June 20, 2005

Seed Of Chucky (2005)
Universal Home Video

88 mins. · Not Rated
16x9 · 1.85:1

Format
DVD

Audio
E

Subtitles
English, French, Spanish

Extras
Commentary Track, Trivia Track, Deleted Scene, Featurettes, Video Diary,

Starring
Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Billy Boyd, John Waters

Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(2005)

It has been quite a while since "Bride Of Chucky" stirred up horror fans and elevated the killer doll franchise to new heights, thanks to an imaginative story, a wonderfully paced film and atmospheric cinematography. Even though Ronny Yu has not been on board for the series’ new sequel, "Seed Of Chucky," the film nicely follows up with the same traits, making it a thoroughly enjoyable and sarcastic horror romp.

The movie picks up where "Bride Of Chucky" left off, essentially. Chucky (Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) made love and had a son who ended up separated from his parents. When he sees a promotional clip about a new movie being made about his parents, he heads for Hollywood to find them, bringing them back from the Dead, hoping to finally have a real family. But with Chucky and Tiff’s twisted sense of being, the soft-mannered Glen (Billy Boyd) is in for a surprise, trying desperately to turn them into good citizens. Chucky is outraged that Glen has no inclination for murder and Tiffany wants him to be a girl. The solution to the problem seems to lie with Jennifer Tilly – playing herself – the Hollywood star who is poised to play Tiffany in the movie. Quickly a plan is devised to satisfy everyone, Chucky’s desire for murder, Tiffany’s desire for a girl and Glen’s hopes for a family… and it’s a free-for-all from there. (Look for John Waters’ cameo, for example, or check out the Ed Wood Jr. references sprinkled throughout.)

Don Mancini is the creator of the Chucky franchise and was the writer of all the Chucky movies. This time he takes his ambitions one step further and makes his directorial debut. It is evident quickly that he took some lessons from Ronny Yu, evidently, as the film comes across as atmospheric from the first moment, and filled with wonderfully composed shots, creating a strong sense of subjective storytelling.

The story itself is hair-raising, of course, but that’s what made the Chucky flicks always so enjoyable. Always tongue in cheek and borderline abusive, "Seed Of Chucky" is actually being a bit more aggressive these days, sometimes reminding me of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s work in its sense of absolute irreverence and gross-out humor. The characters are wonderfully acted and Brad Dourif brings Chucky to life once again with such ferocity, that it is frightening. The real star of the show is Jennifer Tilly yet again, however. Playing both Tiffany and herself she certainly has her hands full but her dedication to the franchise is evident in every scene she’s in. Delivering some of the most hilarious moments of the film. Best of all, she is making fun of herself, drawing up a caricature, so hard it sometimes makes your belly ache. I can’t remember any other film in which the star is mocking and humiliating oneself to the extend Tilly does here, making the film absolutely hilarious.

Universal Home Entertainment has prepared a great-looking DVD transfer for this release. No blemishes or defect mar the presentation and the image is also rich in detail and awash in color. Vibrant and rich, colors are never over-saturated however, but the fine hues and gradients create ample atmosphere. Skin tones are always perfectly rendered at all times and shadows are deep throughout, giving the image solid visual depth. No edge-enhancement distracts from the viewing pleasure and the compression is without flaws.

The DVD comes with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track that nicely preserves and reproduces the aural presentation of the film. Mixed aggressively to make full use of the discrete surround channels, the track is constantly engaged and ensures that sound sources can always be accurately located in the sound field. Dialogues are well integrated and never drowned out by the music or sound effects. The score of the movie is also a nice surprise and it seems that horror filmmakers are finally realizing that the grating industrial Metal soundtracks of the past years have never been a contribution to their respective movies. Here we have a much more organic sound track that is more traditional in many ways and works perfectly for the film.

The release contains a good number of bonus features, such as a commentary track featuring creator/writer/director Don Mancini and the movie’s puppet engineer. It’s an informative commentary that offers up a wealth of inside information, while also remaining nicely entertaining.

A trivia track is also included on the release, displaying trivia facts about the film as you are watching it. You will also find various featurettes and interview clips on the DVD, all not too seriously as they feature interviews with Chucky and Tiffany. A deleted scene is also included, as well as Jennifer Tilly’s video diary of her appearance on the tonight Show with Jay Leno. A slide-show and a promo featurette about the history of the franchise can also be found on the DVD.

"Seed Of Chucky" is never taking itself seriously. Not for a second, and it’s what makes it so utterly enjoyable and entertaining. It has long left the horror realms it started in, but has developed into a blood splattering camp franchise that you don’t watch for kicks but for laughs. Don Mancini delivers it all full throttle and proves that he has learned a few things over the years, watching other directors bring Chucky to the screen, as this directorial debut of his is absolutely solid. The DVD that Universal has put together is also fun, so for fans of the franchise, there’s no second-guessing, really. Go, get this DVD and enjoy the ride – wild and untamed as it is.

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