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The F*cking Black Sheep: Seed of Chucky (2004)

THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We’re hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!

I’m Chucky, the killer doll…and I dig it!

SEED OF CHUCKY (2004)

DIRECTED BY DON MANCINI

Not only among the general horror loving public, but even in the plastic sky-blue eyes of the killer Good Guy Doll itself, SEED OF CHUCKY is most definitely seen as an outlying unloved Black Sheep. Why is that? Is it the fact that GLEN OR GLENDA (a nod to the Ed Wood film) resembles an anorexic, androgynous, meth-addled Clay Aiken with the vexing vocal tone of Jar Jar Binx? Come on boys and girls, I thought we’ve progressed passed all that. How immature!

Jokes aside friends, in the run-up to CULT OF CHUCKY hitting DVD/Blu-ray and Netflix next Tuesday ahead of its October 20th theatrical bow, I’m here to cast a little genuine adoration for SEED. I’ve always liked this chapter, if for no other reason than the way it savagely skewers a spate of pop cultural absurdities, doing so in almost as cruelly violent a way as Chucky vitiates his own onscreen victims. Straight up, with Don Mancini finally given the chance to direct his own material for the first time, SEED is a cleverly scripted, scathingly subversive and mordantly-meta take on not just the Chucky universe, but the cutthroat landscape of Hollywood itself. It’s also the only CHUCKY flick to feature full-fledged nudity. Not good enough for you? Here are some more reasons why SEED OF CHUCKY is iniquitously lambasted as the runt of the litter!

SEED’s opening sequence is a lot of fun, and sets the tone for things to come. With a hybridized nod to both PSYHCO and THE SHINING’s baleful bathroom butchery, yes, we see a pair of lathered-up boobies (hi Stephanie Chambers) catch the butcher-blade in the shower before her cranium is cracked on the tile with a flood of blood leaking out. Beauteous. It’s the second death in the first six minutes of the film. Who cares if it turns out to be a dream sequence, that’s what I call starting fast!

After meeting the admittedly gauche Seed, Glen, in a UK ventriloquist competition, we unwittingly whisk to a snow-dappled Hollywood set where the newest Chucky movie is being filmed. Poor Jason Flemying, decked in a Santa suit, is horribly slashed to death by a pair of homicidal homunculi – Chucky and his bride Tiffany. Again, more artifice, as we learn, which then leads to the real life Jennifer Tilly lamenting her fading status in Hollywood. Industry issues of female ageism, the fickle nature of one’s perceived “heat” or bankability are touched on, none more bitingly than by introducing, of all people, Redman as the prominent male power player in the film biz. I love me some Redman (Muddy Waters is a classic yo), but Mancini is clearly barbing the trend of rappers becoming actors, unqualified ones at that, and how ludicrous the whole thing is to begin with. It’s pretty f*cking hilarious.

So too is the way the movie pokes fun at itself. The ever-sexy Jennifer Tilly desperately woos Redman, who has producorial power, to land a lead role in his new bible epic, playing the Virgin Mary of all people. Sexual favors for roles, the culture of paparazzi and everyone from Britney Spears to Martha Stewart catches the wrath of Mancini in the movie, which again, becomes as vicious as some of the fatalities exacted at the hand of Chucky and Tiff. Speaking of, not only was SEED originally given a NC-17 rating, finally released unrated, it boasts a whopping 12 dead bodies. That’s pretty damn impressive for any Chucky flick!

And while far more cartoonish than outright frightening, some of the deaths are notably gruesome. Makeup man Tony Gardner gets his head decollated with a profuse fountain of gore flying sky high, for one example. Another comes when Redman is foully disemboweled under the dinner table, a steaming pile of guts and gory entrails all that remains. Or how about the great John Waters, playing a sleazy tabloid photographer, getting his face nastily melted down to the skull when a bottle of sulfuric acid is dumped on his head? Good stuff! Perhaps not as good as seeing Chucky beating off into a plastic cup, or Tiff Turkey-basting a wad of jizz into Jen’s lady canal, but damn it’s a close second!

Also, in what really does play out like an extended Spike & Mike Sick & Twisted episode, the animatronic work in SEED is pretty high quality. Aside from the LOOK WHO’S TALKING intro, very little CGI is used in the film. Instead Mancini opts for practical, physical FX in a way that progresses the tech forward. The advancement in this area since the original CHILD’S PLAY, which was credible in its own right, has come such a long way that the combination of Chucky’s hilarious facial expressions with Brad Dourif’s comedic timing is inviolably good. I love the subtle and not-so subtle facial tics, reactions and lifelike responses Chucky gives in the film. A textured puppet performance? You don’t say!

Look, is SEED OF CHUCKY a silly tongue-in cheek farce of a movie that strays far away from the terror of the original CHILD’S PLAY? Yes, but so what. At a brisk 87 minute runtime (same as the original coincidentally), the film flies by at a highly entertaining rate. And with 12 satisfyingly grisly deaths in that span, that averages one kill ever seven minutes or so. Hard to beat! Beyond that, there’s a clever self-awareness to the film that not only sends itself up, what the movie says about the equally silly superficiality of the movie industry is pretty trenchant as well. The likeability factor of Glen/Glenda aside, SEED OF CHUCKY is mischaracterized as a F*cking Black Sheep!

GET SEED OF CHUCKY ON DVD HERE

GET SEED OF CHUCKY ON BLU-RAY HERE

Extra Tidbit: Quentin Tarantino was considered for the role that went to Redman.
Source: AITH

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