Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, September 08, 2008

Happy Birthday,Chucky-you bad boy,you!

Being released tomorrow is a special 20th Birthday Edition of Child's Play on DVD,that scary little movie back in 1988 which gave birth to one of the most unlikely horror movie icons of all time,Chucky.

Many of the Chucky fans already have this film and/or it's mixed bag of sequels but if you have never seen this film or are into bonus features(the SE Child's Play has about four commentaries to choose from,including one from Chucky himself)bigtime,you may want to own this.

I remember seeing Child's Play in the local movie theater that was only a few blocks away from my home(it was an old school one movie house that was converted into a three movies at a time multiplex. It went out of business several years ago and was used as church headquarters for a brief time). It was the same theater where I had seen Fright Night,both of which were directed by Tom Holland.

Holland has a real flair for blending some of the tried and true thrills of horror movie past with more modern day features,which is why the original Child's Play holds up so well.

The movie stars Catherine Hicks as single mom Karen,who wants to get her little boy Andy the birthday gift of his dreams,a Good Guy doll. The Good Guy dolls are insanely expensive(they were meant as a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids but the GGs bear a closer resemblance to the My Buddy toy line)so when she gets a chance to buy one in a back alley,she takes it.

Too bad that particular Good Guy doll just happens to be possessed by the soul of a serial killer/criminal named Charles Lee Ray(Brad Dourif)who used voodoo to transfer his spirit before dying from at the hands of police detective Mike Norris(Chris Sarandon). At first,Andy and Chucky seem to be a match made in heaven but soon enough, some hellish hijinks start up:

A string of suspicious murders start to place Andy at the scenes of the crimes and Karen is determined to prove her son's innocence. For awhile,the movie coyly suggests that Andy might really be the killer but after Karen makes a shocking discovery about Chucky's real source of power,the truth is finally forced out into the open:

The story's fiery finale didn't prevent a slew of sequels that launched Chucky's ascent as a slasher movie villain. Most of them are lackluster at best,with a few memorable scenes that endeared the chuckling Chuckster to the hearts of horror movie fans and showcased the vocal talents of Brad Dourif(who has voiced the character in every film).

The series got a good shot in the arm in 1998 with Bride of Chucky,which gave the gruesome Good Guy a gal pal to play around in the form of Tiffany(Jennifer Tilly),a ex-lover of Chucky's who wanted to bring her true soul mate back from the beyond and wound up a deadly dollie herself.

The new movie wisely took a self mocking approach to the material,which made it more fun and funny to boot(sadly,the follow up to Bride,Seed of Chucky,wasn't as well done):

This anniversary edition of Child's Play comes on the heels of news about a remake in the works that will include Brad Dourif(you really couldn't do another Chucky flick without him;it's as crazy as making another Nightmare on Elm Street sans Robert Englund-oh,wait,they are doing that! Never mind,as Emily Litella says). Good luck with that,I guess. Maybe it's just me but I don't see the point of re-doing something that you got right the first time around:

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