Sunday, May 27, 2018

How Many Chuckys Could a Woodchuck, Chuck…?

I know, I missed a week. But it was for a good reason.

So, last week’s movie was supposed to be Cult of Chucky. The problem was – as I figured out about five minutes in – I clearly needed to see Curse of Chucky first. See, I’ve lived through the first five Child’s Play movies and while the first, second and third ones are best watched in order, Bride and Seed of Chucky are interchangeable as far as I’m concerned. I mean, I guess if you’re really interested in how Tiffany and Chucky hooked up and had a doll-baby, you could watch it in order, but it’s not really required.

For that reason, I have to institute a new rule for my movie watching adventures. Rule Number 4: If I haven’t seen the whole series, I gotta start from wherever I left off. I know that for some horror movies that might be unnecessary, but I really hate walking into a movie not knowing what the hell is happening so...

Okay, so being that I had to watch one before the other, that meant that I had to get the other movie. Unfortunately, Curse of Chucky was not available at the Ferndale Library. That’s okay though! Ferndale Library’s in the TLN network – a network of libraries that share resources – so I was able to order it from The Garden City Library through a service called Interlibrary Loan. So, yay!

Now, the Child’s Play movies are, in effect, slasher films and so must be gauged by the Four B’s (Blood, Boobs, Body Count, and Bad Acting). And, yes, this, too, gets an automatic A for being a slasher movie.

So, anywaaaaay…let’s get into it. 

Curse of Chucky (2013)

So, this one stars Chantal Quesnelle, Brendan Elliot, Danielle Bisutti, Maitland McConnell, A Martinez, Summer H. Howell, Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif. Yes, I said Dourif. As in Brad Dourif who is also in this and all the Child's Play as the voice of Chucky. (Bonus points for you if you knew that already. Mega Bonus points if you know him from at least three other movies. Legendary points if you can name more than five WITHOUT Googling.)

By the way, can we just stop for a second and acknowledge how much Fiona looks like her dad? Like, except really hot, which is weird because it makes me think that perhaps Brad Dourif would look great in drag.

Anyway, Nica (Dourif) lives with her mom, Sarah (Quesnelle) in a big, creepy house. Sarah is recovering from depression (I think. I don’t think they ever say. We just assume.) by painting lots of pictures in the living room and Nica is in a wheelchair as she's paralyzed from birth. They receive a package that has – you guessed it – a Chucky Doll in it. Shortly thereafter Mom dies from “suicide” and Nica’s sister, Barb (Bisutti) and her husband (Elliot), their daughter Alice (Howell) and their nanny, Jill (McConnell) move in and try to convince Nica to move to an assisted living place because she’s an "invalid"…at least that’s how Barb sees it. Truth is, though, Barb really just wants to sell the house because she's broke. But there they are all living together and one by one Chucky picks them off in some pretty creative ways.

Okay, so on with the grades:

Blood: B

You would think that a Child’s Play movie would have buckets of blood. Not this time. I mean, there is blood and a nice amount, buuut it’s not really dripping off the walls. The gore factor is down a bit as well. There’s an eye gouging, an ax in the face and a googly-eye-due-to-electrocution, etc and so on, but for a slasher film, I didn’t get the feeling that any of it got on me as I watched it.

Boobs: F

Sorry, no titties here. But you get to see Jill in lingerie and a lesbian make-out sesh, so that makes up for it.

Body Count: A
Okay, so while there were not legions of bodies littering the streets, when you’ve managed to murder five out of the six primary characters (and one additional police officer), those are pretty good numbers. There was an inordinate amount of story in this one though, so a bigger cast might’ve made for a longer movie to account for all the dead people. Five is more than enough for this one.

Bad Acting: D-

Surprisingly, just about everybody in the cast killed it in the acting department. I can’t really say that anyone chewed the scenery too much…except for Barb. Barb was pretty bad when it comes down to it. I mean, maybe she was written poorly? She played the resident bitch (there’s one in almost all of The Child’s Play movies) and I don’t know, but she was almost too bitchy…like she might’ve been a legit sociopath and HOW did anyone like someone so completely heartless and STILL marry them kind of bitchy.

But all that considered, still gets an A because, actually, this one was pretty good. They even redesigned Chucky’s face so that it’s cuter and chubbier when he’s pretending to be a doll which makes it way creepier when he’s killing someone.

Which leads us to the second movie in our double feature:

Cult of Chucky (2017)

Cult of Chucky with Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, Matthew Therriault, Zak Santiago, Maria Stephenson Kerr, Adam Hurtig, Grace Lynn Kung, Elisabeth Rosen. This one takes off where the last one left off, only this time our good friend Andy (Vincent) from the first three movies is back. He’s hold up in a house with a bunch of guns and the remains of Chucky’s head that he partially blew off at the end of Curse of Chucky (stick around for the end credits to see it), sitting in a safe. He keeps it and tortures it from time to time like any of us would do if we had spent our childhood being tortured by an animatronic demon doll.

Nica, having been convicted of the death of her family, is sent to an insane asylum where she meets Michael/Mark/Malcolm(Hurtig) a schizophrenic who falls instantly in deep like with her, Carlos (Santiago) the straight-acting gay orderly who’s nice to her even though he doesn’t like her, Angela(Kerr) who thinks she’s a ghost, Claire the overly angry pyromaniac (Kung) who has a seething kind of hate for Nica, and Madeleine who killed her own child and ends up adopting Chucky after their therapist Dr. “Creepy Pants” Foley (Therriault) brings one to their group session for “therapeutic purposes”.

And away we go!

Blood: A+++++
Yup. Buckets this time. It was pretty much a bloody gorefest from the first body on. I have to applaud the creativity level in the deaths as well. I mean, they were Final Destination level creative for a couple of the deaths. 

Boobs: F

Still no titties. Not even any lingerie this time. One lesbian kiss at the end though…I guess.

Body Count: A+++++

Just about everybody buys it in this one, especially since this time Chucky has figured out how to go all Horcruxy and double himself up into multiple Chucky dolls. They pretty much play the twin game on everyone until people start dropping like flies all over the institution.

Bad Acting: F

Nope. Sorry. Everybody did a pretty good job in this one too. I don’t know. Perhaps as time goes on the acting quality in horror movie gets better? I mean, it’s not going to win any awards, but with exception to a few minor characters that they clearly just pulled off the street, there was hardly any scenery chewing.

But, both movies were pretty decent and decidedly better than at least one of their predecessors (I’m looking at you Bride of Chucky). Even without the automatic A, they’re getting Jewels from me. 

So, what’s next, you ask? We’re taking a trip in the way back machine to some classic horror -- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Get ready. We’re going to get our film school geek on next week!

-- O ~

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