Monday, August 27, 2007

Seed of Chucky

Price: $2
Run Time:87 wonderful minutes
Director: Don Mancini
Cast: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Red Man, Billy Boyd, John Waters

How do I even begin?

Seed of Chucky is essentially the movie that gave me the initial cheap vhs bug. It has all of the qualities a cheap video should have, and much much more. I might even go as far as to say that if it weren't for this movie, I might have never started this blog.

Allow me to explain.

For me, the ideal dollar video is the sort of movie that was almost entirely ignored at the time of its release, or in this case, booed of the stage before it even had a chance. This isn't all. The movie has to use its own ridiculousness to the fullest, and commit to this to the extent that the effect is an off-putting sort of genious; the kind where you think it isn't an accident, but are never totally sure. I love this sort of tension because it keeps me on the edge of my seat, and stimulates me in a way that more critically acclaimed movies rarely do.

Seed Of Chucky is all about this particular sensation. It makes sense that it was unfairly scoffed at around the time of its not so long ago theatrical release. I mean, it was the fifth installment of a horror franchise started in 1988 about a killer doll! Although that sentence sounds great to me, the Crash loving critics just can't handle something so openly trashy.

It really is to bad, because I feel like Seed of Chucky and its (in my opinion) lesser predecessor, Bride of Chucky, are perfect examples of how a franchise can really reinvent itself in an interesting way. My colleague Osama talked about this a bit in his post about Friday the Thirteenth part 7: The New Blood. A lot of the time horror franchises go a bit stale when they repeat themselves too much. The first three Child's Play movies have a bit of this problem. While the first one is an effective horror movie, despite its concept, number two and three are a little dull and redundant. Both have their moments, but it is easier to get away with one formulaic horror movie about a demon doll than it is to get away with three.

The introduction of the Tiffany character (played by my favorite Oscar winner) added something really promising to the franchise, and that promise was fulfilled with Seed of Chucky. After all, two dolls are always better than one, and three is ideal, particularly when the third looks like David Bowie. Tiffany took the serious out of the series by giving the film makers an opportunity to create humorous instances of inanimate object sexuality. And then came Glen or Glenda?....

.....and with her/him came something remarkable.

Not only do you have doll murderers, but you have dolls dressing in drag, gutting rap stars, and having 'typical' familial disputes on top of it all. Chucky and Tiffany's misfit child is a high cheek boned ticket to the wonderful land of the ridiculous.

This is what I mean

If the dollies aren't enough for you, then you might enjoy Jennifer Tilly, who supplies this movie with a unique kind of humour. When I claimed her as my favorite oscar nominee earlier, it was not a complete lie.

Ms. Tilly gives a hilariously self-aware performance as both Tiffany and herself. She hilariously plays into the public perception of her as a trashy, oversexed busty femme. The whole movie is a Jennifer Tilly vanity project to an extent, but while watching it you'll realize this is a good thing. She's the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.

Whether you see Seed of Chucky because you are home sick, love Ms. Tilly, or are really into bowie-esque doll children, you're sure to laugh if you have any sense of humor.

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