Volume 92, Issue 25
Tuesday, October 20, 1998
coughing up debt
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Child's Play weak sequel up-Chucks
Photo by George Kraychuk
WEDDING BARBIE AND PSYCHO KEN? Not exactly. Terror's favourite doll, Chuckie, returns to the horror screen, this time with a ball and chain as his slashing sidekick.
By Anthony Turow
"I'll come back! I always come back," threatens Chucky while being sprayed with a barrage of bullets. "It's dying that's a bitch!" Sorry Chucky, but being forced to stomach The Bride of Chucky is the real bitch.
The Bride of Chucky is a root canal without anesthesia. It's sitting through a three-hour class, hungover, with two hours of sleep. It's finding a toenail in a box of Frosted Flakes. It's all terrible things that no one likes to endure. Next to The Bride of Chucky, that root canal doesn't seem so bad.
Has the point been made yet?
The plot of Bride centers around Tiff, Chucky's lover when he was still a human, a homicidal killing machine as opposed to the 12-inch tall plastic incarnation. Tiff arranges with a cop to spring Chucky from the police evidence locker he's been trapped in for years.
Tiff then attempts to resurrect Chucky through the powers of voodoo. Chucky comes alive, though he will not commit to Tiff romantically. Tiff gets angry and locks Chucky up. Chucky gets mad. Chucky kills Tiff and puts her soul in a female doll. Then Chucky and Tiff discover their love for each other through a series of grisly murders.
This incredibly dry plot summary should be a cue to the excitement of watching the mundane action unfold.
The movie's main problem is it altogether ignores its attributes as a genre. It tries too hard to be intelligent. This movie could have been a gold-mine of B movie hilarity. Instead it smells like old Limburger that's been getting moldy in the sock drawer.
In the opening scene, a police officer walks among articles in the evidence room and we see a number of classic horror film reminders including Michael Myers' white mask, Jason's hockey mask and Leatherface's chainsaw. They're too obvious to be funny and they come across as a filmmaker's plea for the viewer to include Chucky in the same echelon as those other psychotic geniuses.
Simply put, Chucky is not fit to polish Michael Myers' silverware.
The dialogue also rings of a hack who thinks he's writing the most clever, witty and subversive exchanges since Scream.
How does Chucky explain his amazingly life-like qualities? "It's very complicated. It could be told in a movie. But it would need three or four sequels." Are we laughing yet?
Blame it on the attitude horror movies have adopted in the post-Scream landscape. Victims are not merely fools who forget to turn on the light or bring their car keys with them while being pursued by a maniac wielding an implement of destruction. Horror movie victims are now required by movie-law to ironically comment on the cookie-cutter procedures in which they are executed. Chucky's saga and irony, however, are almost as incompatible as Ellen DeGeneres and Dom DeLuise.
The Bride of Chucky is an over the top child's play attempt at a satiric horror flick. The whole concept of Chucky is gaudy, sublime ridiculousness instead of clever, self-aware parody.
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