Friday, July 29, 2016

Bride of Chucky

3/4

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Jennifer Tilly, Gordon Michael Woolvett, John Ritter

Rated R for Strong Horror Violence and Gore, Some Sexual Content and Brief Drug Use

The "Child's Play" franchise has always been a mix of horror and black comedy, combining scares with dark one-liners (the best of which was Chucky's famous "Fuck you" in the original.  The franchise always leaned more toward the slasher genre, but after "Scream," such a decision would be seen as behind the times.  To rectify this, creator Don Mancini and director Ronny Yu opt for the latter.  It's violent and gory as you might expect, but if there's a scene that isn't played tongue-in-cheek, I missed it.

It turns out that Charles Lee Ray, aka the Lakeshore Strangler (Dourif), had a girlfriend before he used voodoo to enter the body of a Good Guy doll.  Her name is Tiffany (Tilly), a blonde bimbo with a similar penchant for violence and murder.  She bribes a cop to get Chucky's corpse (if you can call it that) out of the evidence room and deliver it to her.  She then resurrects him, and he in turn kills her and puts her into the female version of the doll.  To regain human form, they must get an amulet that Charles was wearing at the time of his death (this goes against the previous rules of the franchise, or even this installment, but never mind).  Naturally, being a foot and a half tall and made of plastic makes travelling alone difficult, so they hitch a ride with some elopers: Jesse (Stabile) and Jade (Heigl).  Leaving a trail of bloody mayhem in their wake, Chucky and Tiffany go on the run with the two lovers (whom everyone suspects as being serial killers).

Simply put, "Bride of Chucky" is a howl.  I have a twisted sense of humor, but it's hard to imagine anyone watching this movie not having a great time.  The satire is scathing and the bickering between the two homicidal dolls is always hilarious.  You see, Tiffany wants to marry Chucky, and their views on domestic life are filtered through the fact that they're mass murdering pieces of plastic.  It's truly warped and sets the stage for some of the film's best laughs.  They have the same stresses and impulses as you or I. They just act out a little more.

The acting by Dourif and Tilly sells the movie.  Dourif is as viciously funny as ever (of all the "Chucky" movies, this is his favorite), and Tilly is a good sport playing a ditz. They're having a ball, and that always means great fun for the audience.  Katherine Heigl and Nick Stabile are forgettable playing the incredibly dense lovers on the lam, but that's okay.  Chuck and Tiff are the real stars of the show.  John Ritter has some great moments at the beginning.

"Bride of Chucky" isn't for everyone.  Anyone who doesn't like graphic violence or humor that isn't very nice probably won't like this movie.  On the other hand, if you're like me and have no problem laughing at a pair of serial killers made of plastic, then you'll have a great time.  I sure did.

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