CHUCKY - THE KILLER DVD COLLECTION
Reviewed by: Dave Murray
Jack Bender, John Lafia, Ronny Yu, Don Mancini
What's it about
Here we have the misadventures and multiple murders of everybody's favorite psychotic cabbage patch guy, Chucky, in all four of the sequels to the original Child's Play. Really, for any fan of the slasher genre, do I even need to say more? Chucky is a f*cking horror icon (no matter how bad parts 2 and 3 were)! Lock up your Barbies kiddies, Chucky's back!
Is it good movie?
First off, all we have here are the four sequels to Child's Play, since this is a Universal release and the original funfest that started it all is owned by MGM. Sadly, parts 2 and 3 fail completely to live up to the original installment. They are both formulaic and by-the-numbers slasher pictures, with a very weak emphasis on the slashing. There are some great moments (the eye punching machine from part 2, and the haunted house ride from part 3), but these movies, even though they were written by Chucky creator Don Mancini, suffer from the deft hand of Tom Holland (the director of the first movie). The character of Andy continues to be annoying and a little dumb, even for an eight year old (the trend continues in part three where a sixteen year old Andy is played by Justin Whalen). However, franchise sequels to even the most mediocre slashers of the 70's and 80's are held in high esteem, and every fan of Chucky and Child's Play has these movies in their collection. Besides, Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky is always hilarious and cool, no matter how bad the movie is. And I will admit, the ways in which they "kill" Chucky are great in both movies!
But after two lackluster sequels, the franchise looked dead, embalmed and buried. Then along came Bride of Chucky, a tongue in cheek, no holds barred comedy/horror splash directed by Asian action master Ronny Yu. Introducing the character of Tiffany, both played in the flesh and later voiced by Jennifer Tilly, who was a much needed booster shot to the franchise, and the perfect foil for Dourif's Chucky. With some puppet sex and a few gratuitous killings, this one was a hit! Supported by Katherine Heigl (then a relative newcomer) and the late comic genius John Ritter, the two dysfunctional dolls turned in one hell of a movie. Funny, scary, gory and laced with slashes of cool and some trademark style at the hands of Yu.
And then came the inevitable conclusion to the puppet sex in Bride. This time directed by writer and series creator Don Mancini, Seed of Chucky reintroduced us not only to both Chucky and Tiffany, but to their twisted and creepy son Glen as well (voiced by Billy Boyd of Hobbit fame). Boyd's performance as the gender bending British doll was absolutely f*cking marvelous. As well, the entire movie within a movie idea, filled with cameos as well as Tilly pulling double duty as herself through most of the flick, Seed kept up the pace and fun as a mass murder spree tone of Bride, but instead offering a twisted take on the most dysfunctional of families, as Chucky and Tiffany plot to quit killing for the sake of their "gentle" son/daughter, and also to possess the bodies of Jennifer Tilly and rap star Redman. Yep, it's that twisted. This flick took a tired idea and used it to hilarious effect to keep the life of a venerable franchise pumping strong!
If the ending of Seed is any indication, we can look forward to another Chucky sequel sometime in the near future. Here's hoping it's as fun and mean spirited as the last two. The whole gallows humor approach work like a voodoo charm! And this boxed set, besides being the R-rated versions and slim on extra features, is still a great way to bring any fan's Chucky collection up to date at a sweet killer price!
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85:1.
Audio: English and French (Dolby Digital 2.0) and subtitles in English and Spanish.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85:1.
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0) and subtitles in English and Spanish.
The extras on these discs are exactly the same as those on the individual releases of the movies. So both Child's Play 2 and Child's Play 3 have no features except for their Trailers. Once we get to the two most recent Chucky movies, Universal give us some love:
Bride Of Chucky:
Here we get a great Audio Commentary from Ronny Yu, giving us some excellent insight into the style and substance from the man who also finally brought us Freddy Vs. Jason. But of more interest is the commentary by Dourif, Tilly and Mancini, which is hilarious, even though old Brad contributes the least. Mancini's insight into the character and the script are a must listen for fans of the two-foot terror. There's also a short Spotlight On Location, which gives the standard making of stuff. Love seeing the puppet work they did.
Seed Of Chucky:
Now here is where the shit gets fun. There is another excellent Commentary by Tilly and Mancini, and surprisingly they manage to not repeat themselves from the last movie! Great listen, as these two really work well together and give us a few hints at the future of Chucky. We also get a Making Of Featurette, which delves a little more into the unique twist the story takes in terms of setting and character, and a short spoof done by Tilly on The Tonight Show. It's a funny little oddity, but the best feature is the unique Slide Show, which has Chucky and his family watching their holiday slides. This is absolutely f*cking hilarious, with Dourif throwing out some trademark one liners and everyone obviously having a great time.
You pretty much know what you're getting here. Two okay, by-the-numbers sequels, and two absolutely kick ass sequels that breathed new life into the franchise, and made us fans want more! While the packaging of this set was sweet (it's all about the 3D cover art), the presentation of the movies was lacking. Four movies crammed onto two double sided discs means there was some sacrifice in quality made. As well, there are no new features, only those found on the individual releases. And don't even get me started about a Child's Play collection that doesn't even include the first bloody movie! However, for the low price this set carries, the set is worth it for anyone looking to complete their collection without paying for each movie separately. One word of caution though: The versions of Bride and Seed in this set seem to be the R-Rated cuts, as opposed to the previously released Unrated versions. Not that much is missing, but that could piss some buyers off. But getting 4 modern schlock classics for what is almost a bargain bin price? Damn fine job.