in all likelihood. “We ask two questions,” explained Eric Criss, a spokesperson from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government agency that monitors defective products and releases a list of unsafe toys every November. “Does the product violate safety standards? Does the product have a defect that could cause death or injury?” It goes without saying that the Chucky doll would seem to have more than a few defects that could cause death, as well as various injuries.
Criss went on to explain that while there are many toy safety standards, some problems “may not be covered by specific standards, but if there is a defect that could cause death or injury the product must be recalled.” Such as evil-spirit possession that drives a seemingly harmless doll to kill, perhaps.
The CPSC follows up on consumer complaints, monitors death and injury data, records hospital and morgue reports, does its own investigations, and relies on mandatory industry reporting to determine the safety of products. The commission then works with the manufacturer to repair, replace or offer a refund for the product. In the case of Chucky, it’s probably a good idea for the people behind the “Good Guy” doll to offer a refund. Hard to imagine anyone would want a brand-new version of the murderous doll that tried to kill their toddler.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Seed of Chucky.”
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