Bride of Chucky - * 1/2*

After a seven-year absence, Chucky, the killer doll, has returned. Yes, Chucky has been shot, stabbed, incinerated, melted, and chopped into teeny-tiny bits, but each time he comes back. The world probably doesn’t need another Child’s Play sequel…but, if it did, Bride of Chucky is at least better than the previous two.

Whereas in previous sequels, Chucky was literally remade from scratch, this time out, he’s stitched back together (in true Frankenstein fashion) by Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly). You see, Tiffany was the girlfriend of Charles Lee Ray, the murderer who originally placed his soul inside the Chucky doll via a voodoo chant in the original Child’s Play. She wants to bring back her dead boyfriend…but it’s not too long before she finds herself trapped in a doll’s body as well. If you couldn’t tell by the title, she becomes… THE BRIDE OF CHUCKY!

Well, once that’s done with, the two killer dolls come up with a plan to return to human hosts. Apparently (in a fact somehow ignored by all the prior Child’s Play films), a special magical amulet is needed to swap souls with a living human. So Chucky and Tiffany must travel cross country, get the amulet, and find an unfortunate couple to possess.

As luck would have it, Tiffany’s white trash neighbor, Jesse (Nick Stabile) is just about to elope with his sweetheart, Jade (Katherine Heigl). The two teens are running away from Jade’s domineering chief-of-police uncle Warren (John Ritter). When Chucky and Tiffany manage to hitch a ride, the unsuspecting couple leave a trail of murder victims in their wake, and find themselves accused of being “multiple murderers”.

The appeal of the Child’s Play films is a simple one: the none-sequitur high concept of a harmless child’s toy springing to life as a foul mouthed mass murderer. It’s the age-old charm of something familiar doing something unexpected. This time around, we also get to watch Chucky do drugs, headbang, and, yes, even have sex. Can’t you feel the irresistible draw to the movie theater right now?

The screenplay for Bride of Chucky is much more comic in tone and better written than the previous sequels (not that it takes much talent to top lines like “Don’t f*** with the Chuck!”) If anything, the film lays on the humor a bit too broadly, with over-obvious homages to Friday the 13th, Halloween and even Hellraiser.

The film is definitely guilty of overkill. This is the type of movie where a person would die from a papercut: by drowning. Yep, this film even features a nice exploding body (I guess his blood pressure was a little high).

If the mere idea of yet another Chucky-the-killer-doll movie is already making you pluck out your eyes to prevent the terror, you should definitely trust your instincts. For the die-hard Chucky fan (is there such a thing?), you can trust yours. However, for most people, you’re probably best off ignoring Bride of Chucky until it airs late at night on the USA network…you might get a chuckle or two then.

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