Friday, August 15, 2014

R.I.P. CHUCKY ..and the END of the LAST 80's Horror Franchise

I love the first Child's Play - It's a great horror film that's well-shot, lots of laughs with one lovely leading lady - Catherine Hicks - one of my all time celebrity crushes.
In the first film we have a serial killer, a toy, a son and a loving Mom - perfecto - it's got uber creepo Brad Douriff, black magic, that 80's vibe I love, great special effects and A KILLER DOLL!!!

Alex Vincent is great as cute little Andy, but Brad Douriff steals the show as Chucky. His voice performance will remain the steady constant that the franchise is built upon, through film after film and change after change.
The first one is a blast, and did pretty well so...
Child's Play 2 has Andy return, but no Catherine Hicks. Now I bought this more than the switcheroo in Poltergeist 3(which undermined the film before it even started) with the story telling us that Andy's Mom went crazy after the events of Part One - sure it's an excuse, but at least it's logical.
I always enjoy Chucky's resurrections too, some clever - some hokey - always fun...
But I digress - two is a good sequel and three is decent though it featured a new actor in the role. Surprisingly, the story of the third is referenced in the last, and overall it's not bad with Andy older and attending a military school, finding romance ..and oh yeah - dispatching Chucky again.

Number 3 was the last to use the original title, and the last official horror film in the series for a while.
With the next chapter things get really strange with this goofy franchise with #4's Bride of Chucky and it sure is different. It surprised even me that these films kept getting theatrical releases, which is pretty wild into a fourth and fifth installment, but they keep doing well. Bride is funnier than scary, but still a good watch, and again - Jennifer Tilly - big celebrity crush - she's bloody great, and so obviously having a blast - really fun performance both as human and as the Bride to be.
Then came Seed of Chucky - one bloody weird movie. More like Glen or Glenda or Freaks, it has it's following for sure, though I didn't love it. You should watch it - you'll find it hard to believe it not only played theatrically but did okay  ...SUCH a bizarre experience.

The SIXTH and final film(I believe) finally became a "straight-to-video" with Curse of Chucky just last year(2013) and though the franchise feels a bit long in the tooth, it still boasts Chucky/Brad Douriff and that crazy "good guy" doll who can't stop killing. Weird to see an older BD in the flashback scenes, but somebody obviously cares about this particular franchise's fate far more than I'd have guessed would/could happen. Don Mancini is his name, and he directed the first film, as well as writing ALL of 'em. Very cool, and I'd guess only PHANTASM has a more dedicated Director(having written and directed all of those) in Don Coscarelli, which is also highly respectable - I just happen to prefer this aging franchise.

But here's the catch see - the final Child's Play film does have one really good reason to watch it:

It's the ending. 
I won't ruin it but I will say the final 60 seconds of the Child's Play film franchise is the best ending to a horror series I've ever seen - no joke.
I sat in the dark as the credits rolled, and smiled to myself realizing I've been watching that stupid character since I was 18 years old, and I turned 44 yesterday.

This was also the END of the LAST EIGHTIES HORROR FRANCHISE.  Jason - Freddie - everything else is dead or rebooted, but this series lasted 25 years solid. Of the old horror franchises, only Phantasm will see another addition to its ongoing canon, but they started in 1979.

Very impressive for the only slasher franchise that doesn't have a lead human, so to speak.

So it's finally over - Rest in Peace, CHUCKY - that was quite the run, ya fu*%ing little bastard.


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