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Seed of Chucky

Let's put it this way: Considering that it's named for the sperm of a homicidal doll, Seed of Chucky (2004) is surprisingly entertaining — in that what-the-hell-the-franchise-is-dwindling-so-let's-screw-around way that later installments of a horror series can be entertaining. Writer-director Don Mancini takes his cue from Wes Craven's New Nightmare and goes all meta on us, turning the fourth sequel to Child's Play into a self-consciously campy spoof of Hollywood mores. The "Seed" of the title is Glen, Chucky's gender-confused son, wonderfully voiced by Billy "Pippin" Boyd. Glen causes the spirits of Chucky (Brad Dourif) and his evil bride Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) to possess animatronic puppets on the set of a Hollywood adaptation of the "Chucky" story. Oh, yes: It's that kind of "horror" film. What ensues is one of those tail-eating pomo enterprises that's more sitcom than slasher — with Jennifer Tilly making vicious fun of herself as "Jennifer Tilly," an actress desperately trying to sleep her way to another B-movie role. Seed is ultimately a minor curiosity, probably too tepid to achieve true cult status, but it has its moments. The opening — shot from a Raimi-inspired first-person perspective, as a killer doll prowls a suburban home — is spectacular. There are also nods to Rebel Without a Cause and director Ed Wood (Glen, at one point, decides he really ought to be named "Glenda"). And there are a shocking number of jokes about sexual confusion: The whole film is in fact informed by this weird and slightly fascinating drag-queen hysteria, complete with a supporting role for John Waters, who plays a slimy photographer dispatched by an acid bath. Universal/Rogue Pictures' DVD release of Seed of Chucky: Unrated and Fully Extended features a solid anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio on board. Writer-director Don Mancini and star Jennifer Tilly chime in on a commentary, while a second track features Mancini with puppet-master Tony Gardner. Supplements include a trivia track, a deleted scene with optional commentary, a brief "Heeere's Chucky" interview, a "Family Hell-iday" slideshow, the featurette "Conceiving the Seed of Chucky" (18 min.), a filmed segment with Jennifer Tilly created for "The Tonight Show," the textual supplement "Jennifer Tilly's Diary," a "Fuzion Up Close" segment (4 min.), a storyboard-to-film comparison, theatrical trailers, and cast/crew notes. Keep-case.
M.E. Russell




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