Seed of Chucky (2004)

Starring Jennifer (Bride of Chucky)Tilly, Redman, John Waters, Brad (All the Chucky movies) Doriff

Directed by Don Mancini

So here we are in 2004, and a film has been released that, just a year ago, seemed like it would never happen. Say what you will about Freddy Vs. Jason, but without it’s success Don Mancini would’ve never got the green light for Seed of Chucky, and then where would us sick & twisted horror fans be?

The story picks up about 5 years after the events in Bride, and Hollywood has discovered the legend behind Chucky the killer doll, so of course they’re making a movie about him called Chucky Goes Psycho. Cute title. The dolls are in existence again, we assume that they were somehow re-created after the events of the last film or something, but the only life they now have is through circuits run through their backs controlled by special effects guys.

On the other side of the pond their offspring, Glen (or as he’s known at the beginning of the film, Shithead) is having a horrible life. Unable to come to grips with what exactly he is, all he knows is that he was Made In Japan and he’s not like other boys. Escaping from the ventriloquist show he’s been made a part of after seeing a special report on the making of Chucky Goes Psycho, he makes his way to California to find his parents.

They’re brought back to life thanks to the trusty amulet (gotta love Mancini for keeping this thing around), and are soon up to their old tricks again. Except Glen (or Glenda, as he’s sexless) doesn’t want to kill, he just wants a normal life. Tiffany’s ready to give up, but it’s Chucky’s very nature to be a psycho and he just can’t help himself. Jennifer Tilly, the real one, gets mixed up in the mess as does rapper Redman (playing himself) and a very unfortunate John Waters, as well as some other victims of the dolls new, somewhat more hesitant, killing spree.

So the real question is; was it worth the wait? Immediately after seeing it if you would’ve asked me that, I would’ve said no. Plain and simple, I just didn’t like it at first. Since then, though, I’ve realized that this was exactly the kind of movie that needed to come after Bride, and yeah, it was worth the wait.

In the first three movies, the Chucky character was established as joke-cracking psycho who just wanted to be a human again. Then, in Bride, he gets himself another dolly girl to kill with, and things were taken to a new level. Now, with Seed, we see him trying to deal with not only being a psychopath, not only being stuck in the body of a sewn-together doll, but having a gender-confused son and a wife that’s losing her taste for killing. It really was the next step in establishing Chucky as a character, and it worked really well.

A lot of talk has been going around about how funny the movie is, and I will give it the fact that it’s pretty out there for the most part. The humor here is not the kind of stuff you want to have to explain to your kids (though some moronic parents in the theater last night probably had to as soon as it was over…bringing SIX YEAR OLDS to this movie), but to me it just felt like it was trying too hard to be funny. You already had the inherit ridiculousness of not only dolls possessed by the dead, but able to reproduce as well, and to go out of your way to throw in jokes along the way seemed a bit much. I think if Mancini would’ve just played on the family unit side of things exclusively it would’ve worked much better.

There’s also been a lot of talk about the level of gore, and on that particular topic I cannot argue. It’s at a level you just don’t get in Hollywood movies nowadays (or ever, come to think of it), and I think this has a lot to do with the fact that the dolls are doing all the killing. Somehow that’s more okay with the MPAA or something. Whatever the cause, it makes for some great scenes, like John Waters’ painful death sequence or the steaming guts of Redman spilled on screen. No off-camera deaths for Chucky and his family unit, no sir, this is all right in front of the all-seeing camera.

One other area I’d like to touch on before I wrap up is the animatronics. I had a fear Mancini would go the CGI route for at least some of the scenes involving the dolls from a distance, but that’s just not his style. The facial expressions alone make these characters seem truly alive, you can tell the technology has improved leaps and bounds since even Brides’s release. The camera work perfectly accentuates just how great these creations are, it almost makes you sad to think how much CGI is used nowadays when animatronics is this advanced.

Despite the flaw of seeming like it was trying too hard in some spots, Seed of Chucky is still a great follow-up to Bride and a very cool horror/comedy on it’s own. I do hope Don takes the franchise back into a Chucky solo direction like he discussed in a recent interview, because the series needs to get back to focusing on just how crazy Chucky is and what he’ll do now that he’s had the revelation he comes to at the end of Seed. I can’t wait for it!

3 1/2 out of 5

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Johnny Butane

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