So, I watched all the Child’s Play/Chucky Movies recently, a quick ranking:
Child’s Play 2
Curse of Chucky (6)
Cult of Chucky (7)
Bride of Chucky (4)
Child’s Play 3
Seed of Chucky (5)
Obviously, the original is the best as with most franchises. This one really has the creep factor nailed. The pitter patter of little terrifying feet. The weird moving shadows in the corner of the screen. The absolutely horrifying and childhood ruining sequence of the melted Chucky Doll marching forward unrelenting to murder Andy and his Mother
Let’s be honest, this is a horror movie for children. Yeah there is horrific murders and the above image that is burned into the deep recess of the psyche of millions of 80’s babies but really is it any different than ET? Batteries Not Included? Or Mac and Me?
This was my justification for showing my children and I stand by it.
Now in my world the first movie of the franchise is always the best……well, except for Friday the 13th, Phantasm, Leprechaun, Hellraiser, Puppet Master but I digress…. the second Child’s Play movie is on par with the first. Actually, every creepy thing I remember about Chucky from my childhood is from this movie. Him burying the other Good Guy Doll. Killing the father under the stairs. Hiding in the closet at the school and murdering the teacher. The absolutely horrifying sequence of Chucky half mangled with the knife stuck in his arm, wheeling closer to kill Andy and Kyle.
You know, I have no idea who did the special effects on this movie and I feel I should know them by name. I know the Chiodo Brothers and Tom Savini, but I feel like the Chucky Doll effects are miles ahead of what they were doing in Critters or Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
The interesting thing about the Child’s Play series that really sets it apart from many of the other big 80’s franchises is the consistency of the creative team behind the movies. Friday the 13th, Elm Street, Halloween and so on basically had a different writer, director and producer each movie but the Child’s Play franchise had the same writer for all 7 movies as well as the same producer. Yeah, so the series took some twists and turns, but it can be said that they have a well-defined timeline and continuity.
That being said, in an overall series ranking I place #6 and #7 directly after the original and #2. Also, if I was making a “Machete Order” for Child’s Play it would go 1, 2, 6 & 7 completely ignoring 3, 4 and 5. These films are pretty recent, release in 2013 and 2017 respectively so I will preface this next part with a big ol’ Spoiler Alert ahead.
Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky, which I must take a moment and say I absolutely love the naming of these movies it reminds me of the old Universal Horror Mummy franchise with its The Mummy’s Curse, The Mummy’s Hand, Tomb, Ghost and Curse, I don’t know, just something I like. These movies are a pair - Curse needs Cult and Cult needs Curse.
Curse of Chucky is the age-old tale of a Doll shipped to the house of a paraplegic and her mother and mysterious deaths start occurring. The movie leaves behind the comedy elements of the preceding 2 movies and goes right back into straight horror, pretty damned good and freaky horror if you ask me.
One more time. Spoiler alert.
The movie ends with Chucky winning, the murders getting blamed on the paraplegic woman, which is 80’s level of suspension of disbelief, and then Tiffany or Jennifer Tilly picks up the Chucky Doll and mails it to Andy…….WHAAA!!!
Cult of Chucky, the superior of the two films, but like I said one cannot standalone without the other, starts with Nica (the paraplegic girl) is in a mental hospital with a bunch of crazies and creepers and for some shocking reason multiple Good Guys dolls possessed by the evil spirit of Charles Lee Ray. Apparently something he learned in the legendary “Voodoo For Dummies” that Tiffany used way back in #4.
Spoilers folks. Watch your step.
Chucky uses this Voodoo power to create a Chucky Army and finally, possess Nica aka Fiona Douriff daughter of Brad Douriff the iconic voice of Chucky. Now I will admit, I had no idea who Fiona Douriff was until the last 10-15 minutes of Cult of Chucky when she started talking with a thick New York accent and I realized she was Bart from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
Cult of Chucky really dives into an interesting area of the mythology of the Chucky character and in my opinion, is probably the place the series should have gone following #2 instead of the direction it went instead.
Before I provide my thoughts on #3-#5 which I ranked lowest in the series I need to clarify the concept of what I mean when I say Bad when referring to a movie. I don’t mean “this is bad and a waste of time and you shouldn’t watch it”. When I say a movie is bad I am typically talking about its production quality, the levels of suspension of disbelief that the movie asks you to go or just the overall troll nature of the movie. Some Examples:
Rawhead Rex is a bad movie about an Irish demon monster? From under Stonehenge? That eats people and can only be hurt by a woman? Or something? Honestly, if you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer. Its “bad” but one of my all-time favorites for exactly that reason.
CHUD is bad. I mean, there is a part where a guy eats a quarter to stop another guy from using a payphone. Like what kind of troll is that? Why did he eat the damned quarter?
When my friend calls me, and says “Bro, have you heard of Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre?” I respond with “Is it bad?”, he responds with, “yes bro, terrible, rent it and call me back after”. Which usually ends with me owning the movie and telling everyone I know to go watch it.
Seriously, you gotta watch this movie.
All that being said #3-5 are bad. The next one in my ranking is #4 The Bride of Chucky, this movie oozes 90’s horror. From the clean polished look, the gratuitous Rob Zombie sound track and the meta nature of the movie itself. There is a puppet sex scene. Overall, it’s a good movie but its absolutely absurd. Did I mention there is a puppet sex scene?
I am going to be as blunt with #3 as I can be.
It’s terrible. Like, Andy goes to military school and Chucky has a gun instead of a knife? And grenades? And there is the greatest Dante’s Inferno inspired rollercoaster of all time while chucky tries to kill or possess a little black kid? It’s one of those movies in the franchise where they weren’t 100% certain what to do next so they took a stab at something new and it missed the mark. Put it on a watch list with all the other swings and a miss sequels Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Nun and Poltergeist 3.
Swap the little boy in Child’s Play 3 with Reggie the Reckless and I would have to reassess my rankings.
Ok, so Seed of Chucky. What in the exact fuck? I have never seen this movie up until this recent viewing, apparently my oldest Daughter has watched it too many times to count, basically she is grounded for finding a ridiculous movie and not telling me about it.
How was this movie made? Who funded it? Who edited it, watched it and said, “yeah, lets release this in the movie theaters?”
Things I was screaming in laughter at the whole movie:
The premise of the movie is that Chucky has a gender confused, pants pissing, British kid who speaks Japanese. Redman, of Wu-Tang Clan, plays a Hollywood director who is making a movie about the Bible (not kidding) and Jennifer Tilly is planning on sleeping with him to get the part of Mary. Chucky jerks off and artificially inseminates Jennifer Tilly with his puppet semen???? Then he has a Kung Fu battle against his son, because, you know, they were made in Japan or something. Chuck and Tiffany join AA for murderers…
I can’t….I just can’t. I mean, look at his damned kid.
This troll ass movie. No more words can be said.
Well, except that, Child’s Play, if nothing else, is a movie about family. And not some idyllic portrait of a family like Leave it to Beaver, a real family with problems. Problems like, not having enough money for Christmas presents so you have to buy your son a possessed doll from the back alley. The movie tells us that family isn’t just who is your blood but its who you have a bond with like Kyle and Andy. It’s about the everlasting love and the ups and downs of marriage as are so evident as in the relationship with Chucky and Tiffany. It’s about loving your family regardless of their lifestyle or the way they were born as you can see with Glen/Glenda, no matter what, his parents still love him. And ultimately it’s about building in your life to hand down to future generations just like Brad Dourif did in handing the torch to his daughter Fiona to carry on their family legacy.
My suggestion? Watch them all.
Want more deep dives into horror flicks? Just search below: