Chucky and Tiffany are resurrected in Hollywood by their son
Glen and work to possess the bodies of Redman and Jennifer Tilly.
Seed of Chucky (2004)
Written and Directed by Don Mancini
Starring Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Billy Boyd, Redman,
Hannah Spearitt, John Waters, Steve Lawton
Sequel to 1998's Bride of Chucky
Every franchise reaches a breaking point. A zenith. The movie that is generally universally disliked by the fanbase requires the creators to take a good, long look at where they want to go next, For Child’s Play, it was Seed of Chucky. After the crazy success of Bride, a sequel was all but certain. Add in the bonus of having franchise creator, Don Mancini, having even more control than he had in the past and you have the recipe for a great movie. Unfortunately, not the case with Seed. Critically reviled and disliked by fans, the film flopped. Its failure would make it the last one in the franchise released theatrically. But, all these years later, could there be some merit to this hated film?
I’ll admit, this installment has grown on me a little over the years. It’s still tied with Child’s Play 3 as my least favorite of the franchise. But, still, it has grown on me. Don Mancini decided to take the more comedic elements of Bride and up them considerably. This leads to mixed results. While some jokes work, a good chunk fall flat. The horror is sorely missed in this one. I also continue to love both Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif in their respective, iconic roles. They never ham it up and provide some of the better jokes the film provides. One last thing I’d like to add to the what works in this film is the insane amount of clever homages. From John Waters having a role to a scene directly lifted from The Shining, none of the references feel forced and work.
As I’ve already said, Seed of Chucky is very much hated by the fanbase. But, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Not saying it’s great. The turn to almost full on comedy doesn’t really work, most of the jokes don’t work, and the film gets weird (even for my taste). But, Tilly and Dourif continue to provide great performances and Mancini puts in some clever homages. While Seed of Chucky misses the mark for me, it’s still worth a watch.
The Chucky train keeps rolling as this is the beginning of the Don Mancini helmed entries in the Child’s Play franchise. As much flack as this sequel gets because of its campy aesthetic, it also pays homage to some famous characters of the horror genre and some infamous directors. It’s these nods to the past in this contemporary film that, for me, elevate it above Child’s Play 3.
Glen/Glenda (voiced by Billy Boyd) was found shortly after the events of Bride of Chucky by a cockney dirtbag ventriloquist who uses him as his dummy. We are given peeks into his psyche through murderous flashbacks/dreams that pay homage to Hitchcock’s notoriously genius piece of montage, the shower scene in Psycho. Glen/Glenda even utters Norman Bates’s line, “I wouldn’t even hurt a fly.” That film is about a mentally unhinged young man who gives in to his murderous impulses dressing as a woman, his mother. This movie plays like a game of six degrees of separation of gay cinema icons and I love it.
As the kid reanimates and reunites with his parents, who give him the name Glen/Glenda (because they are both convinced that their offspring is male and female despite a distinct lack of genitalia) which is a direct reference to Hollywood’s infamous angora sweater wearing B-movie legend, Ed Wood, who also enjoyed dressing as a woman in his private life. He also had a film of the same title which was about a man going through the same situation Ed faced on a daily basis, art imitating life if ever there was a case.
John Waters (of Pink Flamingos infamy) also has a role as sleazy paparazzi photographer, Pete Peters. The King (or Queen) of Filth is a gay director (one of my personal film heroes for his uncompromising approach and razor sharp wit) known for using the drag queen Divine in his early films (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Polyester, Multiple Maniacs which I will get around to reviewing to share with you, dear reader) and I’m convinced that, had Divine (real name Glen Milstead; see there’s another famous gay Glen reference…I’m telling you, LAYERS!) not passed away in the late 80s, John Waters would have continued to use his best leading lady for years. I would have loved to have seen Divine in Serial Mom, but I digress.
The movie within a movie is about Chucky and Tiffany terrorizing Santa Claus which stars Jennifer Tilly. She is fantastic in this movie and really relishes in blurring the line between reality and fantasy. She’s just as desperate and dangerous as Tiffany which really makes the little doll lady blush as she considers her an angel. The family dynamic is on full display here as mom and dad wrestle with parenthood and raising a confused child who isn’t sure of their gender. There are even lines where Chucky is proclaiming to be unashamed of who he is, a killer, and that you shouldn’t have to ‘hide in the closet’ when it comes to being who you really are. If this isn’t another layer of a film that has a little more going on than dolls on a killing spree then I don’t know what is. It’s there and in not so subtle ways. This sequel is balls to the wall campy and I love it! Don Mancini, a gay writer/director himself, pays homage to icons of queer cinema and that, for me, makes this a better entry than Andy’s exploits at military school.