There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun. This is Bride of Chucky, the fourth installment in the Child’s Play franchise.
Today’s Key Movie:
Picking up one month after Child’s Play 3, Charles Lee Ray’s girlfriend arranges to obtain the body of Chucky from evidence only to bring him back to continue his murderous spree. However, she soon finds herself in a doll as well when Chucky decides he no longer wants to be alone. Together, they now need to find new bodies in order to be human again…
Why this movie?
After the rather disappointing Child’s Play 3, it seemed the franchise was done. While we still loved the diminutive devil, none of us thought we would ever see another film featuring the killer doll, Chucky. For a while it seemed that was the case until 1998 when Chucky got married.
To say we were excited for the return of the killer kid’s toy was an understatement. The memories of the original films had faded into myth making even the third one feel like a classic. These films had reached cult status with most people owning at least one of them in their VHS collection. So, to have a sequel that brought back a beloved franchise was exciting! Our only question was…how would he be brought back and…would he still be hunting his former friend Andy?
The how was simple, with a little black magic and the psychotic love of a former lover but this time Chucky really had no interest in perusing his old friend because he had a new one…one that he decided needed to be like him. That, is where this film get’s interesting.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
Ratcheting up the star power with actors like Jennifer Tilly, John Ritter and even Katherine Heigl, this film takes a nod from it’s contemporaries of the decade like Scream and I Know What You did Last Summer, creating something new with the franchise. Gone is the more serious slasher film of the 80’s and in it’s place is a more self aware, somewhat comedic entry and that is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s really fun.
From the start, the film fully embraces it’s campy nature by referencing not only the ‘sillyness’ of the original films but also loosely connecting in to the other classic slashers such as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elmstreet and even Hellraiser. In fact, it’s very title is referenced as Tiffany watches Bride of Frankenstein just before her death and subsequent resurrection. While this kind of thing could easily make a film too campy and unwatchable, filmmakers Don Mancini and Ronny Yu manage to produce a thoroughly enjoyable horror/comedy which somehow just works despite itself.
As I mentioned earlier, the cast is pretty stacked for a late 90’s horror flick and they all do a terrific job in their roles. In addition to the rather surprising appearance of John Ritter as the town sheriff uncle of Jade, played by Katherine Heigl, Heigl unsurprisingly owns her role through and through. I mean…while this is rather early in her career this is Katherine Heigl we are talking about. Coupled with Nick Stabile in the role of Jade’s boyfriend Jesse, these two act as the unwitting victims/transportation for the other couple this film is all about, Chuky and Tiffany played by none other than Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif. Tilly, who is known for her seductive and fun personality in her many roles, brings Tiffany to life in a way only she could. She manages to actually makes the animatronic doll feel like a living breathing person and, coupled with Dourif’s comfort in his role of Chucky, they just work. In fact, the combination of these two couples some how complement each other in a really strange and insane way. I don’t know how but it works on every level.
If you are a fan of the original trilogy, this film may come as a tonal shock to you, it is not the slasher style film the originals were, in fact it takes a very different path. That path is a fun, silly one and brings Chucky into the modern day with a bang…or a scream…or yeah, you get it.
Bottom line, This film is a fun one and even though there are some truly cringey moments…uhm…doll sex….but hell, what do you expect from a story about killer dolls and voodoo spells? If you are expecting something different, you are certainly in the wrong genre.
OK, where do I get this movie?
As with all of the Child’s Play films, this one is readily available on just about any format. It’s fun, it’s nightmarish and it is a staple of late 90’s horror. Go grab a copy and enjoy The Bride of Chucky. Needless to say, even though I planned for this to be the last of the child’s play films I reviewed, it was just too fun to stop with this one. We will be back with The Seed of Chucky next week. I mean, the ending of the film does kinda demand we keep this train going…
Late To The Game 10/29/2020
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