|"Chucky" #1 on sale this month|
It's no secret that many things that are meant to be adorable are, in fact, terrifying.
The 1988 film “Child's Play” took advantage of this paradox to huge effect when it introduced the world to Chucky, a homicidal maniac trapped inside the body of a Good Guy doll. In the twenty years since Chucky first terrified filmgoing audiences, the character has appeared in four movie sequels and an assortment of other media, including a miniseries and crossover with “Hack/Slash” from Devil's Due Publishing.
With a second four-issue volume of “Chucky” comics set to launch this month, CBR News caught up with writer Jason Burns for a quick interview about the murderous doll and what it might take to scare Chucky himself.
CBR: What can you tell us about your upcoming “Chucky” series?
Jason Burns: I grew up loving horror films and dark genres, so for me, it was just about jumping in and having fun with the characters and the world in which everybody's favorite demonic puppet inhabits. I also wanted to take some of the bloodletting out of Chucky's hands, so I brought in a second killer because I thought it would be interesting to see how Chucky reacts when someone tries to steal his thunder. Anyone who is familiar with the franchise knows that it's taken a more humorous path with the last couple of sequels, so there are certainly those one-liner, hope-for-laughs moments. But I did want to bring back some of that original old school horror vibe that made it a successful franchise in the first place, so I hope that plays off for readers.
From preview art and the description of the series, it looks like Chucky is being manipulated somewhat, captured and forced to appear on reality TV.
|Pages from "Chucky" #1|
Yes, he is certainly being manipulated, essentially for what we think are ratings, but after you peel a few layers aside, it's revealed that there is something far more sinister associated with the reality series Chucky's dropped into.
In a nutshell: He's captured and brought to the now abandoned Good Guy Doll factory, where a small cast of fame seekers are trapped inside and tasked with uncovering the code that will unlock the door. Chucky is not happy about being locked inside and trapped like an animal. So needless to say, he gets a little knifey and it becomes less a five minutes of fame mission for the cast, and more of a survival mission.
What is the appeal for you of setting Chucky loose in this sort of environment?
Burns: I always like those close quarter horror movies where there's no way out but one--and of course, it's never an easy one. To me, that's a classic element that is actually frightening in and of itself. Never mind the fact that there is a murderous doll lurking in the shadows. Maybe that's my claustrophobic nature leaking into my work though.
How did you get involved in this project?
|Pages from "Chucky" #1|
Burns: I was working on a few other projects for Devil's Due, including “Serpo” and the creator-owned “Curse of the Were-Woman.” They asked me if I had any ideas for a Chucky story, I tossed a few over, and after getting approval on the pitches by Universal, I was offered the gig. It was perfect timing for me because I had spent the majority of my career working on creator-owned projects, so I was eager to jump in and try out my hand on a licensed project.
What sort of horror movies do you enjoy? What do you think are the crucial elements of a good horror story?
Burns: I admittedly love B horror. My fiancée is always giving me hell for sitting around on weekends and watching bad horror movie marathons on the Sci-Fi Channel. I'm less interested in the unexpected scares and more interested in good visuals because for me, there's no better genre built for a visual feast than horror. And I'm all about old school special effects, prosthetics and make-up, and would just assume leave computer generated effects on the cutting room floor when it came to horror. I'd take a “Howling” werewolf over a modern CGI werewolf any day of the week.