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(1998) (Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif) (R)

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Horror: The spirits of a mass murderer and his ex-girlfriend, now stuck in the bodies of dolls, go on a killing spree as they attempt to find an amulet that will allow them to return to human bodies.
Ten years after being killed by police, mass murderer Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray (BRAD DOURIF) is still stuck inside the body of a doll where his spirit was transferred after invoking a voodoo incantation that would allow him to live forever. Patiently waiting all of those years has been Tiffany (JENNIFER TILLY), his ex-girlfriend who retrieves the smashed doll from the police evidence room.

Sewing Chucky back into a semblance of his former self, Tiffany invokes another voodoo curse that brings the doll back to life. Upon learning that her former boyfriend never wanted to marry her, however, Tiffany locks him up and gives him a bride doll his own size. Even so, it doesn't take long for Chucky to escape, kill Tiffany, and transfer her soul into the female doll.

Realizing they can't stand the thought of being dolls forever, Chucky decides they have to travel to his former self's New Jersey gravesite and retrieve an amulet that will allow them to transfer back into human bodies. The only problem, though, is they don't have the bodies nor the means of traveling to the cemetery.

Enter teenage lovers Jade (KATHERINE HEIGL) and Jesse (NICK STABILE) who have their own share of problems. Jade's uncle and current guardian, Warren Kincaid (JOHN RITTER), the local police chief, can't stand Jesse and does everything in his power to squash their relationship. Soon, however, with an over the phone offer from Tiffany to deliver the two dolls to that Jersey cemetery in exchange for cash, Jade and Jesse decide to run off and get married.

Along the way, however, Chucky and Tiffany leave a wake of dead bodies that soon implicate Jade and Jessie -- who are still unaware of their "lively" companions -- as mass murders. Running from the police, but getting help from their gay friend, David (GORDON MICHAEL WOOLVETT), the two soon discover the Chucky and Tiffany aren't just inanimate dolls, and then do what they can to stay alive.

If they liked any of the three previous "Child's Play" movies, or horror movies overall, they just might.
For strong horror violence and gore, language, some sexual content, and brief drug use.
  • JENNIFER TILLY plays the vampish girlfriend (who smokes and commits murders) who then finds her soul stuck in a doll.
  • BRAD DOURIF plays the voice of Chucky, the evil doll who kills many people.
  • KATHERINE HEIGL and NICK STABILE play two teenage lovers who get married (she's under 18), and then go on the run from the police when they're wrongly accused of the murders (that both eventually believe the other is committing).
  • JOHN RITTER plays Jade's uncle who abuses his police chief power attempting to end her relationship with Jesse.


    OUR TAKE: 0 out of 10
    While dolls and other such humanized toys often have the capacity to evoke chills and shivers by their frozen and soulless expressions, the concept of such inanimate objects as mass murders is silly at best, and certainly belongs in the Camp Hall of Fame.

    Although Steven Spielberg (and Tobe Hooper) briefly captured the frightening aspects of childhood dolls in "Poltergeist," and Anthony Hopkins dealt with his alter ego in his ventriloquist dummy, Fats, in "Magic," the thought and sight of Chucky the homicidal doll has never done much more than elicit groans or repeated rolling of the eyes from this reviewer.

    Despite the "success" of the three previous films in the "Child's Play" franchise (with the first being the most successful in the low $30 million gross range), the only thing scary about this fourth installment is that it was ever released. I'm sorry, but the sight of little Chucky scampering across the floor, knife in hand, generates exactly the polar opposite of what the filmmakers were obviously intending.

    As helmed by Hong Kong director Ronny Yu ("The Bride With the White Hair") and scripted by Don Mancini (who's written all four of the films in the series), ''Bride of Chucky" is about as bad as they come. The suspense/scare factor is absolute zero, the acting is bad, and the plot and directing are full of so many contrivances that you'll lose count trying to keep track of all of them.

    To the filmmakers credit, they do try to insert some jokes and references (a la "Scream") concerning other horror films. Nonetheless, the sight of the signature masks from the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th movies in a police evidence room, the comparison to Mickey and Mallory (the homicidal characters from "Natural Born Killers"), a reference to the Pinhead character from the "Hellraiser" films (when seeing a man's face impaled by nails) and other similar moments (the sight of the book, "Voodoo for Dummies," "The Bride of Frankenstein" playing on the TV, etc...) are too obvious to be effective or much fun. As such, a self-referential comment stating "In fact, if it was a movie, it would take three or four sequels to do it justice" is also too contrived for its own good.

    The performances don't fare much better. Jennifer Tilly ("Bullets Over Broadway") is adequately campy and vampy as the human and then voice of the doll-based femme fatale, but like John Ritter (TV's "Three's Company"), she must have desperately needed a paycheck to appear in a howler such as this.

    Brad Dourif, who supplies the voice of Chucky, is appropriately callous, but never frightening. To top it off, his vocal similarity to actor Danny DeVito did nothing but continually remind me of Louie De Palma (DeVito's diminutive character on TV's "Taxi"), a creation much more frightening than Chucky. Teen-based leads Katherine Heigl and Nick Stabile can't do much with their characters and are consequently easily forgotten.

    Although the film nearly succeeds on the pure camp level -- after all, dolls having sex and other such plastic domestic bliss and squabbles certainly lands squarely in that field -- the sheer stupidity and banality of the whole production prevents the film from being enjoyed even on that level.

    Certain to burn out rapidly at the box office, the film should only have been released -- if at all -- directly on video. Violent and bloody but never scary or any fun, the film ends on the unfortunate note that there may yet be another installment in this series, "Son/Daughter of Chucky" coming soon to a theater near you.

    The thought of that is more frightening than everything in this movie combined. Even a character in the film recognizes the lame horror material as he states, "Chucky is so eighties. He's not even scary." We couldn't agree more. Probably to no one's surprise, "Bride of Chucky" gets a 0 out of 10.

    Here's a quick look at the film's content. Violence is extreme with the villainous characters (in human and doll form) killing people, the results of which are often quite bloody. As such, some viewers, especially younger kids and those with low tolerance levels for violent/horror films, may find the proceedings frightening or suspenseful, but for the most part the material is too goofy to be taken seriously.

    Profanity is extreme with 10+ "f" words and an assortment of others, and some characters, including Chucky, smoke pot. Plenty of bad attitudes abound (beyond the murderous dolls, some cops abuse their police power when dealing with Jade). Several sexually related comments occur during the movie, and in one scene we see the silhouetted image of the two dolls having sex (complete with movement and sounds).

    Should someone in your home wish to see this film, you may want to take a closer look at the content if you're concerned about its appropriateness for them.

    Of special note for those concerned with bright flashing lights, several moments of that occur during this movie.

  • Tiffany drinks what looks like champagne.
  • Kincaid plants some drugs in Jesse's van.
  • Some teens share a joint at a hangout (others have beer), while another teen also smokes a joint in his parked car.
  • Chucky smokes a joint.
  • A man and woman have champagne.
  • Tiffany grabs a cop and slits his throat, causing lots of blood to spill from his neck. We then see blood on the knife she used, and she even licks her finger from that.
  • Some viewers may not like the sight of a man with a pierced lower lip (that has a small chain going through it). Chucky later pulls that chain from the man's lip, resulting in a big hole in his lip and lots of blood.
  • Many nails impale a man's face and cause a bloody mess.
  • Chucky has blood all over him after killing a person.
  • A couple is very bloody and we see blood mixing with water from a punctured water bed after large shards have glass have impaled both. We then see Chucky holding the severed and bloody finger of that woman.
  • We see the bodies of an older couple that Chucky and Tiffany have apparently killed. Both have a little bit of blood on them.
  • A man explodes in a bloody mess as a semi pulverizes his body (we also see the blood on the truck's grill).
  • By the end of the film, both Jade and Jessie are somewhat bloody.
  • We see a burnt and charred Tiffany doll after she's knocked and trapped inside an oven.
  • We see blood splatter a cemetery headstone as Chucky shoots a gravedigger in the back of the head (as well as the bloodied man who's fallen into the open grave).
  • We see some decomposed (and mostly skeletal) remains inside a coffin (as well as rats running around inside it).
  • Chucky and Tiffany are bloody after each has stabbed the other with a knife.
  • Tiffany (the doll) gives birth to a very bloody baby doll.
  • Obviously, Chucky and Tiffany have both as they're murderous characters.
  • Some may see the film's use of voodoo and spells as having both.
  • Kincaid and another officer have both for continually abusing their police authority while attempting to break up Jade and Jessie's relationship (and Kincaid plants drugs in Jesse's van for the other cop to later find).
  • Another officer has both for removing police evidence for Tiffany (apparently in exchange for payment of some sort).
  • A woman steals Jessie and Jade's money.
  • While much of the following won't be either way to most viewers, some may find the scenes as scary or suspenseful.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense to some viewers, and the menacing appearance of the Chucky and Tiffany dolls may be unsettling or scary as well.
  • Tiffany has a friend look under some furniture while she and we know that Chucky is lurking about somewhere.
  • Chucky breaks free of his confinement, and then menacingly walks down the hall, knife in hand, toward Tiffany who's taking a bath. He tries to attack her, she kicks him backwards, and he then pushes a TV into the tub and she's electrocuted.
  • While Kincaid plants drugs in Jesse's van, we're aware that Chucky and Tiffany are also in the van ready to get him.
  • Knives/Guns/Nails: Used to threaten, wound, or kill people.
  • Phrases: "You pathetic worm," "Punk," "Jerk," "Bite me," "Go to hell," "Screw him," "Nuts" (crazy), "Bitch" (to a woman, spelled out, and in a reference, "Dying is a bitch"), "Bastards," "Shut up," "Dope," "Bozo," "Screwing" (nonsexual), "What the hell," "Needle nose," "Sucks," "Slut," "Idiots" and "Kiss my shiny plastic butt."
  • Some kids may be intrigued by the characters' brief use of voodoo and spells.
  • Tiffany has a broken heart tattoo on the top of her breast, and an acquaintance of hers has tatoos all over his body as well as pierced lower lip that a small chain through it.
  • Chucky makes the male masturbation hand gesture regarding something Jesse is saying.
  • Jesse wants Jade (who's under 18, as he might be as well) to run off and get married, and they finally do.
  • Chucky puts a rag into the fuel tank of a cop's car, ignites it, and then scampers away as the car explodes, presumably killing the cop inside.
  • Chucky gives "the finger" to a person.
  • As a cop looks down into a plastic bag holding the remains of Chucky, his radio suddenly blares. Moments later, Tiffany suddenly grabs that cop and slits his throat.
  • A tarantula suddenly lands on a man.
  • Tiffany, having just been electrocuted in the bathtub, suddenly pops up from under the water.
  • A man believed to bed dead suddenly pops up.
  • A charred Tiffany suddenly pops up in an oven window.
  • A heavy amount of scary and/or suspenseful music occurs in the film.
  • Some heavy metal songs play on the soundtrack (with lyrics that often can't be understood), so although we didn't hear anything, there's always the possibility of something objectionable being in them.
  • At least 14 "f" words, 19 "s" words, 10 hells, 3 S.O.B.'s, 2 asses (both used with "hole"), 1 damn, and 5 uses of "Jesus," 4 of "Oh my God," 2 of "Oh God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Christ," "God," "For God's sakes" and "Swear to God."
  • Tiffany shows lots of cleavage in the tight outfits she wears, and the camera often lingers on her shapely body in those tight clothes.
  • Lying on her bed, a friend of Tiffany's asks her, "Don't you think you've kept me waiting long enough?" He then asks her, "Do you know what the French call an orgasm? Le petit morte, the little death."
  • That friend then takes Chucky (thinking he's just a doll) and repeatedly moves him up and down on his own crotch (jokingly suggesting anal sex).
  • Tiffany handcuffs that friend -- who's down to his black underwear -- to her bed and asks him, "Are you ready for a menage a trois?" She then does a brief seductive dance, and we see the upper sections of her thigh (and part of her butt) covered in fishnet stockings. Tiffany then mentions that Chucky was the best lover she ever had, and Damien replies, "He's not big enough to take care of a woman like you." Chucky then comes to life and says, "It's not the size that counts...it's what you do with it."
  • Upset at Kincaid, Jesse yells at him, "You f*ck!" The cop then calmly replies, "You won't, at least not to Jade anyway."
  • Jade asks David if he remembers when he loved another guy and David replies that he does (implying that he's gay).
  • A woman dressed in lingerie (and showing some cleavage) comes into Jade and Jessie's honeymoon suite to steal their money, but acts like she's there for something sexual. She says to her "husband," "Oh, it's their marriage night too. You know what they say, the more the merrier." We later see this couple on a bed with him rolling around on top of her as they kiss (they're still clothed, but we do hear heavy breathing and sexually related sounds).
  • Tiffany (the doll) says, "Oh my God, I'm crying. I wonder if all of my plumbing works?" Chucky then suggestively says, "I'm starting to feel like Pinocchio....I am anatomically correct." We then see the top of her bare, plastic butt, Chucky French kissing Tiffany (with a real tongue from his plastic mouth), and then a silhouetted image of him on top of her with movement and sounds (moans and breathing). During this she says, "Wait. Have you got a rubber?" He replies, "Look at me. I'm all rubber."
  • Later, Tiffany tells Chucky, "Take it from me, honey, plastic is no substitute for a nice hunk of wood."
  • Tiffany (as both a human and doll) smokes several times.
  • A cop smokes.
  • Since her uncle Kincaid is serving as Jade's guardian, it's implied that her parents are dead, but little is made of this.
  • For younger kids, that their dolls won't come to life and attack them.
  • Tiffany grabs a cop and slits his throat, causing lots of blood to spill from his neck.
  • Chucky pulls a small chain from a man's pierced lower lip (resulting in a big hole in his lip and lots of blood) and then smothers the man with a pillow.
  • Chucky breaks free of his confinement, and then menacingly walks down the hall, knife in hand, toward Tiffany who's taking a bath. He tries to attack her, she kicks him backwards, and he then pushes a TV into the tub and she's electrocuted.
  • Tiffany (as a doll from now on) punches Chucky.
  • Chucky lets lose many nails that impale a man's face.
  • Jade attacks one of Kincaid's bad cops, but is quickly pulled away. Moments later, that cop throws Jesse up against his van. In anger, Jesse kicks the van, busting the headlight.
  • Chucky puts a rag into the fuel tank of a cop's car, ignites it, and then scampers away as the car explodes, presumably killing the cop inside. As a result, several other cars smash into each other.
  • Chucky repeatedly stabs an already injured man with a knife, eventually killing him.
  • Tiffany throws a champagne bottle up and into an over the bed mirror that then comes crashing down onto the couple below as large shards of glass, impaling them and the water bed.
  • We see the bodies of an older couple that Chucky and Tiffany have apparently killed.
  • Thinking his friends are the killers, David holds a gun on them, and then gets out of their van and is struck by a passing semi that pulverizes him.
  • Chucky shoots at a police car, causing it to crash.
  • Tiffany throws dishes at Chucky.
  • Jade kicks Tiffany who lands in a hot oven. Chucky then shoots at Jade and Jessie who finally knocks him from the RV they're in.
  • Tiffany attacks Jade and bites her ear.
  • An RV explodes.
  • We see blood splatter a cemetery headstone as Chucky shoots a gravedigger in the back of the head.
  • Chucky shoots at Jade, and later throws a knife that impales Jesse in his back.
  • Tiffany stabs Chucky in the back with a knife, they then get into a fight with shovels, and he finally stabs her with a knife.
  • Another doll attacks a cop.

  • Reviewed October 17, 1998

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