Seed of Chucky (2004) — Dolls procreate, blow your mind

“This is nuts! And I have a VERY high tolerance for nuts.”

Justin’s rating: Thou shalt not kill.

Justin’s review: These days, I think the horror industry desperately needs films like Seed of Chucky to counter all of the current wave of Japanese Ghost Pathos or Bleak Chainsaw Slaughter flicks on the market. We’ve reentered an age where everyone’s taking horror far too seriously and trying to push the limits of what can make us upchuck to the Nth level. A generous pinch of humor and a carefree attitude goes a long way to continue to entice the mainstream audience into buying serial killathons.

Granted, the only reason that I rented this movie was probably that USA Today singled me out personally to do so.

It was one of those phone calls that I receive every now and then from some far more prestigious literary publication that is forced to deal with lowbrow cult flicks and somehow digs up Mutant Reviewers as a leading authority on the subject. This particular phone call was regarding an article on the Chucky franchise, as Part 5 was about to release, and the writer of the article got it into their head that I was an expert on All Things Child Play. Of course, my qualifications began and ended with “I wrote a review for Bride of Chucky on a half-night of sleep,” but I wasn’t about to disabuse them of their mistake. My pride knows no bounds when it comes to getting quoted in a paper.

Alas, what I’ve come to realize from these phone calls is that the writer is looking for a very specific quote to fill up a paragraph, and has little interest to what my deep thoughts were on the subject of animated killer dolls and the people who die from them. So, all giddy that Mutant Reviewers would be in USA Today, I opened the paper in 2004 to read:

“The idea of an evil doll come to life is a fun, freaky concept,” says longtime fan Justin Olivetti, 28, a youth pastor in Michigan, who runs the horror film fan site Mutant Reviewers. “I’ll definitely see Seed of Chucky.”

Naturally, I was exceedingly glad with this quote, aside from the facts that (1) Mutant Reviewers is not a horror film site, (2) they felt compelled to list my job title of youth pastor in an article that suggested “in league with Satan”, and, (3) perhaps most importantly, I never actually said these words.

So fate being the fickle pickle that it’s wont to be, I suppose I was predestined to see part 5 in all its fun and freakiness. Here goes nothing!

Being the horror film site expert that I am, I’ve never actually seen Child’s Play 1, 2 or 3. Just hasn’t happened yet. But I know enough that while the first three movies played the killer doll with a ‘tude more as straight horror, the studios decided on a major shift for part 4, ramping up the comedy and quips while acknowledging how ludicrous it was for anyone to be physically afraid of a one foot piece of possessed plastic. It was a decidedly good move for the franchise, yet at the same time it did not call for an immediate sequel.

Seed of Chucky plays it very close to its predecessor — so close, in fact, that it felt like watching a studio rewrite of Bride while merging it with Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and Scream 3. At the end of Bride, we’re treated to the therapy-worthy hint that Chucky’s bride Tiffany is in fact with child, and Seed takes this and runs helter-skelter for the hills.

It turns out that Tiffany had the child (somehow) before she and Chucky got destroyed, and this child grew up as a sweetly innocent ventriloquist dummy away from any of the family carnage. Meanwhile, a movie about Chucky’s rampage is set to be made in our favorite of self-referencing towns (Hollywood), and Tiffany and Chucky find their souls transferred into their animatronic dummy likenesses on set. Jennifer Tilley returns, playing a more bimboish version of herself (as well as providing the voice for Tiffany), and a huge, convoluted plot involving artificial insemination and more babies and soul-switching ensues.

The plot, franky, is absolutely terrible. I think it’s because by the fifth film, we’re kind of tired of hearing how Chucky wants to get his soul back into a human body, and we wish that he’d change his career goals to something in fertilizer sales or hair styling. Compared to the gonzo Bride, which traveled all over and featured several interesting setups, Seed’s lack of budget confines the film to a mere handful of locations, and throws all of its hopes on the latest member of the Chucky household.

The new doll, an ambiguous freaky-looking thing named Glen/Glenda, is voiced by Lord of the Ring’s Billy Boyd (where my Pippin people in the house at?), and boggles the mind at how disturbing a mere doll can be. Glen/Glenda almost manages to belay the lameness of the script by contrasting a weird type of innocence that is tested by the corrupting influences of mom and dad. By the end of the flick, (s)he’s as messed up (and more) than you could hope for, and that’s worth at least one of the dollars you’d pay to rent this.

So sorry, USA Today. Guess I’m hanging up my Chucky hat here — find a new patsy to provide you with lukewarm quotes.

Didja notice?

  • The opening teaser is similar to the opening to Halloween
  • Julia Roberts or Jennifer Tilly as the virgin Mary… you pick!
  • Decapitation is quite romantic
  • The Glen or Glenda naming debate… referencing the old Ed Wood film
  • The mention of the cult flick Bound
  • That’s a… very interesting… way to get pregnant. With a turkey baster.
  • Bye bye Britney!
  • John Waters is easily the freakiest looking person alive OR dead
  • Advice for photographers: don’t store open bottles of sulfuric acid in your darkroom
  • Martha Stewart gets executed… yay?
  • There’s a lot of pregnancy and birth stuff here, be warned
  • The Shining reference
  • The wife of the man Tiffany calls to apologize to is the widow of the cop she killed at the beginning of Bride of Chucky.

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