Being that I'm mostly a casual Child's Play fan at heart, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been following the series too closely over the past 20 years. At least not to the extent that I seem to follow other such horror based guilty pleasures. My first introduction to the series was back in '88 with the original Child's Play. I viewed the original, not so much as a throwaway guilty pleasure, but as an effective horror flick, and a nice addition to the killer doll subgenre. An area of film that seemed to be raped more often than it was coddled. Hell, I even remember convincing my mom to watch the original; trying to convince here it "Wasn't like those other films in my Fangoria and Gorezone magazines" She took the bait, and liked it just as much, even if it did scare her a bit more than it did me.
Now, I'm sure I've seen the 2nd and 3rd Child's Play films, heck I even vaguely remember them, something about a military school maybe, a scene at the Toy Factory etc. etc. but an impression on me they surely didn't leave. Maybe I should revisit them. Alas, I do remember Bride of Chucky, directed by Ronny Yu in '98 - who would later go on to direct another guilty pleasure of mine, Freddy Vs. Jason. Bride of Chucky, while not nearly the film that the original was, is a really funny satire and certainly works as popcorn entertainment in my book. Over the top, at times offensive, and a consistently entertaining flick. Which leads us to Seed of Chucky. A film that was alluded to at the end of Bride (and I'm surely not giving anything away by saying this) and the first in the series to actually be directed by Don Mancini himself, the gentleman responsible for actually writing all of the films in the series. Recently released to DVD from Rogue Pictures (a subdivision of Universal) Seed of Chucky is uncut and chock full of extras, let's see if it lives up to its namesake.
Seed opens at a ventriloquist's convention in England (after a cheap, yet slick CG opening) where we're introduced to Psychs and Shitface. Shitface is Psychs ventriloquists dummy, and make no mistake about it; he doesn't need a hand thrown up his back in order to operate. Shitface is abused and tormented and all he wants is to find his place in the world. All he has to go by is a Made In Japan stamp that sits on his wrist. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Chucky and Tiffany are unknowingly starring in a film (along with Jennifer Tilly, playing herself and also voicing Tiffany), focusing on their homicidal escapades entitled, 'Chucky Goes Psycho.' Shitface, happens to catch a shot of them on TV and notices that they too have a Made In Japan stamp on their wrists. Putting two and two together he ships himself to Hollywood to catch up with 'Mummy and Daddy.'
To make a longer story a bit shorter, Shitface follows through with the incantation (necessary to bring Chuck and Tiff 'back to life') and the family is quickly reunited. As expected the three misfits wind up having more issues than the most dysfunctional family you could ever hope to meet. First and foremost, our proud parents don't even know if Shitface is a boy or a girl. Yanking down 'its' pants doesn't even offer a clue, so they each assign their own name to the 'child' - Glen/Glenda (masterfully voiced by Billy Boyd of Lord of the Rings). Natch, Chucky wants Shitface to be a boy, and Tiffany wants him to be a girl. Then there's the whole killing thing. Should they continue to murder or should they end their killing ways? Then there's the issue that Chucky faces in every Child's Play film, finding a human host for his soul. In the mean time, Jennifer Tilly is trying to further her acting career by securing a spot in Rapper Redman's latest feature film about The Virgin Mary(?) - and the whole gang is being followed around by an ambitious paparazzi played by none other than John Waters!
Moving along, Chucky and Tiffany hatch a plan to artificially inseminate Jennifer Tilly, in order to secure a host body for Glen/Glenda as well, so they can hopefully be one happy(?) family again, in human form that is. Keep in mind that I've really only begun to scratch the surface here, and even in its uncut form, the film runs just shy of a scant 90-minutes. Whew.
You'd think that with so much going on and with such a short running time, the film would get bogged down, but it doesn't. While there are many logical questions one could ask, it's probably best not to. I mean this is a film in which possessed dolls try to retain human form through artificial insemination by using a turkey baster. What's not to understand? Seed of Chucky makes no sense, is extremely crude and rude and defies logic without any apologies. But you know what? It's still one hell of an UN-PC good time. I mean, let's face it, this film is just wrong. The child on display here is going through an identity crisis because his parents don't know if they want him to be a boy or a girl. They humiliate it, by yanking down its pants in an attempt to find out its gender. Chucky masturbates into a cup, and they use the aforementioned turkey baster to inseminate Tilly with his semen. I really think the only thing in this film that DIDN'T offend me, is the fact that Redman was in it, and that shocks the hell out of me, just as much as it may shock you!
The whole subplot with Tilly trying to further her acting career also works quite well. Trust me, I'm getting pretty sick of these hipster horror flicks entering 'the real world' - the fact that these characters seem to always be aware that they are in a horror movie, and actors playing themselves. However, in here and in this particular universe that has been created, for me, it worked. and let's not forget a bit part by John Waters and an impressive score by none other than Pino Donaggio! A fine supporting cast, exceptional voice talents, a fitting score (provided by a master no less), and a production that comes across as being very close to the hearts of those involved. In my mind, all of these elements combine and make Seed of Chucky a success. Granted, at times the film feels choppy and more like two or three films at once. But remember, dolls artificially inseminating themselves! The gore is plentiful and the doll effects are all top notch. Glad to see they didn't go the all CGI route, when they easily could have.
Audio and Video quality are both quite outstanding. The anamorphic image is stunningly crisp and flawless. Both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks are impressively aggressive, filling the room with moans, screams and plenty of squishes. It's nice to see that such care was give to both the audio and video transfer of this title. Extras are pretty abundant, and include the following: 2 feature length audio commentaries both with Don Mancini. Jennifer Tilly joins him in one, and puppeteer Tony Gardner in the other. They are both really entertaining to listen too. It's evident that all of the major players hold this film really close to their hearts. They even go so far as to discuss specifics as to how they decided on Glen/Glenda's hair and eye color, and the decision obviously meant a lot to them. Next up is Chucky's Insider - Facts on Demand, which is kind of a pop up video segment that runs during the length of the film, with well over 100 pop up facts are included here. This is followed by a 20-minute behind the scenes featurette, deleted scene (w/ commentary), a brief interview with Chucky, a 'family' slideshow of their holiday trip, a brief clip from a segment that Tilly did for the Tonight Show, Tilly's Diary (text based), a storyboard comparison (which is quite comprehensive), trailers, bios and more! It's all really fine entertainment, if you're warped and twisted that is. I liked Seed of Chucky in the theaters, but I loved it on DVD, highly recommended.