Directed by Various
Distributed by Universal Home Entertainment
The major selling point of Universal’s Chucky: The Complete Collection is having all six films in the franchise housed in one package for the very first time. 1988’s Child’s Play is owned by MGM while all five sequels have been distributed through Universal Home Entertainment. MGM was willing to license their title out in order to give horror fans a complete franchise collection of HD goodness and the end result is something that any Chucky fan should be pleased with—despite a few drawbacks that prevent this release from being perfect.
The question is whether or not this boxed collection is worth your bucks. While Child’s Play was released to Blu-ray a few years back, and Seed of Chucky is available as a Canadian import, none of the other Child’s Play sequels have graced Blu-ray before this boxed bow. And if we’re talking about picture and sound quality, these films offer a confident upgrade over standard definition.
Child’s Play sports the same exact transfer as offered by the stand-alone release. It’s a decent-looking disc, with a nice filmic grain structure and solid colors. Child’s Play 2 is probably the best-looking transfer of the bunch, offering sharp picture with considerable detail. Because this is a Universal catalogue title, I was wary of excessive and artificial sharpening, but this was fine to my eye. The same can be said of Child’s Play 3, which really comes alive during its funhouse climax, offering stunning detail and sharpness. The next two films don’t fare as well, presumably because these films are ‘recent’ enough to have existing HD masters—that now happen to be outdated. Both Bride and Seed suffer from edge enhancement and digital noise reduction. These transfers will probably only reveal their flaws on displays that are 60” and over, as I initially ran them on the 47” display in my bedroom and noticed no discernible issues. Curse of Chucky looks fantastic. It’s a dark movie but this transfer handles the atmosphere quite well, with rich, detailed blacks and an incredibly sharp picture.
As far as extras go: aside from Curse of Chucky (which is the same as the individual Blu-ray release), there is no new content offered in this set. This is something of a missed opportunity since Child’s Play 2 (the second best film in the series) and Child’s Play 3 are almost completely bare bones (both discs offer a trailer). Scream Factory publicized their desire to acquire this franchise earlier in the year, but was denied a license because Universal was planning this release. While Chucky: The Complete Collection is a decent bargain from a technical standpoint, the lack of supplemental material on two of the discs feels like a pretty big oversight. That said, the Child’s Play/Chucky franchise is still going strong with writer/director Don Mancini delivering one of the very best films with his most recent installment. Quality-wise, this set is well worth the cash.
But the rest of the bonus material has been available on the previous releases. Child’s Play offers three audio commentaries: the first has actors Alex Vincent and Catherine Hicks, and FX man Kevin Yagher. There’s a second audio commentary between producer David Kirschner and writer Don Mancini. For some reason, director Tom Holland is never included in this making of material, and his absence is really quite jarring. Finally there’s a scene-specific Chucky commentary that’s worth a few giggles.
The rest of the special features are replicated in disappointing SD: a twenty-five minute making of documentary, a ten-minute look at the film’s FX, a five-minute excerpt from a 2007 Monster Mania convention, and a vintage featurette. Rounding out this set is a photo gallery and a theatrical trailer.
Bride of Chucky contains all the supplements from the 1999 DVD release. There’s a Ronny Yu commentary track that bored me silly back in ’99 and hasn’t aged any better. No, I didn’t listen to the whole thing again, but it’s among the most morose audio commentaries I’ve heard. Thankfully, there’s a commentary with writer Don Mancini, and actors Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly that’s much more fun. We also get a ten-minute location featurette and a trailer—both in SD.
Seed of Chucky is missing the R-rated theatrical cut. What we have here is the unrated version of the film and all the supplements from the ’05 disc. That includes two commentary tracks. The first offers director Don Mancini with Chucky wrangler Tony Gardner. The second track finds Mancini joined by actress Jennifer Tilly. Both likable talks, as I find Mancini to be an always amiable presence—both fun and informative.
There’s a twenty-minute mockumentary with Chucky, Tiffany and Glen. A single deleted scene and a three-minute interview with Jennifer Tilly, and dolls Tiffany and Chucky. There’s also a two-minute chat with Chucky and a still gallery of vacation slides from Chucky and the fam. We also get two minutes of Jennifer Tilly on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Rounding out this collection of supplements is a storyboard-to-feature comparison and two trailers.
Because our own man Jinx did a fine time of covering Curse of Chucky in his own Blu-ray review, I’ll link over to his review for a discussion of those supplements. I wanted to focus primarily on the technical aspects of this release instead.
Chucky: The Complete Collection is a terrific set for fans of the series. For the first time ever we get all six movies in one collection, and while transfers are a bit spotty when it comes to the fourth and fifth movies, I have a sneaking suspicion most folks aren’t going to notice or mind. Bonus content could’ve been a bit more consistent but it’s good to have these suckers housed in one box. This probably isn’t the last time these films will be released to Blu-ray, but if you’re a fan of this Good Guy, you should be satisfied with what Universal has presented here.
Child’s Play 2
Child’s Play 3
Bride of Chucky
Seed of Chucky
Curse of Chucky
4 out of 5
3 out of 5