BRIDE OF CHUCKY
Director: Ronny Yu
Year of release: 1998
Country of origin: USA/Canada
Running time: 89 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "Chucky gets lucky"
Estimated budget: $25,000,000
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: After a bit of a longer gap between sequels than what fans had been used to Chucky makes his triumphant return here but this time he’s not alone. For this entry it’s double trouble with a second doll thrown into the mix.
The story begins with the introduction of an old flame of Charles Lee Ray, a woman named Tiffany who as it turns out is equally as crazed. She manages to procure what’s left of Chucky’s remains from a police evidence locker. After reassembling him from a selection of old doll parts Tiffany performs a voodoo ceremony in the hopes of bringing him back to life. With the experiment successful Chucky is animated once again but repays his saviour with a ceremony of his own which in effect transforms his ex-lover into a doll herself.
Still on a mission to return to human form, Chucky, now with fellow doll Tiffany tagging along travels to New Jersey to exhume the remains of Lee Ray. The bones of his former self are buried with a special amulet which is needed for the pair to jump back into human hosts.
With Chucky initially unsure how to travel to their destination, Tiffany saves the day by arranging for a neighbour to transport them in his van. Said neighbour is under the impression he is delivering a couple of antique dolls to a collector. Things don’t go smoothly however and as obstacles begin to pile up on route Chucky and Tiffany resort to murder to keep things moving along.
Good points: *The addition of Tiffany as a partner in crime for Chucky plays out really well and I feel she injects much new life and fun into the franchise. I found her to be entertaining both in her human form in the early stages plus later on as well after being turned into a doll. She also looks pretty cool visually once she undergoes her rock makeover. She has great chemistry with Chucky and the pair light up the screen together.
*The humour in this entry really takes centre stage which isn’t normally something I’m keen on but with Chucky being a doll anyway and prone to one liners I feel like the shift in tone actually suits this franchise really well. Certainly in this film at least it all works anyway and fits together perfectly.
Among the humorous parts are Tiffany’s teasing aimed at Chucky for being struck in the eighties plus an outrageous sex scene of sorts between the two dolls. Alexis Arquette also does a funny turn near the start as Tiffany’s wannabee lover. Bride of Frankenstein being seen on the TV at one point was also a clever touch.
*Something else this film has going for it is a collection of very decent murders with the highlight for me being something involving a waterbed. Nails and a speeding truck are also put to good use. Though there isn’t a great amount of blood some of the non-gory killings are interesting in themselves such as a bathtub kill and a kinky style suffocation.
*In addition to the two leads in Chucky and Tiffany the supporting cast hold up their end as well. This time there is a bit of a different dynamic to things as well with the absence of any children characters. Standing out as doing a good job is John Ritter who’s great as a strict and corrupt uncle with his lackey Needlenose being a smarmy individual we can love to hate while he’s around.
The couple of Jesse and Jade whom take responsibility for driving the van transporting the dolls are competent enough, inoffensive at least if not that memorable. Their friend David however I found to be a very entertaining guy and for me he added a lot to their scenes.
Bad Points: *Spoilers: As is often the case in films there are a few small things which are unrealistic which hindered the experience for me ever so slightly. It seemed a bit too quick and easy for Jesse and Jade to get married as even using a registry office I’d think it would still need to be booked in advance and not something you could walk up to off the street to get done spontaneously. Could be wrong about that though.
It isn’t clear where Chucky and Tiffany get the guns from which they have around the time of the truck incident. Maybe one came from the police chief but that wouldn’t account for both.
Towards the end a knife is thrown into Jesse’s back but it doesn’t seem to do as much damage as it should with him merely limping around a little bit afterward.
*Big spoiler: I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending with the baby coming out of Tiffany’s corpse to attack the police detective. It served a purpose in setting up the premise for the sequel but it seemed too far-fetched even for a tongue in cheek slasher film with voodoo influences. Even if they were somehow able to produce a baby it would surely take longer than a day or so to be born.
*Due to the more entertaining comedic nature of the film it’s less scary than the previous ones but the sacrifice was worth it I think as the new humorous direction does click very well. For me this was never a very scary franchise anyway but perhaps it would be for those that find dolls really creepy. Even for those types though I think it would be difficult to find this one frightening so perhaps it looses something it had before.
Verdict: Bride of Chucky is easily one of my favourite entries in the franchise and although the change in direction will divide opinion I largely enjoyed the more comedy based approach. This mainly all stemmed from the introduction of the Tiffany character which for me was a master stroke. This new direction does strip Chucky himself of some of the creepy menace he had before but with the trade off being a tremendously fun slice of entertainment I think it was a good decision.
As far as it’s place in the franchise goes I’d rank this behind only Curse of Chucky. Curse aside though I think it beats all the other films that came either before or after.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Crooked Cop: Throat cut by Tiffany with nail file.
2)Damien: Suffocated with a cushion as he is tied to a bed.
3)Tiffany: Electrocuted in the bath after a toaster is thrown into the water.
4)Needlenose: Burned to death in car explosion.
5)Kincaid: Injured with nails to the face and then stabbed in the back later by Chucky.
6)Man: Killed along with his partner by broken mirror shards falling onto him while lying on a water bed. Tiffany responsible.
7)Woman: The other half of the couple above. Killed the same way as #6.
8)David: Hit by accident by a truck.
9)Old man: Owner of RV. Found dead (killed off camera).
10)Old woman: As above (same as #9)
11)Grave digger: Shot by Chucky. Tumbles into open grave.
I haven’t counted Chucky or Tiffany seeing that they’ll be back nor the police man as he isn’t confirmed as dying at the hands of the baby.