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Seed of Chucky

Other // R // November 12, 2004
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Allposters]

Review by Kim Morgan | posted November 20, 2004 | E-mail the Author
Chucky2

Unless you're a fan keeping track, it may be tough to believe that Chucky, that red-headed talking doll possessed by the spirit of a serial killer, has produced five movies. Not three, but five. And for nerdy film enthusiasts it might also be hard to fathom that the massively talented actor of Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Deadwood) has been voicing the little terror since 1988. 17 years. Dear Lord, where does the time go?

Following up the frequently hilarious Bride of Chucky in which we witnessed puppet copulation, Seed of Chucky moves along in similar wink, wink, stab, stab territory. Giving up the concept that Chucky might actual be SCARY (a la that insane doll in Trilogy of Terror, the dummy in Magic or that clown toy in Poltergeist), the series decided to mock itself. Not a bad idea but one that requires careful calibration. You can't just expect Chucky to be funny on his own and the film knows this—perhaps too well.

Directed by Chucky's creator, Don Mancini, Seed turns self reflexive in its plot of making a Chucky movie within the actual Chucky movie. A game Jennifer Tilly (who voiced the Tiffany doll in Bride of Chucky and here) stars as herself—an actress in need of a killer part, the kind that Julia Roberts, whom she references with disdain (she states that Roberts slept with her director to get Erin Brockovich), would get. While in another Chucky movie during which the dolls are not alive (yet) she hears about a religious film to be directed by the rapper Redman. She's yearning to play the Virgin Mary because she likes the way she "wore her hair off the face."

Meanwhile, in Britain, there's another doll—a creepy-looking, earnestly sweet ventriloquist dummy. While watching TV he spies Chucky and Chucky's wife Tiffany and, knowing these are his long-lost parents, escapes to Hollywood in order to find them. When he does, a spell is cast and Chucky and Tiff come to life, happy to see their son, or daughter, they are not sure. Naming her Glen or Glenda (film geek reference that's oddly, endearing here), Tiffany wants the peace-loving Glenda to join her in a twelve step process of quelling her insatiable desire to kill. But Chucky's got another agenda—wishing Glen to walk the evil, disemboweling steps of his father, he takes him out on a murder spree that involves a nosy paparazzi (played wonderfully by John Waters who really ought to do more acting) getting his face eaten off by sulfuric acid.

Chucky

On paper, this all sounds like glorious fun (or a disaster, which must be what the studio thought when not screening the film for any press). And much of Seed is quite humorous, especially when the dolls are back lit like movie stars while manically stabbing people in the guts. But too often, the humor, on the verge of being clever, stumbles and we watch, dispirited as another easy joke lands with a thud. It's really a shame because it can't be easy making animatronic dolls simultaneously fake and lifelike while being funny and even, at times, cute. Chucky is indeed an impressive creation and the filmmakers are, for certain, smart. One clue? When breaking through a door and closing up on Chucky's face, the film, knowing we anticipate (and fear) the obvious has Chucky simply stating he's "not gonna say it." No "Here's Johnny" for Chucky. Sadly, however, that's not enough. Part Six please.

Read More Kim Morgan at her blog Sunset Gun


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