Mazel Tov to the Happy Couple

Seed of Chucky

Considering what came before (specifically the mediocrity of Child's Play 2 and Child's Play 3), Chucky's four-quel Bride of Chucky had no right being anywhere near as good as it was. And yet, coming out during the height of the meta-slasher movement (started by Scream), Bride ended up being a fun, if admittedly silly, time. It wasn't scary but it was enjoyable.

Considering that, and the fact that the film made a lot of money, buzz was high for another sequel to the Child's PlayAlthough some might have thought that the idea of a killer doller slasheer flick couldnt' support a multi-decade spanning franchise, Chucky certainly proved them wrong, constantly reinventing his series, Child's Play to stay fresh and interesting three decades later. series, one that could continue the trends started by Bride of Chucky. And yet it would be another six years before the long-in-the-works sequel, Seed of Chucky came out (nearly the same amount of time between parts three and four). This was mostly because the studio, Universal, didn't like the script handed in by the producers (a story about Chucky and Tiffany's trans son finding his place in the family, and his own identity as well, which the studio felt was "too gay"), and it would take an affiliate studio, Rogue, signing on to make the movie the team wanted.

When viewed through the lens of Bride of Chucky, Seed certainly does feel of-a-piece. The fourth movie was a fairly meta affair, using the two dolls to comment upon the whole slasher genre -- the killings, the creativity, and the desire to kill. For the fifth film the team cranks up that meta quality even further, essentially making it into a story about Hollywood, yet another parody of the whole studio process, albeit one that has a set a killer dolls as main characters. And, at times, it just about works.

In the movie we're first introduced to Glen (the child of Tiff and Chucky although, in the early scenes, he doesn't yet have a proper name). Glen (voiced by Billy Boyd) was found by a creep at the cemetery where the doll was born (after Chucky and Tiffany got busy in the previous movie) and, even since, has been working (as a slave) for the creep as his ventriloquist dummy. Once Glen sees a news report about a new Chucky film being developed ("Chucky Gets Lucky" the movie within a movie of this piece), Glen breaks free and goes to Hollywood to find his parents. Quite by accident he casts the voodoo reanimation spell over the new versions of the dolls and, wouldn't you know it, it brings the killers back once more for another round of slice and dice.

In the process, though, Tiffany (voiced by Jennifer Tilly) gets the idea to use voodoo magic so she can possess Jennifer Tilly (yes, played by Jennifer Tilly) who is starring on "Chucky Gets Lucky". She ropes Chucky (Brad Dourif, of course) into donating his seed (yes, there's a scene of puppet masturbation) so they can impregnate Tilly and have a baby that they can then give to Glen as his/her new body. Meanwhile Chucky and Tiffany each try and teach the ropes of life (and gender) to Glen/Glenda so they can decide what gender they want to be. Oh, and there's a lot of killing, too.

In some ways Seed of Chucky is a total mess. It wants to be a meta-commentary on Hollywood, a thoughtful (well, as thoughtful as this series can be) discussion about gender, and a slasher-comedy that just so happens to feature puppet masturbation and puppet tits. That's a lot for the movie to get through and, in all honesty, it ends up speeding through almost all of it to reach it's all but inevitable conclusion. The part that suffers the most is the slasher sections, the part that is supposed to be the draw of the series. The killings are quick and, honestly, rather lackluster (aside from a decent one-shot sequence at the start of the film), leaving the rest of the film feeling rather bloodless, this despite a whole ton of gore at times. It's weird.

The meta-comedy sections work better, in no small part because Tilly (as Tilly) is clearly having a ball in this movie. She gets to play Hollywood starlet, scream queen, and (eventually) loving mother in the film, nicely showing off her range and abilities. She ends up acting as the anchor of the film, even more than the lead characters of Chucky and Tiff, a presence that unites the film and makes everything so much more watchable. While the Chucky and Tiffany characters are fun in this movie, Tilly is the real draw of the piece.

What's really curious to me is that the character that should really be central to the piece, Glen/Glenda, often takes a back seat to everything else going on in the film. Considering that the movie was delayed by years because the script was "too gay," the final film really doesn't make the transgender stuff to serious. Sure, Glen/Glenda questions who they are, but the whole thing is really played as a joke with all three characters cracking wise and constantly deflating the heavy subject matter. It's like the producers really wanted to tell a personal story about being trans but couldn't find a way to fit it into their silly killer doll flick so, aside from making a trans character, just didn't really bother.

Really, this whole movie is just a giant mess. It doesn't have the good kills of the earliest films in the series, nor is the story as tightly plotted as Bride. It sits in an awkward place being too funny to be a good slasher and yet too weird to be truly humorous. It's often amusing but never really as funny as it wants to be, and whatever message it wants to tell about Glen/Glenda is lost in the blood, guts, and meta-jokes. The script could have done with some heavy rewriting and a lot of work to give it better focus and a meatier story... or to ditch the trans content and just focus on the slasher killing.

The thing is that I actually wouldn't ditch the trans content. Glen/Glenda is an interesting character, one not only torn between his two gender identities but also between his desire to be good and his family's legacy of murder. Given more focus and more time, probably making him the central character of the piece more so than he already is, Glen/Glenda could have united the movie and really given us a thought provoking look at their whole identity. Plus, considering one of his two halves turns out to be murderous, we still could have gotten all the killing we wanted.

Of course, focusing it more on Glen/Glenda's story (with all the killing, of course) would have meant that we'd have to ditch the meta-comedy, Hollywood parts of the movie, and that would have basically removed the best part of the film -- Tilly playing Tilly. Maybe instead we should have gotten two movies, one about Hollywood making a "Chucky" film and a different one about Glen/Glenda. As it is, putting the two of them together weakens both halves overall, reducing the effectiveness of Seed of Chucky. As it stands I enjoyed this movie but didn't really like it. While I'll go back and watch Bride of Chucky over and over again, Seed is too big of a mess to get that same treatment.

The Killing Floor:

First Sin:

The movie doesn't really open with a sin. While the first kills come early (and are unprompted by any particular bad behavior), our first eventually sin

First Kill:

We open with a birthday celebration for a rather ungrateful child. After she opens her present, revealing new killer doll Glen/Glenda, the daughter throws the toy in her toy box before everyone heads off to bed. Then, after Glen gets out and goes scurrying around the house, the father picks him up and, soon after, is stabbed and throw off a landing to his death.

Final Body Count:

Six. Both party parents (although these are dream kills and don't count), a Santa Claus fake-out, and then six Hollywood insiders. There are also three extra bodies shown in one sequence but we don't know who they are or when they were killed, so I'm not going to count them.

Also, for those of a prurient nature, we get the first bout of actual nudity ever in this series with the opening sequence of this film. For a slasher film, that's a remarkably low amount of titillation. Plus, if you want to see doll tits (or even if you don't), this is the movie for you.

Continuity Issue:

All the dolls in the movie are stamped with "Made in Japan" on their wrists, Chucky included, but the first three movies clearly established that Chucky was made in America. We actually watched the process. While Tiffany could have been a Japanese doll, Chucky very much wasn't, so this is a bit of an error.