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CampBlood Reviews: Senseless Rants from a Picky Sissy

 

Seed of Chucky Don Mancini 2004

Chucky Gets Yucky

Ladies and gentlemen, Chucky has jumped the shark. Again.

I guess I should give Don Mancini and company credit for getting the debacle that is Seed of Chucky up on screen in the first place. Crass, obvious, tacky, and spectacularly unfunny, this is one of the worst major motion pictures I have ever seen. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its merits, most of which involve its sheer gall and adolescent glee in offending anyone it can offend, for which it does deserve a certain amount of appreciation. There aren’t many studio offerings these days that go out of their way to be naughty – Team America, another satire of Hollywood, is the only other film this year I can think of that has such a deliberate intent to piss people off. Unfortunately, as with Team America, giving the finger to your parents doesn’t necessarily make for interesting cinema, and Seed of Chucky ultimately ends up like rapper-turned-actor Redman’s guts: a steaming pile of hot rectum lying on the carpet.

The plot is so convoluted and ridiculous that I’ll only gloss over it here: Chucky and Tiffany’s offspring is being used as a dummy for a nasty ventriloquist in the UK, and has nightmares about killing people (the opening stalk scene is by far the best sequence in the film – I’d advise leaving as soon as the puppet wakes up). The little tot (voiced by Billy Boyd of Lord of the Rings) seems like a nice enough doll (despite looking like a hideous puppet version of Mia Farrow), and is troubled by these murderous impulses. That is, until the spawn sees Chucky and Tiffany being interviewed (as puppets – they’ve lost their souls) on an entertainment show on the set of their new movie, which stars Jennifer Tilly. Kickstart self-referential hijinx, enter sad cameos, exit any semblance of a horror film, and end scene.

In case there's any confusion, this is by no means a horror movie. Despite some impressive spurts of blood and a family of possessed toys, this is a straight-up comedy after the first 5 minutes. And a dirty one at that: as the title may have cued you in, the entire story is essentially centered around a doll’s semen. I’m sure that Spencer Gifts will have a Cumming Chucky available in time for the holidays – perfect for the kids. From the opening image of white goo dripping down the screen through a scene of Chuckles beating off to a Fangoria to the inevitable turkey-baster climax, we are treated to more than simply “a load of Chucky”; we’re forced to look at more sperm than usually found in a multi-orgasm Kristen Bjorn video. Had Seed featured hot naked men grunting in obscure Slavic languages, it may have been watchable.

As it is, Seed features a zaftig Jennifer Tilly grunting in her patented Marilyn-Monroe-meets-Astro-Jetson voice, to far lesser effect. Although considering that she plays two roles (herself and Tiffany, who is obsessed with her), has to make countless “meta” references to herself, and plays most of her scenes against the negative acting space that is Redman, Tilly actually comes out surprisingly unscathed. If you don’t like her to start off with, you may have little patience from the get-go. But if you find her even mildly interesting or inoffensive (as I do), she does little to really get on your nerves, and makes enough sufficiently self-depricating comments to boost her stock from “annoying” to “amusing”. I have to give props to any woman in Hollywood who calls herself a fat slut a half-dozen times in one movie, a proud tradition pioneered by Goldie Hawn in the seminal film Overboard (“I…was a short…fat…slut…”). Since we're on the topic of seminal, of course.

Now let’s turn to the real problem of the film, Glen. Or Glenda, depending on who you ask; see, the central conflict of the film, apparently, is whether Tiffany and Chucky’s cemetery-born offspring is a boy or a girl (daddy calls him Glen, mommy calls her Glenda). While this gender-confusion angle likely sounded great after a cocaine-and-Red-Bull-fueled production meeting, it doesn’t play nearly as amusing as it should. First off, as I mentioned earlier, the thing is hideous – even by Mia Farrow standards. Later in the film, when Glen gets in touch with his inner Glenda, he queens out and dons a blonde wig and a dress, becoming a dead ringer for Barbara Mandrell; in either guise, he’s an absolute mess.

A wuss by nature (the kid is sort of a blank slate upon which the parents play their differences), Glen’s politeness and passiveness are supremely annoying after about 30 seconds, and his character never comes to any conclusions as to who he is or what he wants – the decision is sort of made for him. Even when he flames out and gets evil for a few minutes, it’s a month late and a fin short. Boyd does an alright job with the “yes, sir… no, sir” role, and you really can’t blame his voice performance for the character’s shortcomings when the most interesting thing the script has him doing is wetting himself on a regular basis.

The same cannot be said for Redman, a rapper turned supposed actor who manages to be out-acted by no fewer than 3 plastic puppets. I don’t know for sure who started this whole despicable and transparent marketing device of placing hip-hop figures with no discernable acting talent into horror films in order to attract the “urban” audience (a ridiculous term if ever there was one, especially considering that white boys from Kansas probably like rap more than white boys from Manhattan), which translates, bluntly, to black people. See The Faculty, Halloween: Resurrection, Deep Blue Sea, and Scary Movie 3 for a few examples. All I have to say is this: the theatre that I saw Seed in was made up of 90% black folks at the beginning, and only about 50% black folks at the end, since many of them walked out somewhere in-between. Apparently even the tried-and-true formula of rapper-stuffing wasn’t enough to counteract this stinker. Hopefully the studios will abandon this tactic and leave the rappers to do what they do best and maybe even cast black actors in their stead. Now there’s an idea, right?!

With Tilly doing double-duty, Redman stinking up the place, and the new lead character turning out to be a pussyboy bore, the gags become far more important to getting through the film than they should be, and they're just not good enough to hold everything else up. Cracks at the papparazzi? Tired. Killing off celebrity impersonators? Seen it. The only really daring thing that the filmmakers do is to kill off the only two "nice" characters (one gets royally fucked up after being set on fire and dumped off a balcony, Sean Young-style), which I suppose is further comment on what LA does to good people. But tucked in the stale wrapper of what will likely be the last nail in the coffin for the Chucky franchise, it's too little, too late.

Rating (out of 5):