Monday, September 23, 2013

Chucky Retrospective: SEED OF CHUCKY

Seed Of Chucky
Director: Don Mancini
Starring: Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Redman, Billy Boyd, Hannah Spearitt, Steve Lawton, John Waters
Rated: R

It looks like the kid fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

After 6 more years, Chucky randomly pops up again.  During the era when this film came out, its sort of surprising that it wasn't a remake or reboot this time around.  Granted, it was early in that cycle, but still, with another big gap in between productions, you'd think it might have been an option.  Plus, seeing the heights to which a rival icon, Leatherface, was brought back to relevance , a studio or writer/director might want to do the same for another.  In any instance, the man behind them all, Don Mancini, returns.  With this series, love them or hate them, you can really point to one person as to the blame if you so desire.  This time, he adds to his normal writing duties and sits in the director's chair as well.

Chucky and Tiffany really did die in the previous film.  Their kid, going by the name "Shitface" is a part of ventriloquist gag routine.  Interested in it's family lineage, Shitface traces it back to Chucky and Tiffany in Hollywood.  All that can be found though, is dolls on the set of a movie being made.  Using the series' famed voodoo, Shiftace resurrects both of their souls into the prop dolls.  While connecting with their child and trying to figure out its gender (giving the doll the names of Glen and Glenda).  Chucky and Tiffany devise a plan to body swap into Redman and Jennifer Tilly and once again be human.
The previous film went more for comedy and it worked.  Seed of Chucky full consumes itself in comedy, being meta and being ridiculous and becomes a complete mostly unwatchable mess.  There are jokes of all sorts being flung at you almost nonstop throughout the runtime.  Most of them being unfunny pop culture jokes.  The scene where Chucky runs Britney Spears off the road and says "Oops, I did it again" is so beyond groan-worthy you pretty much want to his stop, throw your hands in the air and say "That's it! I've had enough!"
What worked for the previous film is that the humor was relevant to the story and character of Chucky.  And for the series it was a new and fresh take.  It added to the film.  This one is constantly pulling you out of it.  Having Jennifer Tilly show up and play herself is cute for like 5 minutes, but for her to play herself and be an actual character in the film gets old and unfunny really fast.  I'm not knocking Tilly here.  She's actually quite good, and I really need to give her props here for committing and being dedicated to this shitty little movie.  The fact, too, that Redman is here playing himself screams that he was like a 9th or 10th choice for who they really wanted.
All the Hollywood jokes here just aren't very funny either.  And no, its not because any of them are dated either.  These gags weren't working back in 2004, either.  There's a humor that lies in taking something true about the industry and making a joke out of it.  But its another to take something that sounds like how a middle schooler who hangs out on IMDB that desperately needs to sounds cool or intelligent by giving crummy ratings and posts to classic films sees things and make jokes out of that.  This movie wallows in trying to do its Hollywood gags and loses focus of not only being a horror-type but just being a Chucky movie.

This movie is a pretty big chore to get through.  What's good about it?  I like that they've continued Chucky's look of being this scarred up monster.  And Tiffany was a fun character to return.  Glen/Glenda/Shitface has a cool design and is kind of funny for a little bit.  However, most of this will all wear off after 20 minutes.  If this film quit dicking around and actually had some focus, there might've been something at least mediocre.

And this is where the original continuity ends.  Some don't count Seed of Chucky.  Some don't even count Bride (but that's just silly).  I have no problem counting both.  The series ends with Tiffany now in the body of Jennifer Tilly and Shitface in the body of one of her children with the promise that Chucky is still out there.  In the upcoming Curse of Chucky, of course Don Mancini is back both directing and writing.  Brad Dourif reprises his role of Chucky and his daughter stars.  Mancini has said he wanted to take this back to its more serious roots.  This film is H20'ing Bride & Seed out of continuity.  There's already a positive buzz for it, but will it hold up once more have seen it.  We'll very soon know.

Up Next:  Curse of Chucky

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