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  Bride of Chucky Living Doll
Year: 1998
Director: Ronny Yu
Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Gordon Michael Woolvet, John Ritter, Alexis Arquette, Lawrence Dane, Michael Johnson, James Gallanders, Janet Kidder, Kathy Najimy
Genre: Horror, Comedy, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 4 votes)
Review: A policeman steals a bag containing evidence of a sensational murder from a police station, and heads over to meet Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), who proceeds to creep up on him and cut his throat. What's in the bag? It's Chucky, the remains of the Good Guy doll that had been inhabited by the spirit of a psychopathic killer, Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), and Tiffany means to bring the plastic monstrosity back to life. Meanwhile, teen lovers Jade (Katherine Heigl) and Jesse (Nick Stabile) are having trouble with Jade's overbearing uncle and guardian, Warren (John Ritter) - but they'll have more bother on their hands when Tiffany and Chucky enter their lives...

Written by Don Mancini, this was the third sequel in the Child's Play series, which featured Chucky, the killer doll as its slasher villain. Chucky was never one of the most impressive of the screen psychos who emerged in the eighties, especially considering he could be easily kicked over the nearest wall, and his attempts to pick off his fellow cast members bordered on the risible, no matter how big a kitchen knife he wielded. At the opening, we see items from his contemporaries locked up as evidence - Jason's hockey mask, Leatherface's chainsaw - as if to place Chucky in alongside them in a horror pantheon, but soon after, it's clear they're taking a different tack.

Yes, Chucky is ridiculous, and that's what the filmmakers agree on, with the result that this instalment is one ninety minute parade of bad taste comedy. "He's so eighties!" complains one character derisively, and here he is brought into the nineties with the addition of a girlfriend. Tiffany was Ray's girlfriend before he was convicted, so she wants to bring him back to life because she's been optimistically believing that he loved her all these years. With her trusty copy of "Voodoo for Dummies", she performs a black magic ceremony that sees the doll re-animated to bump off her current boyfriend (a goth-look Alexis Arquette) and break the news that he doesn't really care for her.

Tiffany doesn't take this too well, and locks Chucky up in a playpen, but he escapes and pushes her TV into the bath while she's still in it, electrocuting her to death. Remembering an old chant or two, he places her soul into the body of a bride doll Tiffany had mockingly bought him as a present, and we have a double act to rival Lucy and Ricky. The terrible two enlist the unwitting help of Jesse, who lives in the same trailer park, to transport the dolls to the cemetery where Ray is buried, so they can get hold of an amulet that will transport their souls to the nearest available bodies - and Jesse and Jade are available.

Naturally, being a slasher movie events are complicated by the trail of bodies Tiff and Chuck leave behind them, and the police identify the innocent Jade and Jesse as the culprits. They even begin to suspect each other, much to the dolls' amusement. The humour is genuinely funny, with smart lines and trashy scenes that resemble a crazed puppet show. The villains' affair is consummated in a sequence that is hard to beat for downright weirdness - Tiffany asks if Chucky has a rubber, and he replies, "Look at me! I'm ALL rubber!" Tilly's distinctive voice is an inspired choice to provide for her doll, and she does a great job, with Dourif matching her sick romanticism with sneering sarcasm. This sequel is not only better than its original, it's better than most horror sequels, and considering its modest ambitions, is a real treat for horror fans. Music by Graeme Revell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Ronny Yu  (1950 - )

Hong Kong-born director of action and fantasy. Began directing in the early 80s, and made films such as the historical actioner Postman Strikes Back (with Chow Yun-Fat), Chase Ghost Seven Powers and the heroic bloodshed flick China White. The two Bride with White Hair films – both released in 1993 – were hugely popular fantasy adventures, which helped Yu secure his first American film, the kids film Warriors of Virtue. Yu then helmed Bride of Chucky, the fourth and best Child's Play movie, the Brit action film The 51st State and the horror face-off Freddy Vs Jason. He later returned to Asia to helm the likes of Saving General Yang.

 
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