October 18th, 2009

BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998) ****

Sometimes a sequel comes along and trumps the original in terms of story, action, and fun.  It’s a pretty short list.  Among them, we have Wrath of Khan, Road Warrior, and Friday the 13th Part 3-D.  Bride of Chucky is right up there.  (Granted it’s not as good as either Wrath of Khan or Road Warrior, but it’s just about on par with Friday 3-D.)


This time everyone’s favorite murderous doll Chucky (Brad Dourif) is resurrected by his former flame, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) using a Voodoo for Dummies book.  It doesn’t take long for Chucky to get miffed at Tiff and he puts her soul into a female doll.  In order to get their souls back into human form, they need to get an amulet in Hackensack.  Chucky and Tiffany hitch a ride with an eloping couple (Katherine Heigl and Nick Stabile) and along the way continue their murdering spree.


Bride of Chucky is fucking hilarious.  There is no two ways about it.  If you’re looking for a scary movie, look elsewhere.  If instead, you want to laugh your ass off, by all means check it out.


The script by Don Mancini (who has written all the Child’s Play movies) is peppered with a lot of in-jokes that not only poke fun at the series (“It would take three or four sequels to explain it!”), but the other popular slasher franchises as well (in the opening scene there is a shot of an evidence locker featuring Jason’s hockey mask, Freddy’s glove, Michael Myers’ mask and Leatherface’s chainsaw).  He also concocted a lot of imaginative deaths.  We get a lip piercing ripping, nails to the face, and my favorite; a mirrored ceiling crashing down upon two swingers in a waterbed.


What makes the flick a classic isn’t the kills; it’s the dialogue.  The banter between Chucky and Tiffany is side-splitting and is some of the best witty repartee since Hepburn and Tracy.  I think what makes it so funny is that when they fight, they fight about normal shit just like regular people.  Like when Chucky gets pissed that Tiffany didn’t do the dishes.  (“Those dishes aren’t gonna wash themselves!”)  Hands down the funniest scene though is when Chucky and Tiffany fuck.  “Have I got a rubber?  Tiff… I’m ALL rubber!”


The addition of Tiffany gives the series a new lease on life and Tilly is very funny in both human and doll form.  Dourif once again does a dynamite job providing Chucky’s voice and he and Tilly have a good chemistry together.  It’s funny to think that there was a time when Katherine Heigl was the chick you went to if you wanted to make a kickass sequel that was better than the original.  (Under Siege 2:  Dark Territory was the other film.)  That is before she became a complete cunt and starred in that Grey’s Anatomy crap.  She does a good job here; it’s just a shame what a crummy turn her career has taken since then.  I also enjoyed seeing John Ritter.  He’s kinda the last guy you’d expect to be in a Chucky movie, so that makes his gory death that much more fun.


Director Ronny Yu, the man who did the classic The Bride With White Hair movies infuses the movie with a lot of his patented energy.  His inventiveness with the camera compliments the anarchic material nicely and he gives us a great finale in a cemetery.  Yu also “delivers” a truly awesome set-up for the sequel.  Yu’s mad skills coupled with Mancini’s witty script makes Bride of Chucky the best film in the Child’s Play series as well as one of the best horror sequels of the 90’s.


Bride of Chucky is a solid Number 8 on The Video Vacuum Top Ten Films of 1998 List, sandwiched in between Dirty Work and Rushmore.


<Tomorrow’s Horror Franchise Movie:  Leprechaun>