Well judging from the low turnout for this picture in its first couple weeks, I might be the only one. But DAMN if I don’t love BRIDE OF CHUCKY. THat was the amazing slasher sequel landmark where the former Hong Kong director Ronny Yu knocked the CHILD’S PLAY series off into a weirdo direction where the killer doll suddenly gets a killer doll wife and it turns into a silly comedy, but with occasional moments of visual poetry courtesy of future oscar winning cinematographist Peter fucking Pau.
Now if you’re like me you remember the very end of BRIDE OF CHUCKY, suddenly a little sharp-toothed baby chucky pops out. It’s like the traditional sudden-jolt-ending used in every horror movie since CARRIE, but at the same time it’s a funny joke because you just KNOW it means we’re gonna get a SON OF CHUCKY some day. Or SEED OF CHUCKY it turns out due to the ambiguous gender of the baby.
SEED OF CHUCKY is the first movie in history to open inside Chucky’s penis, in a computer generated sequence about the actual Seed of Chucky having a go at the Egg of Tiffany, then growing into a baby. Then we skip forward and find the baby at the World Ventriloquism Championships in London. It turns out some random British punk rock fake-ventriloquist found the seed of chucky in the cemetery after BRIDE OF CHUCKY ended. The poor little doll is now living a Charles Dickens style childhood in a cage in London. His name is Shitface and he has the voice of LORD OF THE RINGS hobbit Billy Boyd as he tells us about his sorry existence in a hilarious voiceover.
It turns out the Chucky and Tiffany dolls have been somehow repaired (no explanation needed or offered) and are being used as puppets to star in a movie about their lives. The baby Chucky finds out and journeys to Hollywood where he accidentally does a voodoo spell to resurrect them, and also speaks Japanese to them (long story).
If you didn’t figure it out during the ventriloquism championships, it is at this point that you will notice that this is even more of a comedy than BRIDE OF CHUCKY. Clearly nobody involved in this movie has any illusion that Chucky is scary anymore. So instead writer/direct Don Mancini (who wrote all the chucky pictures, but never directed before now) gives us a weird ass comedy about killer dolls trying to raise a sexually confused child. Also trying to impregnate Oscar nominee Jennifer Tilly with a turkey baster full of Seed of Chucky (long story). Also rapper/deodorant expert Redman, playing himself, is trying to have sex with Jennifer Tilly while pretending he might cast her in his directorial debut, a movie about the Virgin Mary. Method Man was unavailable for comment.
Jennifer Tilly has a dual role as the voice of Tiffany and as herself. She seems to have a good sense of humor about herself, her career, and the movie BOUND. John Waters also has a small role, and the actual effects guy for the movie plays the effects guy for the movie within the movie, and he gets his head chopped off in a pretty spectacular manner. Good job effects guy.
To be frankly honest – and believe me, it hurts to say this my friends – oscar nominee Brad Dourif starts to get a little grating as CHucky, impersonating Jack Nicholson all the time. It does set up a pretty good joke though, where Chucky recreates the “Here’s Johnny!” scene from THE SHINING but manages to NOT say “Here’s Chucky!” For that single act I think the oscar people should retroactively give this kid that supporting actor nomination for ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. After all these years he’s finally earned it.
There are actually a whole bunch of references to famous horror movies, and they did a pretty good job of them, making them identifiable but not usually TOO obvious. They got a good HALLOWEEN scene in there, they got a couple PSYCHOs (one is the shower scene, sure, but they also do the falling down the stairs shot) and I think they even got DRESSED TO KILL in there.
This isn’t a horror movie, it’s a horror comedy, with an accent on the comedy. Nobody could be scared by this movie. But there’s some good chopping and cutting, so don’t whine. Still, what’s really good is when they get away from that and actually get interested in the characterization of these dolls. Chucky and Tiffany debate about whether to raise their child as a killer doll or not. Tiffany sees their killing as an addiction and tries to get the monkey off her back. She tries her best to raise her kid as a regular non-killer type doll. Meanwhile, after 16 years and 5 different attempts to move his serial killer soul out of his killer doll body and into a human, Chucky finally has an epiphany, and accepts his status as “Chucky, the killer doll.”
And I’m proud of both of them.
There are a few reasons why this is not as good as BRIDE. Of course, it doesn’t look nearly as beautiful as Mr. Yu and Mr. Pau made their movie. It’s got a good look to it, sure, but none of that gothic poetry.
More importantly it doesn’t have that surprise factor. CHILD’S PLAY was a genuinely good killer doll movie, parts 2 and 3 were formulaic slasher sequel retreads. But suddenly BRIDE comes along, it’s a total reinvention. You’ve never seen a movie like this before. All the sudden it’s completely absurd and it’s more about the puppets and the crazy things you can do with them. I believe this movie set the stage for JASON X and FREDDY VS. JASON which are maybe not as good as BRIDE but all three are more entertaining slasher sequels than anybody had made in many years.
But there is one major way that SEED is kind of better than BRIDE: it’s even more about the puppets. In BRIDE you gotta go along with these hollow teenager characters who Chucky and Tiffany hitch a ride with. You don’t have the same problem here. The only human characters you have to know are Jennifer Tilly and Redman, and it’s almost like you already know them anyway. I mean, I remember just the other day, Redman and his friend Method Man jumped out from behind some bushes and told me about a particular brand of deodorant. They seem like a couple of helpful guys, I really appreciated it. And let me be the first to say this about Redman, that any celebrity who is willing to play themselves and then be horribly disemboweled is a cool guy. (spoiler.) If they ever get to make another one (yeah, right) I hope somewhere they have a “REDMAN R.I.P.” graffiti mural like you might see of Tupac or somebody.
Plus you got this new puppet, the Seed of the title, who is either called Glen or Glenda depending on which parent you ask. Billy Boyd does a great job, seeming totally sincere.
I don’t want to give everything away. This is just a funny god damn movie. I’m sure alot of people can’t get into this, but I don’t know what to tell you. If you liked BRIDE I think you will like this one.
One last thing, I want to commend these filmatists on some wonderful end credits. I’m sure somebody’s thought of this before, but I don’t remember ever seeing it. They credit each of the actors next to a freeze frame of their character’s horrible beheadings, guttings, etc. It brings a real sense of class to your night out at the movies, one that is much needed today. Good job everybody.
September 6th, 2010 at 5:54 pm
Thank you, Vern. I think you identified something helpful to me. I loved Bride of Chucky so much, when I heard they weren’t going to make a sequel, I did a story on Mancini and he told me the whole story of Seed. When they finally came around, it turned out he actually made exactly the movie he’d told me about years earlier. Watching it I respected that he got to do it, but I think I already knew the good jokes (although the Here’s Johnny and giving up soul transfer were good.)
But maybe it’s just that the shock of how good and different Bride was can’t be duplicated. So this is the best sequel to Bride you could make but without the element of surprise.
And I never find horror movies scary. Even the best ones. Exorcist, good movie but I don’t believe demons possess girls so I’m all right. Texas Chainsaw was pretty unrelenting though (original one). So give me a good story and humor, play with your genre, I’m all about that.