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12 Most Brutal Moments In The Chucky Franchise Ranked

How brutal could a slasher franchise about a tiny killer doll be? Well, a quick look at Chucky's body count provides ample proof that dismissing (or worse, mocking) this pint-sized psycho is a one-way ticket to an early grave. As of 2022, slasher rankings typically place him somewhere near the middle of the top 10, behind Jason and Michael Myers, but ahead of Freddy and the classic Universal monsters. 

Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray made his snarling, pun-loving debut in 1988 — on the tail end of the classic '80s slashers, but predating the likes of The Leprechaun, "Trick 'r Treat," Annabelle, MEGAN and other short-statured cinematic killers. 

With seven films (eight if you count the 2019 remake) and a small screen series on Syfy, the "Child's Play" franchise has been littered with moments that push the limits of physical (and emotional) gut punches. In the interest of celebrating the series' most intense moments, here's a (spoiler-filled) list of the finest work performed by your friend 'til the end. 

12. Pete Peters' face melting off (Seed of Chucky)

When the "Child's Play" series first started, it would be hard to imagine Chucky having a "boy's night out" with his non-binary doll child. But "Seed of Chucky" bears many gifts, including (but certainly not limited to) the memorably gruesome death of Pete Peters (played by Jon Waters). 

What should, on paper, be an adorable bonding opportunity for Chucky and his spawn takes a turn for the flesh-melty when the pair set upon peeping ole' Pete. During his despicable activities as a paparazzo, Pete snapped a candid of Chucky that might jeopardize his and Tiffany's entire plan to get their bodies back. And if you stand in the way of whatever it is Chucky is plotting, you should have a will drawn up. 

So what happens? Do Chucky and Son play the hits and stab the poor guy? Of course not. Thanks to a bumble from the violence-adverse Glen (Billy Boyd), Pete goes crashing backward into a cabinet full of chemicals, sending a bottle of sulfuric acid sloshing down the photographer's face. Steam rises from Pete's cheeks as his face corrodes into a spider web of tissue and stringy skin. 

There are a couple of factors that make this kill so brutal. First off, Pete is played by the Prince of Puke himself, so it stings to see Waters melt his way out of the movie. Second: Since Glen is a pacifist, this horrific, practical effects-emboldened death stings something fierce. But the icing on the cake is Chucky's glee that his son is, indeed, a killer just like him. Photographing Pete's corroded corpse like they just caught a massive sea bass is incredibly morbid.

11. Logan Wheeler beaten to death with a Good Guy doll (Chucky, S1E7)

Chucky has been responsible for a lot of mayhem and murder over the course of his multi-film (and now multi-season small screen) tenure. From creative kills to a good ole' fashioned stabbing, there's really no limit to what the little guy will do to end a life. 

But even for Chucky, being used as a weapon has got to be a first. In the debut season of Syfy's "Chucky," the eponymous plaything absolutely devastates the Wheeler family, massacring each member of the tribe one by one and pushing the "survivors" over the edge into near-insanity. Both Logan (Devon Sawa) and his son Junior (Teo Briones) start to spiral after the death of the family's matriarch (a tragic post-advanced cancer diagnosis "suicide" that also acts as a clever homage to Maggie getting pushed out of the Barclay residence's window in the original film). 

Indeed, Bree's tragic demise seems to be the final straw for Logan's fragile sobriety, and the broken shell of a man proceeds to get so sauced he fails to notice that his son is teetering over a homicidal edge. With the pint-sized plastic psycho whispering in Junior's ear, the kid snaps when his old man takes pot shots at Bree for being "a quitter" (his suspicions that his dad cheated on his late mom with Tiffany certainly don't help things either). Letting all his rage bubble over, Junior wails on his dad with the closest blunt instrument available: Chucky. What's that doll made out of? Bricks? It would certainly seem so, given the degree of blunt force trauma Junior inflicts.

10. Chucky's not-so-painless mercy kill of Madeline (Cult of Chucky)

Madeline (Elisabeth Rosen) has a really rough go in "Cult of Chucky." Of all the vulnerable folks that Chucky has manipulated over his cinematic run, she is far and away his most tragic mark: A grieving mother whose infanticide has driven her into state care.  

Like all his victims, when Madeline's purpose has run its course in Chucky's master plan, he kills her. But it's the way he kills her that secures Madeleine's place in infamy. Believing her surrogate son to be "dead" and buried, Madeleine is overcome with joy when Chucky, covered in dirt, returns to her. They hug (an unsettling move on its own terms) and Madeleine asks if "it" will hurt. "I'll do my best," Chucky responds, twisting her words. 

Chucky then yanks something out of her mouth (her spine? her tongue?), which is somehow perceived to be a mercy kill in the slasher realm. Is it overkill? Maybe. Is shoving his arm down Madeleine's throat an improbable way to stage a suicide? Yes. But this is Chucky; the little man doesn't have the boundaries or good taste to do much less.

9. The horrible off-screen fate of Alice Pierce (Cult of Chucky)

2013's "Curse of Chucky" largely represented a return to form for the series; a pivot from the high camp of "Seed" to a deadpan vibe more in line with the first entry in the series. 

A crucial ingredient in invoking the franchise's early roots is the presence of Alice Pierce, Nica's niece, whose age and naïveté make her exactly the kind of vulnerable victim Chucky typically targets. Sure enough, at some point between "Curse" and its sequel "Cult of Chucky," the plastic psycho successfully plays a game of "hide the soul" with poor little Alice. 

On its own terms, that's pretty bad. But it turns out that what happened next was the stuff of nightmares. Viewers don't see what happened to Alice after Charles Lee Ray took control of her body. But Chucky relays the kid's fate to a distraught Nica, and it's horrible. As Chucky explains, people trusted Alice because she was a cute little girl. But when her victims fought back, "she wasn't so cute anymore." 

While it's pretty clear that Alice is dead, Chucky devilishly leaves her final days up to the interpretation of the audience. The mental image of a horribly maimed child trying to be sweet to potential murder victims is genuinely awful. Either way, it sounds like Chucky treated her like a used piece of plastic wrap.

8. That eye-popping season finale (Chucky, S1E8)

In the Season 1 finale of the Syfy series, Chucky finally succeeded in creating an army of possessed Good Guy dolls. With his precious cargo en route to needy children, the "main" Chucky doll got busy stabbing unsuspecting audience members at a Hackensack charity screening of the Universal classic "Frankenstein." 

As the surviving public flees (and Junior and Lexy have a heart-to-heart behind the screen), Jake and Chucky face off. While Chucky manages to get some good below-the-knee slices in, Jake ultimately gets the upper hand and proceeds to crush Chucky's head like an overripe melon. His eyes pop out and his tongue bulges; overall, it's horrible. Didn't Chucky claim, moments earlier, that he was stronger now thanks to the voodoo power of Damballa? 

Maybe that was a bluff. There's no other explanation for how Jake manages to crush Chucky's noggin like an empty soda can (other than Jake being fueled with pent-up rage from a season's worth of Chucky's shenanigans). There have been plenty of memorable moments involving head trauma over the course of the franchise (that one factory worker in "Child's Play 2" who got glass eyes shoved into his sockets on the assembly line deserves a shout-out), but Chucky's noggin getting squeezed into pulp is easily the most hardcore.

7. Andy's childhood being robbed (Child's Play 2)

One of the biggest takeaways from the original "Child's Play" film was that Alex Vincent had to be one of the greatest child actors of all time. he made viewers believe that this was the kind of kid you'd go into a dangerous back alley to buy a birthday present for. 

Which is why it's so devastating when we reunite with Andy for "Child's Play 2," and he's a shell of his former self. Played once more by Vincent, it is heartbreaking to watch the fallout of Andy's stolen childhood. His mom has now been institutionalized for sticking to their story about a possessed killer doll. As a result, Andy is left to bounce around the foster care system like a depressed ping pong ball. He's understandably emotionless, low-energy, and disillusioned about the ability of the adults in his life to protect him from the evils of the world ... let alone believe him that said evils exist. 

Seeing Andy so terrified, jaded, and world-weary is one of the most horrifying things in the franchise, and it a surprising cornerstone of the second film.  While Andy ultimately learns how to weaponize his trauma to protect others, forced that boy to grow up too fast is one of the cruelest things Chucky has ever done.

6. The extremely goopy opening credits sequence (Child's Play 2)

How can an opening credits sequence be "brutal"? Well, if you're "Child's Play 2," you lean deep, hard, and aggressively into the franchise's sinister take on body horror. 

Is something really gory if it's just plastic? Will audiences squirm and flinch when they're only watching an assembly line? The answer becomes apparent following up on the events of the first film — the Good Guy doll, possessed by Charles Lee Ray, having been beaten up, shot, burnt, and decapitated — with the manufacturer, in its infinite wisdom, eager to prove to the public that there was nothing wrong with the doll itself. 

Performing a "reconstructive surgery" of sorts on the brutalized hunk of plastic, the glass eyes are scooped out, the charred synthetic flesh is scraped away, and a soulless pasty mask is stretched over the dented metal bones. It's the stuff of nightmares — and that's before this newly-refurbished doll comes back to life and goes on a killing spree.

5. Chucky replacing paint rounds with live ammunition (Child's Play 3)

Compared to other long-serving slasher series, the batting average of "Child's Play" films is pretty solid; that said, "Child's Play III" is clearly the weakest of the bunch. The disappointing 1991 film nearly killed the series, as it would be a long seven years before "Bride of Chucky" dropped the numerals, inserted its tongue in cheek, and gave Chucky an extreme makeover that has fueled it ever since.

The third film, however, follows now-teenage Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin, the only person other than Alex Vincent to play the role) as he navigates the fresh new hell of military school. "Child's Play 3" isn't bad. It's just kind of "meh" compared to its peers. With one, extremely dark, exception. 

In the film's final act, the kids are sent off to fight an unsupervised mock battle with some paint guns; with Chucky on the loose, the little terrorist sees the harmless exercise as an opportunity for catastrophe. Replacing the dummy rounds with live ammunition, the stakes  are significantly elevated. It's a miracle that more kids don't get injured (let alone killed), and an even greater miracle that one of the most harrowing things Chucky has ever done takes place in the series' weak link. 

Overall, the move is particularly chilling because it doesn't really feel like something Chucky would do. He's more of a knife guy, preferring the intimacy of being able to get up close and personal so he can crack jokes while twisting his weapon. 

4. Charles Lee Ray's entire death scene (Child's Play)

When Brad Dourif is on-screen, good things happen — from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to "Wise Blood" to Rob Zombie's "Halloween" films, he's been bringing something unique to the table for five decades, and no matter how tiny some roles may be, Dourif has a talent for squeezing every ounce of screen time for all it is worth. 

While it's hard to imagine "Child's Play" without Dourif (although the 2019 remake tried), originally the actor was only supposed to portray Charles Lee Ray's human form. When Jessica Walter's voice-over didn't work out, Dourif was brought back in to voice the Chucky doll. But that likely wouldn't have happened if Dourif hadn't committed so fully to the brief screentime he had originally been assigned.

Dourif really goes for broke in the opening scene of "Child's Play," acting as the driving force behind an intense voodoo-tinged death scene. Frantic, wounded, and like an animal with its paw stuck in a trap, Dourif endows Charles Lee Ray's death with a level of desperation so potent you can feel its reverberations throughout the rest of the franchise. Charles Lee Ray really doesn't want to die, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to cheat death and get his revenge — even if it means imprisoning his soul inside a child's plaything.

3. Chucky's explosive factory death (Child's Play 2)

"Child's Play 2" is considered by some to be the best of the franchise, and a big part of that is because of its creative, disturbing finale at the Good Guy Doll factory. 

Why did the company that puts out Good Guys decide to make their assembly line so creepy? Who knows. But one thing's for certain: The factory is way more of a deathtrap for Chucky than it is for Andy and Kyle. 

Things begin with Chucky getting synthetic hair punched into his leg. Then, the killer doll gets new plastic Good Guy limbs heat-grafted onto his body, forcing him to remove his torso from the mangled mess. Chucky should have called it a day at that point, because after the lil' killer crawls his way back to his would-be victims, Andy douses Chucky with a waterfall of molten plastic. 

Unfortunately (for Chucky) this still doesn't kill him. So Kyle, thinking quickly, shoves an air hose into Chucky's screaming mouth. One grotesque inflation later, and Chucky's insides are now his outsides.

2. Tiffany realizing Chucky needs to die (Bride of Chucky)

His name might be on the poster, but "Bride of Chucky" belongs to Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly). After all, she's the one who goes through the biggest changes over the course of the film — and they don't necessarily include dying and having her soul transferred into a doll via voodoo magic. 

At the beginning of the film, Tiffany would do anything for Chucky. Like murder a cop to get his doll body back, then stitch him together again after he is torn to shreds by an industrial fan at the end of "Child's Play 3." Tiffany goes through the motions of pushing Chucky away when he's a jerk, then runs back into his arms when he gives her the time of day. It's a cycle they've been through before, and it shows. But by the film's finale, you can tell that something's shifted. 

Charred, beaten up, and tired, Tiffany finally seems to see things from a new perspective. "Why can't I ever get it on with the real good guys?" she asks herself during the climactic hostage exchange, telling Jade that she's a lucky girl as she hobbles by. The film hammers home that, while she's no saint, Tiffany is a victim as well. It's heartbreaking to watch her realize it: Her resigned sighs as she comes to the conclusion that the relationship all this madness and mayhem is based on isn't what she thought it was. Of course, the pair kiss and make up in the sequels. But Tiffany's realization at the end of "Bride" that she's in a toxic relationship is still one of the most brutal things the "Child's Play" franchise has ever done.

1. Chucky refusing to go quietly (Child's Play)

Every time the increasingly terrified surviving characters of "Child's Play" think they've done away with Chucky, the little dude comes roaring back, bleeding, smoldering, and crawling his way back from the dead to get the last laugh. For all the genuine carnage Charles Lee Ray inflicts on his victims over the course of the film, nothing can compare to the beatdown that Chucky receives in the film's final moments. He is shot, immolated and decapitated in a punishing denouement surpassed only perhaps by Ricardo Montalban in "The Naked Gun" and "Chef" on South Park." And yet, he keeps coming back.

After all these years "Child's Play" fans can be forgiven for become a bit numbed to Chucky's refusal to stay down. But it's never been pulled off as well, or as viscerally, as it was in the first "Child's Play." Chucky keeps lurching back from the dead, again and again, and he's in agony every time, fueled by sheer rage and a conviction that this cannot be the end for this friend.