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Seed of Chucky
Reviewed by Gary Mitchel, © 2004

Format: Movie
By:   Don Mancini (writer/director)
Genre:   Horror/Comedy
Released:   November 12, 2004
Review Date:   November 16, 2004
Audience Rating:   Rated R
RevSF Rating:   7/10 (What Is This?)

Glen: "Mommy, daddy, why do you kill people?"

Chucky: "Um . . . It's more of a hobby, really. I do it to relax."

Is it nature or nurture that defines who we are? What is it that will shape us the most, our environment or our genetic code? There are many stories that grapple with these tough questions.

Seed of Chucky just kind of nods in the general direction of that query as it racks up a body count.

I have to confess that the last Chucky flick I watched in the theatre was Child's Play 3, and I watched it only because I could see it for free. We were playing it at the theatre I worked at, and while it was OK, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to see it. I completely skipped Bride of Chucky when it came out, as I had lost all interest in the little psycho. Then I got the call to review Seed of Chucky. So I went to my local video store and rented Bride so I could be up to date on the activities of the killer doll.

Now, I have to admit, I've been toying with watching Bride for the last year. My interest came after I found out that Ronny Yu, the man who helmed Freddy vs. Jason, directed it. As dedicated readers of this site, you'll all know how I feel about that movie. So to make sure I was up to date heading into the new movie, and for you, my fellow fans, I braved both Bride and Seed in the same weekend. (And yes, as a flimsy excuse to finally watch the darn thing.)

To recap, for those of you who haven't been keeping up, Chucky was formerly multiple murderer Charles Lee Ray, played by the talented Brad (Wormtounge) Dourif. Using movie voodoo, when he was cornered by the cops in a warehouse of toys, Charles bound his soul into a three-foot doll to escape justice. He then spent three movies chasing one particular boy to transfer himself out of the doll and back into a human body. In Bride, he was revived by his former lover Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), and then murderous mayhem ensued. The most disturbing thing about that film was the revelation that all their "doll parts" were . . . fully functional.

In Seed, we pick up a few years later, with Chucky's kid living in a cage and being used in a ventriloquist act. It's an easy act, since he's a living doll. He's now around seven or so and is a sweet, sensitive little boy, with the voice of Billy (Pippin) Boyd and the looks of Ziggy (David Bowie) Stardust. While watching TV, he sees that a movie is being made about the urban legend of these killer dolls that were discovered at a crime scene. Through the magic of movie logic, the boy realizes that these dolls are his parents, so he escapes his captor and runs to Hollywood.

From here, folks, it gets bizarre.

We follow actress Jennifer Tilly around, as she plays herself. She is the lead in the Chucky movie-within-the-move. In support we have her limo driver Stan (Steve Lawton), who's in love with her, and her long-suffering assistant Joan (Hannah Spearritt). Tilly bemoans her fall from grace as a "real" actress, now having to act with puppets. To remedy this, she auditions for rapper Redman, playing himself, who wants to make a movie about the Virgin Mary.

I told you it was bizarre.

So while this is going on, our puppet boy sneaks into the studio and finds his parents. He then uses the voodoo medallion he's had since birth to awaken the twin psychos. Of course the movie people were using the real dolls from the crime scene. Why wouldn't they?

The killers are shocked to discover they have a child and name him Glen. Well, until they find out he's actually not anatomically correct and Tiff decides Glen is Glenda. This becomes a running theme, and I, if no one else, appreciated the Ed Wood joke.

Within minutes, the blood is flowing and the body count rises as the two dolls try to once more reclaim human bodies. The movie sends up other movies, Hollywood culture, twelve stepping, Britney Spears, and a host of other running gags I won't spoil. The movie is very funny, if you're twisted enough. On the other hand, it isn't any scarier than Freddy vs. Jason. I didn't really miss the fear all that much, as I was laughing too often. However, I must warn you the film is a bit gory in places, so those with a sensitive stomach may want to keep that in mind.

What really surprised me, though, were the many character moments. You don't expect that kind of thing from this sort of movie. Watching Glen twitch as he realizes his parents are stark raving mad, or Joan writing out a mass of fan mail to cheer up Tilly, really elevates the movie a bit. I have to hand it to writer/director Don Mancini, he turned out a really decent, and funny, script. Of course, he really knows these characters — he's written every one of the Chucky movies.

So I was pleasantly surprised. I went in expecting this movie to be worse than Godsend. But where Godsend was full of it self and tried to be serious, Seed knows exactly what it is, and has some fun with the idea. I won't claim it's a great movie, but I've seen a lot worse. I would have liked to have seen a few attempts at some real scares, but what the heck. If you're into psycho-killer doll movies, or have a black sense of humor, Seed is worth a matinee or video rental.

RevSF SpankMuppet Gary Mitchel still sleeps with dolls. But he doesn’t cuddle them afterwards, the selfish bastard.

 
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