Many slasher fans will often list Chucky as one of the genre’s many icons. Even his name shows the dark bonds the character was born from.
Slasher icons are often inspired by actual serial killers or terrifying concepts that kept the creator awake at night. For example, the creation of Leatherface and Normal Bates was partially inspired by the brutal acts of Ed Gein. However, even characters like Chucky share a connection with several historical killers.
In Child’s play, Chucky’s full name is Charles Lee Ray. At first, the name sounds like another catchy nickname in the vein of Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers. But in reality, every word represents a killer in American history. While their actions did not inspire Chucky’s sadistic murders, the names reflect how cold the character can be.
Chucky’s first name, Charles, is a reminder of Charles Manson. Although Manson never killed anyone himself, he ran a small cult that would do whatever he wanted. One of his requests was that his supporters kill actress Sharon Tate and six others, including her unborn child. So even though Manson was just a conspirator, the real terror comes from his ability to manipulate and convince others to commit such unspeakable acts.
Chucky’s middle name, Lee, refers to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man known to have murdered President John F. Kennedy. After the assassination, he was also charged with the murder of policeman JD Tippit. Lee’s act created one of the saddest days in American history and spawned a massive conspiracy regarding the circumstances of the event. Ironically, a similar conspiracy would follow Chucky as no one could believe that a doll could kill so many people.
Chucky’s last name, Ray, refers to another assassin named James Earl Ray. Ray is known to have murdered civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. After his arrest, Ray will later claim that the assassination was a plot and that the real killer was a man named Raul. While it’s clear that Ray was the one who pulled the trigger, the aspect of the plot serves as another link to the name and character of the movie he inspired.
There is no doubt that Chucky is one of the most sadistic killers in film and television. His love of violence has reached legendary status, and even after decades, so few in the movies even believe it exists. By naming the character after these infamous killers, it adds an even more sinister stigma. But with so many conspiracy and manipulation tactics surrounding these people, it’s hard not to think that they affected Chucky’s personality as well.
KEEP READING: The Importance of Minority Portrayal in Syfy’s Chucky
Kevin Feige explains why Eternals had to be a ‘bold new step’ for the MCU
About the Author