Chucky: The Complete Collection - Bride of Chucky Blu-ray Review
Written by James Ferguson
Blu-ray released by Universal Studios
Directed by Ronny Yu
Written by Don Mancini
1998, Region A, 89 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on October 8th, 2013
Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany
Brad Dourif as Chucky
Katherine Heigl as Jade
Nick Stabile as Jesse
Alexis Arquette as Damien
Gordon Michael Woolvett as David
John Ritter as Chief Warren Kincaid
After Child's Play 3, Chucky was dormant for several years. It took a very special woman to bring him back to the big screen. Jennifer Tilly joined the franchise with Bride of Chucky, introducing her character of Tiffany, a murderous love of Charles Lee Ray. She's used her feminine wiles on a few men to get her hands on the Good Guy doll that once held the soul of her deceased lover. After some voodoo magic, the Lakeshore Strangler returns, albeit somewhat worse for wear with a face that was stiched and stapled together.
Of course, nothing ever goes according to plan for Chucky. He ends up pissing off Tiffany pretty quickly and kills her after she locks him up in a play pen in her trailer. (While it makes sense that Tiffany has a place for a baby in her home makes sense, but why it has a padlock does not.) Chucky decides to share the wealth and pops Tiffany's soul into a bride doll and thus, the serial killer versions of Barbie and Ken are born. Now for the first time, Chucky has a playmate.
Bride of Chucky drastically changed the dynamic of the Child's Play franchise. The humor that previously ran as an undercurrent throughout each previous film is fully embraced for the first time. The result is pretty fun. Chucky gets to poke fun at some of the absurdities that occur when a plastic toy contains the soul of a mass murderer. We also find out that Play Pal Inc made this particular Good Guy doll anatomically correct in a very memorable scene.
As with the previous films, the main goal for Chucky is much like that of Pinocchio’s: to become a real boy. More to the point, to steal the body of a person. This time it seems that the rules that hindered Chucky's progress before (that he could only inhabit the body of the first person he revealed his secret to) are a little lax. Instead the target is a young couple that's trying to break out on their own against the wishes of the girl's uncle and guardian (played wonderfully and full of slime by John Ritter).
The human element definitely takes a back seat to Chucky and Tiffany. They're largely forgettable outside of Ritter's performance as the sheriff of the small town used to being in power. Katherine Heigl plays the love interest and went on to be big on Grey's Anatomy and Knocked Up before disappearing into obscurity. The other victims and/or targets don't add much to the story. They're there to increase the body count in new and interesting ways. Cannon fodder.
While Chucky has always had the spotlight in this series, Jennifer Tilly moves seamlessly in to share it with him in Bride of Chucky. She's a natural addition to the cast, especially with the new turn that the franchise took with this film. Writer / creator Don Mancini fills in Tiffany's backstory within the Child's Play series and explains why it's taken all this time for her to track down her long lost lover. Her interactions with Brad Dourif come off very casual, as if the two of them had been speaking to one another for ages. Somehow, the pair of them made me believe that a totally normal relationship could be struck up between two plastic dolls out on a killing spree.
Bride of Chucky is a fun detour from the original Child's Play films. It's heavy on the dark humor and really cements Chucky's place amongst slashers more alongside that of Freddy Kreuger instead of in a weird category in the toy aisle. His new disfigured look replaces the vacant stare of a casual toy and makes him much scarier instead of just a little unsettling. This was a move that really could have only been done with this character. Can you imagine a funny version of Friday the 13th or Halloween? It just wouldn't work. Sure, Nightmare on Elm Street has its moments, but I don't think it could have introduced a wife for the killer successfully. Bride of Chucky successfully brings our serial killer into a new era after a disappointing sequel.
Video and Audio:
As with the other discs in the Chucky Blu-ray collection, Bride of Chucky looks pretty good. Nothing looks distorted or iffy with the transfer. The colors are bright, which works out well with the kills. Everything comes through clearly on the audio. No issues.
Bride of Chucky's special features are just a rehash of what was included on the DVD release a few years ago, which is pretty minimal. There are two commentaries. The first with director Ronny Yu and the second with Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, and Don Mancini. The only other feature is a Spotlight on Location featurette. Pretty disappointing overall.
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