Episode 118. Friends till the End. Child’s Play (1988)

In this episode we look at the origins of the original “Good Guy.” From his place in the history of toys to his ties to masculinity to the anxiety around 1980s family structures, we go deep with Chucky to find out what makes him kill. 


Child’s Play. Dir. Tom Holland, 1988. 


The History of Creepy Dolls. An examination of how dolls became part of our nightmares.
Technology’s Covert Socialization of Children: High-Tech Toys. How “high-tech” toys create a false sense of safety. 
Hasbro’s My Buddy Doll. A history of the doll that inspired Chucky.
“Midnight Scenes and Orgies”: Public Narratives of Voodoo in New Orleans and Nineteenth-Century Discourses of White Supremacy. 
The Child and Adult Trauma in American Horror of the 1980s. Freud’s uncanny child in the era of consumerism.
The Place of Play: Toys and Digital Cultures. A look at toys as “generation-shapers.” 
Hasbro Brazil’s ad for Baby Alive, encouraging parents to examine their gender biases.


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One thought on “Episode 118. Friends till the End. Child’s Play (1988)

  1. Amy B says:

    Great episode! I was terrified of these films as a kid – before I saw any of them – due to the ‘video nasty’ discourses in the UK. I remember Child’s Play 3 being linked to the murder of a toddler by two 10 year old boys, and also to the murder of a young woman – I didn’t realise the films were so goofy. Moral panic strikes again!

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