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Posts Tagged ‘puppets’

Bride of Chucky

Monday, April 24th, 2023

Now, at last, we come to perhaps the key moment in this entire Ronny Yu retrospective. After years in the trenches of the Hong Kong film industry, having gained acclaim worldwide for painterly, operatic martial arts fantasies, and having made his American debut earnestly combining that style with a goofy children’s movie, Yu got a high profile Hollywood gig that seemed to many at the time like it was completely random. How the fuck does the director of THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR end up helming part 4 in an American slasher series, reviving it after seven dormant years, and taking it on an intentionally eyebrow-raising tonal swerve into oddball comedy? Did they just think of him because the word “Bride” was in the title?

As the entry that first turned the CHILD’S PLAY series into more of a comedy, BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998) is a cult favorite in its own right, and therefore became arguably Yu’s most widely known film in the West, even if many don’t necessarily know or remember that he directed it. But I’m here to argue that even though this isn’t Yu’s most representative film it does have his stamp on it, and very much fits into his filmography. (read the rest of this shit…)


Friday, July 20th, 2012

GREMLINS is a weird only-in-the-’80s mix. Like POLTERGEIST it’s a Spielberg production of a PG-rated horror movie directed by a legit horror director, Joe Dante. I mean, we can’t pretend THE HOWLING is on the level of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, but I think it’s a minor classic at least, genuinely creepy horror only overshadowed by that other even better werewolf movie that came out the same year.

But the other important factor at play here is that while Dante came up under Roger Corman he’s more of a goofball and cartoon nerd than a horror master. So his monsters are vicious bastards but also funny. Like the martians in MARS ATTACKS! they seem to live more to fuck with us than to kill us. And they plan to do both.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Team America: World Police

Saturday, October 16th, 2004

TEAM AMERICA is pretty much your typical moronic jingoistic action nonsense. The ultimate big budget, small brained hollywood summer action July 4th blockbuster. The movie you saw and couldn’t believe anybody liked but somehow everybody liked it and it made a bazillion dollars and the next summer everybody pretended it was somebody else who liked it. It’s pretty much that movie, except sarcastic, and done entireley with creepy looking marionettes like on that old TV show THUNDERBIRDS. That might be a comment about the wooden characterization and emotion in big action movies, and the way they treat sometimes respectable actors as props to move around and set up in front of explosions. But more likely it’s just because puppets are funny. It’s funny to watch them do stuff, because they’re puppets.

The first third or so of this movie is the hardest I’ve laughed in a long time. The opening credits are these overblown 3-D metallic letters that fly at the camera and then blow up, and you know right there that these filmatists know their Jerry Bruckheimer. What’s really impressive about the movie is the incredible attention to detail about all the cliches of action movies. They got every shot, every corny line, every montage, every subplot of a dumb action movie. They introduce and reintroduce bad guys exactly the same way they do in the real movies. They use the same angles and lighting and music cues. It’s just different because they’re these goofy bigheaded dolls and they walk funny. (read the rest of this shit…)