DVD Review: Seed of Chucky

Completely unconcerned for the fans who found the horror aspect of the Child's Play series the best part, creator/director/writer Don Mancini brings us Seed of Chucky. There is many an adjective available for the film, mostly including variations on sick, twisted, stupid, and fun. The series slow slide into comedy ends here, and even if it's a complete opposite of the films that started it, it's a classic example of horror comedy.

It's impossible to take this even remotely seriously from the start. The opening moments are fantastic, done completely in a first-person viewpoint of the latest little addition to the series. When Chucky and Jennifer are resurrected on a movie set, we learn their little spawn is named Glen… or Glenda. No one is quite sure, and it's a movie reference that should at the least bring a smirk to schlock movie fans.

Seed is way beyond depraved, morbid, and sick. In other words, everything we should expect from one of the top slashers in the movie industry. While there are a few memorable deaths (Redman's will be tough to top), this fifth sequel goes for the family domestic dispute. When that tension is between three animatronic dolls, it's the absurdity that makes it impossible to turn off.

It's mostly the writing, where Chucky still remains himself (and still voiced by Brad Dourif) as his wife and son try to stop killing everyone. At least they admit they have a problem. There's the central conflict in the film that leads to the comedy and over the top scenarios that continue their path into unbelievably stupid yet enjoyable.

Obviously, the sick premise, even with the comedy, makes this specialized entertainment. It's not a film for everyone, but if you've followed Chucky around for 16 years, you'll know you're the target audience. The puppetry over the years has truly increased in quality as well, making this a treat for goofy/schlocky horror fans. (**** out of *****)

In 1.85:1 widescreen, Seed of Chucky looks great on DVD. You can really appreciate the effort put into the dolls and their movements. The clarity and sharpness are gorgeous. The transfer runs into trouble with some brightly lit backgrounds that show compressions artifacts. It's ever so slightly noticeable in other scenes as well. There are a few color bleeding problems as well, though these are rarely easy to pick out. (****)

In either 5.1 or DTS, the film sounds great. The opening moments really use the full capabilities of the audio. Elsewhere, positional effects are used to nice effect. The extensive use of thunderstorms always adds a nice texture to the bass, and you'll feel it regardless of your audio choice. (****)

Extras are packed onto this disc, starting with two commentaries, and both feature Mancini. His guests for each track make them unique, one with Jennifer Tilly and the other featuring puppet master Tony Gardner. These tracks discuss completely varied aspects of the film, though it would have been nice to have all three in just a single commntary.

Here's Chucky is an interview with the doll with some "test screenings" for various other parts in his career. This isn't funny or fleshed out enough at two minutes to be included here. The family photo slideshow has the three members of the "horror doll community" (for lack of a better term) discussing their recent vacation. Plenty of gore to go around.

There are two deleted scenes that have an optional running commentary. Both feature Debbie Lee Carrington, a name that should be familiar to genre fans. There's a short minute and a half clip from the Tonight Show featuring a funny little video diary of sorts from the Jennifer Tilly here after that.

Conceiving Seed of Chucky is the biggest feature outside the film, an 18-minute look behind the scenes. There's extensive footage of the puppets at work, and they also "speak" on their roles. Fuzion Up Close is a short TV feature with interviews with the dolls and Jennifer Tilly. Storyboard comparisons and a text diary from Tilly (which is well worth a read) finish off the hit or miss feature set. (***)

It took six years for a film company to finally pick up the film. Focus features finally gave it a green light, but their usual area was more art-styled films. That led to Rogue Pictures being created, and they've handled other films like Unleashed and Shaun of the Dead.

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