Chucky Creator Don Mancini Takes Us Inside That Deliciously Gruesome Finale Kill — 'That Was Pretty Brutal!'
The following contains spoilers from Chucky‘s Season 2 finale.
On this bonkers little show called Chucky, we’ve seen the killer doll dole out electrocutions, decapitations, explosions and a myriad of stabbings… but we still weren’t ready for that disgustingly gory offing in Wednesday’s off-the-rails finale!
As we learned at the top of the episode, Chucky swapped bodies with Dr. Mixter just seconds before the doll was shot in the face by Andy. Since the doc had a brand new doll stashed away in a safe, another switcheroo meant that Charles Lee Ray was back inside yet another Good Guy doll, and ready to take his revenge on Lexy, Jake and Devon. Unfortunately for Lexy’s mom, Michelle, she met the sharp end of the maniacal doll’s new chainsaw, and was literally split in two.
When Tiffany came looking for Caroline’s doll Belle, she was over her former lover’s BS. With the weapon now in Lexy’s possession, Tiff let the girl have at him, thereby ending Chucky’s reign of terror for good.
Lexy hacked up the doll’s face as revenge for her mother’s murder, but when Tiffany fled the scene, she discovered that Belle was just another Chucky doll in drag (!), and that the monstrous Charles once again lived on.
Needless to say, we had a lot of questions for creator Don Mancini after that delightful, viscera-packed season closer. Below, he talks to TVLine about blowing up Devon Sawa, how exactly one chainsaws a character in half, the always game Jennifer Tilly, what’s ahead for GG (fka Glen/Glenda) and so much more.
TVLINE | Poor Devon Sawa can’t catch a break on this series! If there’s a Season 3, any thoughts on bringing him back just to keep killing him off?
DON MANCINI | You never know! Stay tuned. That’s all I can officially say, but we love him. He’s a great actor and a great guy. I certainly enjoy working with him even though Chucky hates him, apparently, if you follow their Twitter feud. Will he continue to be the Jessica Lange of our franchise? I do like bringing actors back in different roles and I’ve done it with other actors. As a writer, I love writing stuff to specific actors. That’s a lot of fun, so fingers crossed.
TVLINE | There have been so many amazing kills this season, including Lexy’s mom in this finale. Do you have a personal favorite death scene from Season 2?
I think it would be that one and Devon Sawa exploding, à la, Brian De Palma’s The Fury. Nadine’s was the most shocking, and in a way the simplest. We knew that was going to have a big effect on the fan base, particularly as the culprit was Good Chucky there. So that in itself was fun to plan and execute, but as a kid I was a huge Brian De Palma fan. I loved The Fury — I still love The Fury — and I’ve homaged it before in Child’s Play 2. We blew up Chucky in exactly the same way and showed different angles. It was fun to do that with Devon Sawa, and I think that turned out really well. And also, Barbara Woods, who plays Michelle, her chainsawing… that was pretty brutal!
TVLINE | What goes into filming a death like Father Bryce’s or Michelle’s? How many people does it take on set to pull off scenes that complex?
It’s very complicated and ranges across various departments. In the case of those kills, both of those actors had to have full body casts made of them. So for that we rely on this guy named François Dagenais, who does those effects for us out of Toronto. He had also worked on Hannibal and Channel Zero. He’s brilliant. Then there’s the component of: What are you doing to these bodies? Whether you’re detonating them or slicing them in half, we bring in our practical special effects guy, Jeff Skochko, and he’s amazing. He was involved in both of those murders. There are [also] certain visual effects.
Sometimes the work devolves to certain units. The exploding of Devon Sawa, I actually got to direct that. It was just coincidence the way schedules worked on both seasons. Toward the end, we have a concurrent second unit going that I’m directing, and so I got to direct the detonation of the Devon Sawa dummy. It was literally the last thing we did on the entire show. It was like 4:30 in the morning on our last night. It takes a village!
The most important thing, or as important as everything else: The actor him- or herself has to make it work and really sell it, and I think both of them did. All of the actors do. It’s always such a weird thing to ask an actor to do: “Give me a good death.” For some people it’s fun and easy, and for other people it’s hard and puts them in a weird headspace sometimes. It can be harder than it looks.
TVLINE | As a result of Glen’s shooting and coma, Glen and Glenda’s souls were put back inside the Glen doll [voiced by Billy Boyd]. Is Lachlan Watson [who plays Glen/Glenda] really gone for good, and now that the newly named GG is off to England, what can you say about their future on the series?
I love Lachlan. Loved working with them and would love to work with them more in the future. I also love working with Billy Boyd. It was great to have him back for that one scene as GG. The characters/now character of Glen, Glen/Glenda and now GG are very important to me. I wanted to set up a situation at the end of the season where we might think, “Oh, there’s more to tell here in this family saga going on.” If we get a Season 3, I hope to delve more into that story.
TVLINE | Tiffany and Chucky have had quite a relationship throughout the years. In the finale, she lets Lexy chainsaw him to pieces. Do they love each other any more or do they just want each other dead at this point? And how much fun is it playing with that dynamic?
It’s a blast playing with that dynamic. I think like any passionate relationship, there are highs and lows. I think, yes, there’s a part of them that does love each other still. Tiffany, even in Season 1 for a while, she’s doing his bidding for a bit. I think she’s the more vulnerable one in that relationship, because she’s the one who has generally taken all the shit, and so it’s been interesting to put her on the offensive against him. It’s a lot of fun playing with that dynamic and evolving it in different ways, and using it as a metaphor for any romantic relationship that has its highs and lows. But with them, there’s collateral damage… lots of collateral damage!
TVLINE | Watching Jennifer Tilly on this show is an absolute delight. It seems like she’s always willing to poke fun at herself, including that “What would Jennifer do?” line from the finale. When you and the writers are working, do you ever stop and think, “Is that too far? Should we check with Jen?” or is she always just totally game?
She’s generally down for anything and often pushes me to go even further. When I was writing Seed of Chucky, we initially intended to make the character Jennifer Tilly much more problematic, much less traditionally likable on the first draft. But the studio sort of said, “She’s the lead, we have to make her a little more likable.” But she’s pretty much game for anything. On Seed of Chucky, one thing she objected to, there’s a moment where Jennifer vomits into her purse — which is a manifestation of her morning sickness, though she doesn’t know it yet — and she was reluctant to do that, which I get. An actor wants to maintain their glamour quotient or whatever, but in the end, she let me talk her into it. I just had to assure her it wasn’t going to be messy. She just sort of vomits very discreetly and lady-like into her purse. I think what really sold her on it was that we had a purse that had her face on it, so even Jennifer knew, “OK, that’s kind of funny.” [Laughs]
TVLINE | I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about Kyle and Andy. They both survived near fatal encounters with Chucky yet again, but they didn’t show up in the finale. At the end of 207, it seems they believe Chucky is finally a goner. Is it possible they… ride off into the sunset and live the rest of their lives in blissful ignorance?
What would you want as a fan? Do you want them back or do you want them to have ridden into the sunset?
TVLINE | That’s tricky because if they come back, they could potentially be killed off, and I don’t know if I want that! But you do such a great job at balancing the storylines between the classic characters and the newbies. How challenging is that to do when you have decades’ worth of legacy to contend with?
It is challenging, but it’s part of the fun as well. That’s what the TV medium is. It’s the juggling of various characters and relationships, and lighting some fuses early on so they burn and detonate later in the season. As a storyteller, I really love doing that, so that’s a part of what you’re talking about. It is challenging, but that’s our job, and I have a team of awesome writers and fellow directors to help me pull it off.
TVLINE | Considering everything she went through, I loved the ending with Nica seeking revenge on Tiffany. What can you tease about Nica’s future journey?
She has declared war on Tiffany. Because she’s a good sport, she says, “OK, I’m going to give you a head-start because I like your kid. They helped me out of your prison, but I’m still going to torture and kill you.” It was always my intention to put Nica through the wringer for a while so she could come out the other end a bigger, more surprising badass than ever. And I like the idea of doing that with a disabled character, and setting her up that way. And her disability is not going to stop her one inch or for one moment.
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