February 15, 2011

Movie Review: Seed of Chucky

Seven years after Child's Play seemingly ended it's run, creator/writer Don Mancini brought the killer doll back in a drastically different form. The more traditional slasher approach of the first three movies was pretty much thrown out the window, in its place a more satirical, comical, and psychotic vision emerged. It was a response to the game changing nature of Scream and its self-referential humor and new style of horror. Mancini and director Ronny Yu brought us Bride of Chucky. Chucky was joined by another killer doll, Tiffany, they kept the blood, amped up the style, and gave us a killer doll psycho road comedy. Yes, you read that right. Six years later we get a sequel to this new vision and it gets even crazier.

Yes, Seed of Chucky may not be the best of the series, but it certainly is a bit of inspired lunacy. It steps even further away from the horror the series was known for and more into comic-surreal territory. It really turns into an insider satire of Hollywood blended with a dysfunctional family comedy. As I sit here trying to wrap my mind around this movie I cannot believe this got a wide release. For better or worse, this is a strange, strange movie.

At the end of Bride of Chucky, Tiffany gives birth to a nasty little critter doll who takes a shot at a policeman as the credits begin to role. Seed begins sometime after that with a British ventriloquist finding this new doll, now fully formed, in a cemetery. He is now a part of an act, however the doll has no idea who he is or where he came from, aside from the "Made in Japan" stamp inside his wrist. His journey begins when he sees a news story on Chucky and Tiffany. Has he found his parents? Off to the States he goes in search of Mommy and Daddy.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Tilly is starring in a movie about the dolls and their alleged killer souls. This is where the Chucky and Tiffany dolls are found by their offspring. The new doll reads the magic words and the family is reunited. The story settles in with Tiffany and Chucky come to grips with their androgynous offspring, given the names of Glen and Glenda (a nod to Ed Wood's transvestite film Glen or Glenda). This goes on while Jennifer Tilly campaigns for a role in a movie about the Virgin Mary to be directed by Redman (who plays himself).

People die and there are questions as to who did it, could it be Jennifer Tilly? It doesn't really matter, the audience knows who is behind it and it is not really what this movie is about. Seed of Chucky is just a down and dirty exploitative film that seeks to explore Hollywood and the family dynamic in a unique fashion.

This is a movie that has a great look. It is very consistent with Bride with the very deep blacks and high contrast colors. The story is pretty goofy and it goes a long way to giving these characters life. The story is actually interesting. Watching the family come to grips with their issues, watching the Hollywood story get insidery and such is actually fun.

I must admit that back when this first came out I did not particularly care for it. Now, some time has passed, my movie life experience has changed and I must say that I like it a lot more now. It still comes in behind Bride and the original, but this has taken on a certain hypnotic quality. From the androgynous doll, to John Waters as a paparazzi, to Jennifer Tilly talking to her doll alter-ego, it is all very surreal.

I like this movie. It is fun, bizarre, creepy, surreal, weird, and whatever else you want to say. In the mood for something out of the ordinary and something that probably has no right to be good? This is it.


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