"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Cult of Chucky

I kind of want the CHUCKY cinematic saga to go on forever, or at least as long as Don Mancini wants to keep making them. He’s the guy who wrote the original script BLOOD BUDDY, that became CHILD’S PLAY, and then wrote all six sequels to date, and directed SEED OF CHUCKY (2004), CURSE OF CHUCKY (2013) and now CULT OF CHUCKY (aka CHUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN).

CURSE was the first one made for the DTV market, and CULT follows in its footsteps: lower budget, limited locations, filmed in Winnipeg, more serious tone than BRIDE or SEED except for some broad meta references and some nods to continuity. It also brings back the star, Fiona Dourif (yes, Brad’s daughter) as Nica, innocent paraplegic woman now committed to an asylum, blamed for Chucky’s murders and convinced she imagined him to ease her guilt. Of course, the dumbass doctor (Michael Therriault, The Girlfriend Experience) decides he should bring in a vintage Good Guy doll as part of her therapy, and, you know, shit may or may not happen.

For a minute there’s an adult ELM STREET 3 vibe. We meet the handful of patients and orderlies and see their group sessions. One patient, Michael (Adam Hurtig, who also apparently played a cop in CURSE, but I don’t think it’s the same character) is charming, and she immediately bones him before finding out he’s confused about who he even is. Others, especially Claire (Grace Lynn Kung, P2, CUBE 2: HYPERCUBE) don’t trust her, but their bickering never turns into bonding. They become Chucky victims, but never get to fight back and be beautiful and bad like Dream Warriors. I guess the creepiest patient subplot is the one about Madeleine (Elisabeth Rosen, HOUSE OF THE DEAD) because she treats the Good Guy doll as her baby and breastfeeds it.

Now *that’s* a tagline!

There is some suspense about what Chucky’s up to, or how he’s even there after a strong opening revealed seemingly contradictory information regarding Chucky’s fate since CURSE. This becomes a compelling subplot in which CHILD’S PLAY’s hero Andy (Alex Vincent, last seen as a 9 year old boy in part 2!) deals with being an adult forever tied to a killer doll. It’s so cool to see him grown up. Kind of a PHANTASM situation.

There’s a good amount of Chucky – sparing, but not stingy. Of course it’s still Brad Dourif (SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION)’s voice along with the excellent animatronic puppetry – they haven’t gone CGI Yoda yet. He still has kind of a bad sense of humor. He complains about Hannibal being cancelled (Mancini worked on it) and there’s some nod to ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, obviously. I’m not really into those types of references, but something warmed my heart about Andy having a framed sweatshirt from the military academy that he attended in part 3 (when played by a different actor).

You know what, I still wonder what happened to Alex’s big foster sister Kyle from part 2. She was cool.

I think my favorite moment in the movie is early on, during a queasy-uncomfortable scene where we learn that (SPOILER) Andy keeps Chucky captive and tortures him for fun. Having cancelled a dinner date Andy says something like “Well, looks like it’s just you and me tonight, buddy.” And what I like is that it doesn’t sound like a taunt. It sounds like there’s some truth to the idea of the Good Guys “friend to the end” corniness. Andy is stuck fighting this asshole doll his whole life, might as well share a moment of levity and a puff of a joint with him. A nice little Elmore Leonard or HEAT type moment.

The meaning of the title is not what I expected and takes most of the movie to get to, as does the reveal of Chucky’s plans, which work as a suitably crazy outcome, but not as a setup for an exciting sequel. Nobody is gonna watch this and think “I can’t wait to see them continue from there!” They’re gonna think “I hope they don’t stick with that for long!” Fortunately, things start picking up in this last act. The climax has 3 or 4 really effective gore sequences to moisten the mood.

Though this is not one of the top CHUCKY pictures, and maybe the second weakest chapter after part 3, it’s still a fun time. It gets a big boost from the performance by the younger Dourif. She does have a small resemblance to her father, but clearly earned the role for herself. She treats the character with utmost respect and seriousness that makes her fight with a smartassed talking/killing doll somehow seem plausible.

All things considered I must conclude that this is worth watching to those of us who enjoy watching the Chucky pictures.

possible part 8s:

CIRCUS OF CHUCKY
ROAD OF CHUCKY
GYM OF CHUCKY
CHUCKY BOUGHT A ZOO
ISLAND OF THE CHUCKIES
CHUCKYLAND
LETHAL CHUCKY (Chris Sarandon returns for buddy cop movie with him and Chucky trailing a Charles Lee Ray copycat)
ALOHA CHUCKY
CHUCKLEBERRY FINN

This entry was posted on Monday, October 9th, 2017 at 7:30 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

87 Responses to “Cult of Chucky”

  1. It’s a good one.

    I’m very interested in seeing a behind the scenes feature on it.

    That one money scene towards the end was impressive. I could only imagine all the crazy coordination and synchronicity that must’ve gone into pulling off all that puppeteering at once considering how this crew is likely used to filming one puppet at a time.

    Also kudos to Dourif on all the subtle vocal inflections during that scene used to distinguish the cult. Pretty cool stuff.

  2. Spoilers for uncut version….

    Kyle shows up in the after credit sequence to continue the torture of Chucky’s head.

  3. I really liked this one. I still think this and the old Universal FRANKENSTEINs is the most consistent long-running horror series (weak links that are still enjoyable to me and all).

    I’m really digging what Mancini is doing with his creation. He’s not afraid to get weird and wild with the stories and tone. He’s definitely not someone playing it too safe. I’m also happy that his fanbase is mostly willing to go along with him rather than bitch that he stay the course (I mean I remember some fan grumbling with BRIDE and SEED but they didn’t abandon the series I think).

    I will disagree with Vern on one thing other than me liking it more than him because I am excited to see what Mancini has in store for us from here.

  4. RE: Lotep’s spoiler post
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    Wouldn’t it be real cool if we’re able to get a FAST 5/RESIDENT EVIL RETRIBUTION style team up of all the prior protagonists against Chucky and Tiffany? Kinda like how some FRIDAY THE 13th fans wanted them to do one where the prior final girls team up to go against Jason.

  5. Michael Mayket/emteem

    October 9th, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I haven’t seen this yet. My wife had only seen the first one so we’ve been doing a “Chucky Deep Dive” currently through part 3 to get to this one (which Forbes calls the Fast Five of Child’s Play movies).

    Possible spoilers.

    I had read Kyle appears during a post credits scene. Is this not true?

  6. Michael Mayket/emteem

    October 9th, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I swear there were no comments when I started mine. I know how to read.

  7. I thought this was ok. The screening I went to had a Q&A with Mancini/Tilly/Fiona Dourif that was more fun than the film itself.

    The plot was a mess, Andy’s ‘plan’ was just stupid, and the whole film had an air that it thought it was really way more clever than I thought it was. Chucky seems to have limitless powers where he can possess whatever he wants, whenever he wants, as many times as he wants. He apparently could have possessed any human whenever he liked, but has chosen to stay as a doll and break into a mental home to possess a girl in a wheelchair because it suits the continuity of the franchise.

    It was decent enough fun, had a couple of good kills, and looked nice enough, but it felt like something Mancini probably dashed off in a weekend and then just carried into production with no further work.

  8. Uhh, guys? I’m pretty sure that’s the joke. I’m prettttty sure Vern saw the end of the film.

  9. I think I literally said “I can’t wait to see them continue from there” at the end of this movie. There are a ton of fun directions they can go with the idea that people can voodoo their way into multiple bodies. I would totally be in for a sequel where, for example, the heroes use the Chucky head to track down and kill other Chuckies. It doesn’t have to be a permanent new direction for the franchise, but it would fun for one movie.

    Also, for some reason the Kyle end credits scene is only on the DVD and not the Netflix version. The Andy scene in Curse seemed like a throwaway teaser but actually ended up paying off in this movie, so it seems a good bet that Kyle will play a bigger role in the next sequel.

  10. I think you all know I loved this one and I cannot wait to see the next one. I just hope we get Chris Surandon back in one of these because I worry we won’t get any good hero characters. Alex Vincent, as neat as it is he is in it, is a terrible actor. The good guys need a good actor on their side.

    Also, the scene with the glass was so well acted and directed where I felt sad for the outcome.

  11. Well, the Netflix version does NOT have the post-credits stinger so it’s possible Vern didn’t see it. It’s on YouTube though.

  12. Well, at least now we have confirmation that Vern buckled and got Netflix at last.

    I love this series deep down in my soul. Realizing that the voice of Chucky was the same weirdo I’d seen in GRAVEYARD SHIFT and GRIM PRAIRIE TALES gave me my first exposure to the idea of the B-movie actor, and Brad Dourif has been my favorite ever since. For nearly 20 years, nobody ever knew who he was, but then he suddenly became respectable and beloved, and I was absolutely thrilled for him. So to have his daughter come into this series and fucking own it the way she has, and to know how proud of her he is (seriously, watch the special features on both CULT and CURSE to get a sense of how much I want to be a Dourif) well, it gives me all the goddamn feels. I love the family business aspect of this series. I like my horror mean, but I like my horror makers nice.

    I am also almost ready to come to terms with how disconcertingly sexy Fiona is doing an impersonation of her dad circa FATAL BEAUTY. Apparently, this is what I want: a beautiful brunette inhabited by the soul of a mega character actor. I love this movie.

    Also, I’ve been paying attention to how both Dourifs pronounce their name, and I’ve come to the conclusion at long last that the it’s closer to “durr-iff” than “door-iff.” Just in case you run into either one of them and feel like passing my name along as the guy who set you straight.

    Also also, I recently learned that Mancini has been one of horror’s few out-and-proud gay men for a long time now, which I think is awesome. Things are slowly getting better in other genre’s but I’ve always appreciated how horror has always had room for people of marginalized groups to express themselves safely. Going back over the series, I see lots of queer themes (Are we still using that word? Please correct me if we’re not) about secret relationships, hidden desires, gender fluidity, and identity confusion. SEED OF CHUCKY is a fucking goldmine for that shit. And yet Chucky also became a minor mascot in the hip-hop community, not exactly a hotbed of progressive thinking on the subject of human sexuality. I mean, they had Redman and John Waters in the same movie, both talking about how much they love Chucky. That’s some broad appeal right there.

    There’s just something to this little fucker. I hope he never stops coming back.

  13. (SPOILERS)

    Ha ha, I seriously didn’t know about that post-credits scene. I want the box set, but for now I watched it streaming. I even assumed there’d be a post-credits scene and was surprised when there wasn’t, but I genuinely didn’t think anyone besides me cared about bringing Kyle back!

    What I meant about not wanting to see the ending continued from is Chucky and Tiffany both being humans and not dolls. But I suppose given the logic of this movie they can have both at the same time.

  14. Vern, they are both human and dolls.

  15. Serious title suggestion for the next movie: Age of Chucky.

  16. My cousin suggested one when I rewatched it with her because of the final scene. She’s very colorful with her humor. It was so tasteless and darkly funny I’m sure someone will suggest it to Mancini unironically. She’s a lesbian and it was related to her orientation so I’m sure you guys could figure it out.

    I actually thought PRIDE OF CHUCKY could be cool. Then I found out there is an actual Child’s Play fan site with that name so scratch that.

  17. This has to be one of the most bizarre and unlikely long-running film franchises ever. It’s trashy even when it’s compelling, compelling even when it’s trashy; strangely forward-thinking while also leaning on our most backward-thinking fears. I would never recommend the series to most people because most of its defining characteristics are blatantly juvenile and/or purposefully offensive… and I’m also pretty sure that 3 out of the 7 movies are actually just bad movies… but it’s also heartwarming for the family/legacy aspect, and it also wins my heart for the questions of identity/gender that it embraces with a full-frontal lack of taste. It’s crazy to say that I appreciate the killer doll series because they have “heart!” But I do. And when you can legitimately hope that CHUCKY EIGHT could be its series’ FAST FIVE… we have crossed the Rubicon, there is no coming back. Bad taste has won, so I just hope that filmmakers with bad taste continue to have good morals.

  18. I thought this and CURSE were basically just okay but I’m totally cool with them continuing to do these until Dourif can’t/doesn’t want to keep grinding. Who among the FANGOers would’ve guessed that in AD 2017 Freddy and Jason would be on ice semi-permanently yet the Chuck would remain unfucked with?

  19. Sorta surprised you rank Cult so low. Here I’m debating whether it’s better than Bride or only as good. I just thought the multiple Chuckys angle was really clever and ambitious. Fair is fair tho, to each his own.

    The way it respects all the Continuity is great too, like the military academy.it happened. Don’t forget.

  20. The “geeze I can’t with this guy!” scene is hilarious. You know you’re one fucked up son of a bitch if you’re even too much for a serial killing voodoo soul to bear.

  21. Passion of (the)…

  22. I enjoyed how in CURSE they played it a little more restrained and mysterious, with the Chucky doll inexplicably showing up at this house and rebooting him as the more traditional lifeless creepy doll who does sinister shit off camera when no one’s looking. It reminded me somewhat of NIGHTMARE 7 in that a new premise, a more restrained use of the central slasher, and the passage of time somehow restored creepiness and menace. Of course, by about 2/3 of the way through, they went more full-on wisecracking Brad Dourif, and I think the film suffered a bit, but I still dug it.

    In this one, they follow the trajectory of the last 1/3 of CURSE, and it’s a bit less grounded, but it worked for me, since I think they were more upfront about embracing that tone pretty much from the jump. Dourif does some good work in this, and he’s given some good dialogue. That same line Broddie quoted really gave me a chuckle.

    Of course, I’d love to see what they’d do with a bigger budget, but I think Mancini continues to make good use of more limited locations. There’s a bit of a weird nightmarish feel with this place being such a pristine white, including all the orderlies wearing white and the nurse with the old timey nurse uniform and the old timey white padded room. I enjoyed the overt weirdness.

  23. Ok, what’s up with horror movies introducing a concept and then completely ignoring it? So Mancini is going around all pissed off about the new Child’s Play while, at the same time, looking to completely ignore everything he did in the last two Child’s Play movies. Shit, he even did that between Seed and Curse. I don’t know why I’m completely upset but I was so excited for the next movie and now the new movie is ignoring Cult of Chucky and the TV show is completely rebooting the reboot.

    Basically, I’m disappointed.

  24. He’s not ignoring it. It’ll have new characters but Fiona and Jennifer will still cameo.

    Plus remember how they said Curse of Chucky was a reboot, then it turned out he still had stitches in his face and Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent showed up? I have faith.

  25. Making a TV show that continues a cliffhanger of a DTV movie, is a risky undertaking, because you have to expect that most viewers don’t even know that CURSE and CULT exist. So of course it won’t be a direct sequel. It will be most likely more like AGENTS OF SHIELD, in a way that it takes part in the same universe and references events from the MCU, but you won’t be completely lost if you haven’t seen any of the movies. But I really doubt that he starts NOW to ignore his own canon.

  26. Sigh. I fuckin’ hate TV. Nah, don’t utilize all your resources efficiently to get a tightly realized 90 minutes of awesome up there on the screen. Take the same budget and stretch it out with 14 hours of subplots about characters nobody gives a shit about but who occasionally take their shirts off. After all, America needs to put something on in the background while it folds laundry and too much awesome in close proximity to itself might force someone to pay attention for more than five minutes at a time. We can’t have that.

    Movies are over, fellas. This is the beginning of the end. Why encourage consumers to potentially consume a competitor’s product after yours has ended after a scant two hours? The smart move is to ensure that your product NEVER. FUCKING. ENDS. So they don’t have the chance. It’s not about stories. Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s about content. Content is a neverending middle. Just a gooey filling of drama-like slurry on perpetual tap. That’s the future. Hope you like subplots and sideboob.

  27. Is this new? American TV has always been designed to run indefinitely, has always competed with movies, has always been made mostly of filler. It’s the past and present just as much as it is the future.

  28. They used to be separate. The difference now is that TV is usurping movies. They don’t make EVIL DEAD 4. They make ASH VS EVIL DEAD. Which was fine, but you can’t tell me you wouldn’t rather have had two hours of 100% full of 200-proof Sam Raimi than the three seasons of wheel spinning and repetition we got just to see some gore set-pieces. It was entertaining but still a compromised, diluted product. I would say the same about all the Netflix Marvel shows. Not one of them wouldn’t have been improved by a tight focus on a single story that had enough budget left over for big set-pieces. Instead we get a Punisher show that makes time for multiple scenes of sophisticated lady lawyers sitting around discussing relationships but can’t afford to shoot gunfights with the lights on. Audiences would apparently rather have a slow drip of meh than a shotgun blast of awesome. Movies are about maximizing time; TV is about killing it.

    If you want further evidence that movies are on the way out culturally, look at the Oscars this year. Just fucking flop sweat all over the place trying to get anyone at all excited about this medium. Nobody gives a fuck about any of the self-consciously prestigious picture we put out every year so we can sleep at night, so hey, let’s nominate a second-tier comic book movie for Best Picture. Maybe that’ll get them talking. No? How about if we eliminate the only two categories intrinsic to cinema from the broadcast in order to fit in more musical numbers? No? You don’t like the hosts. Maybe no hosts. Will that help? No? Fuck.

    What if we nominated GAME OF THRONES for something? Seriously, book it for one night in one theater and we’ll give it Best Adapted Screenplay, no questions asked.

    Cinema’s a dying art form. It’s poetry. Theater. Jazz. It probably won’t disappear but it’s already taking a backseat. And it’s got no one to blame but itself. It switched over to an all-franchise-or-niche model and didn’t realize other mediums can both franchise and niche way better than it can.

  29. You never go full Mr Majestyk.

  30. I’m not buying it. What’s happening with movies is what’s happening with music: we have unprecedented access to it, across genres, cultures, history, etc. So everyone is splintering off into their preferred niches. The downside is that the only things that can really make a big splash are the most generic, the things that can offend the least number of people. But the good news is it matters less, because we all have the ability to seek out the less popular things we enjoy. And that really doesn’t seem to be in short supply; I don’t have to put in all that much elbow grease to find interesting new movies these days. Maybe they aren’t always playing at a theater near me, but the theatrical experience is only one of many options these days.

    And, again, TV has always been competitive with movies. They popularized the widescreen format for movies because TV was stealing their business and this was something movies offered that TV couldn’t. And while that was a successful endeavor that benefited the medium, pretty much every other stupid movie theater gimmick, from 3D to calling slightly bigger screens “IMAX,” was a least partly birthed out of the sweaty desperation caused by the competition with TV. It’s nothing new.

    As for the movie franchises becoming series, 1) TV shows based on movies is nothing new and 2) They also make movies based on old TV shows.

    Also, c’mon, the Oscars? When have they NOT made lame, pandering choices?

  31. You kind of have to admire the dedication of a guy who hates TV but will still watch a ton of TV shows just so that he can honestly profess his disdain for them. When I don’t like a show I tend to give up after 1 episode, I’d never be able to get through so many seasons of Evil Dead or Marvel C-listers.

    Anyway I don’t really mind getting a Chucky TV show rather that a new DTV sequel. CURSE was fine but I didn’t think CULT was proof that Mancini had a really good Chucky movie left in the tank. I mean I’m glad he still has joint custody of the character but I didn’t expect THE WHOLE WORLD IS CHUCKY NOW to blow my mind. A mediocre TV show won’t make me sadder than another mediocre DTV sequel.

    Besides we will probably all collectively agree that it’s still better than that remake where a 12 year old boy wants an 80s doll for his birthday and the one he gets has a SMALL SOLDIERS chip instead of a Brad Dourif in it.

  32. And to clarify here: I’m not saying Mr. M is wrong about his criticisms of TV shows. I’m just not buying into his defeatist attitude about the future of either media; TV has ALWAYS been kind of a cultural wasteland that only occasionally produces something great, and it’s always competed with the movies. Because of the internet, the way we access the 2 have become similar, but I don’t think that means that the logical outcome is that everything is going to become TV.

  33. You guys are probably right. I’m just feeling fairly hopeless today. Most of the things that make life worth living go away. Why not movies?

  34. Hey dude, I’m a horrible fucking sad sack and pessimist myself and not great at cheering people up, but if you need someone to gripe to, you know where to find me.

  35. Of some consolation: those first two posts today are some of your most cogent in recent memory, Majestyk. A ripping good read.

  36. Mr M, join us in Letterboxd. I watch and do mini reviews of a lot of 90s DTV action.surely that would be enjoyable to you?

  37. We Norwegians are often accused by out neighboring countries for not taking anything serious. At the same time we figure quite high on those “Happiest Nation” polls. Maybe you guys could learn a thing or two?

  38. Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I’m not sure there’s much you can do when I’m in this state but I appreciate the effort.

    As for letterboxd, I’m extremely sorry to admit that the act of exchanging thoughts with others on literally any topic gets more and more joyless for me by the day. The last thing I need are more opinions in my life. I barely even care about my own opinions. Which is sad, because basically the only thing I have brought to this world in all of my four decades on it is a huge, steaming pile of fucking opinions shat from on high like the golden droppings of a winged Aztec god. What a boon to mankind these gilded thoughts must be. How else were the unwashed masses to learn what movies were overrated? The idea that I thought the world just could not keep spinning until it found out what Mr. Fucking Majestyk thought about literally every single thing in existence is pathetic to me now. The height of deluded manchild arrogance. I howled into the void and assumed the void cared or even noticed.

    I still do it sometimes, but I get less out of it every time. I’ll think of something to say and then stop myself. Nobody cares. Do I even care? Not really.

    I’m just not sure how much I get out of interacting with the human race anymore, especially about something that’s supposed to make me happy, like movies. There’s not much profit in it. Just today, I’ve witnessed two completely different people talking about two completely different movies and both were utterly convinced that every single viewer who disagreed with them (such as myself) were subhuman scum. They had the rationale all laid out. They didn’t need to hear my thoughts on the matter. They knew everything they needed to know about me already. Why bother discussing anything? We’ve all already decided. We’re just banging unstoppable forces against immoveable objects. The definition of pointless.

    I don’t need that. I don’t need any of that. Movies are essential. People are optional.

    You guys are alright, though. In my opinion. For what that’s worth.

  39. For what it’s worth, it sure seems like the people on this web sight are interested in your opinions, at least.

  40. Self-pity and self-loathing are equally contemptible abdications of the challenge to use your limited life to love people, where loving people could happen in the abstract by making the world better. Your writing makes the world better, whether it sells or reaches the masses or reaches on the people here. Man up, get on some (stronger) meds, go to counseling. Something. Don’t give up, please.

  41. Majestyk, I would never ask you to do something that drains your soul, so if you feel you need to opt out of movie discussions or whatever I understand. But for what it’s worth I genuinely look forward to hearing your opinion on things. Even in your more curmudgeonly moods there can be something that comes up that you’re excited about and it brings me joy and leads me toward new discoveries. When I review some older movie or make a reference that gets you talking it really makes me happy. It’s good that you’re conscious of the uselessness of that sort of alpha-nerd yea or nay pop culture debate, but of course you know that’s not what we aspire to do here. I love when you have your own personal interpretation of a movie or pick up on some subtlety that I didn’t. Your writing is funny and persuasive so you make points better and more entertaining than I often can. So do what you need to do, but don’t think that nobody cares here. Here we do. I know I and many others here consider you a friend hope you will hang out and talk to us when you can.

    And I know you weren’t fishing for us to say stuff like that, but too bad.

  42. I’m probably the one most critical of Majestyk but it’s probably rooted in a deep desire to be as good at getting my thoughts out in writing as he is. Us long time readers should be friends and not enemies :)

    BTW, I see Dan has caught the DTV bug. I hope that you go through every Mark L. Lester post 80s oeuvre.

  43. I was home sick yesterday, was the issue. But I do love Mark L. Lester. What I watched yesterday was a complete piece of shit and I still enjoyed every minute.

  44. You should watch Deadly Takeover with Jeff Speakman and Ron Silver.

  45. I haven’t even seen any of the entry level works in the Speakman canon, not sure I should be skipping right to the advanced stuff.

  46. I haven’t even seen any of the entry level works in the Speakman canon, not sure I should be skipping right to the advanced stuff.

  47. Jeez, guys, I legit don’t know what to say. You get so used to the idea that everybody sucks that random acts of compassion and understanding can really blindside you. I had a bad couple of days but I think the storm has passed for now. I am not a joiner by nature, so it says something that I have allowed myself to become a part of this community. To know I’m valued here, despite my ill temper and diva antics, means a lot to me. I hope I never outstay my welcome. I know I’m kind of an asshole but I hope you guys know I’m your asshole.

    Skani: And thanks for the tough love. On my better days, I know that I can use my powers for good, and I try to spend as much of my time doing exactly that as possible. I’m a tutor now, and I’ve found that, other than writing stories, nothing improves my state of mind more than helping some hard-working kid understand the world a little better and express him- or herself a little clearer.

    As for my own self-expression, you lovely motherfuckers who’ve supported my wordsmithery over the years might be interested to know that I think I’ve finally amassed enough material in my own crime/thriller series to start sharing it with the world. With that in mind, I might have an announcement coming soon. Stay tuned.

  48. Oh shit!

    I don’t want to boast, but I’ve gotten a sneak peak at a few of Mr. Majestyk’s stories.

    Mr M: I actually just finished the last one you sent me when I was home sick yesterday (sorry it took 2 months, I haven’t been reading much lately for some reason) and was gonna reach out to you soon about it.

  49. No worries, Dan. Thanks for getting around to it. I hope you liked it. I’ve almost got another (much shorter) one in the can as we speak. More of a straight action piece. It could be a Bronson movie. I think this crowd will dig it.

  50. I did like it! And I won’t drop any spoilers on here, but I appreciated the slight shift in genres that it makes as it goes along.

  51. Oh, cool. That was kind of a tricky line to walk. I wanted to leave enough clues as to what was coming that savvy genre fans might suspect and feel rewarded for their intuition, but not so many clues that the reveal wouldn’t blindside more credulous readers. I’ve gotten both reactions and that’s pretty rewarding for me.

  52. On a related note, I am always surprised when people want to follow me on letterboxd but one of the few times I said “holy shit, can’t believe he’s following me” was when I got the follow from Dan.

    Also, all the hard work getting the recent comments section up and running has really helped breath life back into this place which is great.

  53. I’m blushing

  54. Dan: His last one was so damned good. No frontin’ cause I e-know him, it was probably the best thing I read/experienced last year. I was about to recommend it to some people and then I remembered it is not released yet and only cool people have read it so far.

    I also second Stern’s comment about getting a follow from you.

  55. Anybody else rapidly losing patience with the CHUCKY show? Mancini would have dispensed with this twelfth-generation HEATHERS crap in 25 minutes in a movie, but we’re two literal hours deep into this bitch and still reiterating the same material. This is to be expected from any TV show, where stalling for time is a religion, but it’s exacerbated by Mancini’s high-camp writing style, which cannily employs caricature to let you know exactly who a character is instantly yet, thanks to the format, must keep reminding you over and over and over again until all the conflicts are stale and you’ve stopped caring how they turn out. I nearly threw in the towel after the first episode took an entire hour to build up to an electrocution. An electrocution! The absolute lamest kill in the horror handbook. And it took us 60 minutes and two Devon Sawas to get there. Interminable.

    I have faith that Mancini is just doing this generic teen angst crap to fool the squares, just like the did in CURSE OF CHUCKY, where the first three-quarters were a normal horror movie and then the last act was nonstop Chuckyverse madness. That strategy is perfectly acceptable at 90 minutes. At EIGHT FUCKING HOURS it’s a little much. I really, really want to support Mancini and The Chuck, even in their current diminished state, but my patience is wearing thin. This shit better get fucking amazing fucking soon.

    Anyone else feel this way or are y’all just so enthralled by the prospect of Doll Boy and Podcast Dude hooking up and finding out what Detective The Chick From JASON X’s big secret is that you don’t care if Tiffany ever shows up?

  56. All I got from the above is…Holy Shit….The Maj watched a freaking TV SHOW????

  57. I strangely find myself, in this case, at the opposite end of the TV divide.

    As a die hard Chuckster myself, and having loved all the delicious possibilities CULT OF CHUCKY threw up, I just wish they’d continue the Chuckyverse via film.

    So, is the TV show a continuation or it pretends the last 3 or 4 films don’t exist? Or it’s a reboot?

  58. My understanding is that a lot of the sequel-y material and returning characters will occur in the back half of the season. But I think Mancini is also on record as wanting to do more movies. I imagine he’ll produce more Chucky in whichever format someone is willing to fund. I agree that the series is a little slower than I’d like

    I’d never seen the movies past Child’s Play 3, so the other weekend I plowed through Bride, Seed, Curse, and Cult. I didn’t expect to say this but… I think Cult is my favorite Chucky movie? Certainly it’s up there with the best of them. The stark white production design, the gorily beautiful moments that demonstrate how working on Hannibal definitely rubbed off on Mancini, the twists in the narrative throughout… It’s good stuff. It manages to be meta and self-referential without disappearing up its own anatomically-correct asshole. And I cared more about the characters than in the previous installment. My biggest complaint is that, this being the downer middle chapter, that Nica is robbed of agency throughout the narrative, and doesn’t get to triumph in the end. I was hoping the TV series would be the third act of this story, but I’m not sure if that will prove to be the case.

  59. “Holy Shit….The Maj watched a freaking TV SHOW????”

    What can I say? I’m a sucker for the Chucker.

    Also, please use my full name next time: The Majalodon.

    It’s been everything I feared thus far but I’m going to stick with the show anyway, simply because I have faith that Mancini loves his ridiculous universe as much as I do and will eventually let it rip. I’ve also heard that the episodes have fewer ads when streaming on YouTube so I may switch over from watching on the SyFy app, which is just garbage and doesn’t even have the behind-the-scenes featurettes it claims to have. Who would expect such shoddiness from as venerable and respected an organization as the SyFy Channel?

  60. I’ve been a gate crasher on this sight for quite a few years now, and even if we’ve all changed style and substance over time, on some days it still feels like we’re living in that scene from GARDENS OF STONE where they talk about “beating the bear”. I’m not saying that Major…sorry, Majestyk is our drill instructor, but on some days I guess we all think about “beating the bear”.

  61. I have no idea what that reference means but I’m choosing to take it as a compliment.

  62. That’s the trouble with references that are 30-35 years old. You don’t sound cool, just…old. The question is, will I look even more out of date if I explain it? But it is a compliment.

  63. Is TV the bear?

  64. Pegsman I think the issue is not that your reference is old, but you referenced a movie no one saw. You could have mentioned that two years after Gardens of Stone came out and no one would know what you’re talking about. But you can say “I coulda been a contendah” or open a shower curtain and pretend to stab while going WREE WREEE WREE and people are all good.

  65. Assuming they’re SLIGHTLY movie literate, of course.

  66. Yup, what Muh said. It’s not that your reference is OLD, pegs ( and from a pure standpoint of consuming and enjoying the arts , what the fuck does that mean? THE SEARCHERS came out a decade and a half before I was born, and it makes my Top 5 Western list anytime) but that I needed IMDB to tell me GARDENS OF STONE is a Francis Ford Coppola movie I had never heard of. Like that Rogan podcast with Tarantino where he references actors in TV shows that never made it to my part of the world.

  67. I think Cult became my favorite too, up there with Bride. It’s just got so many inventive ideas to take the mythology in new directions.

    I’m into the show. Fair point that it’s doing a tv thing, but it’s doing it through the lens of CHUCKY so I’m happy. The talent show amused me.

  68. So, you’re all telling me that no one here saw THE Francis FORD Coppola’s contribution to the Vietnam War movie wave of the late 80s?! Vern’ how can you be associated with these people? I don’t know what your policy is, but I would skip the warnings and go straight to evictions.

  69. Note to GARDENS OF STONE:

    We regret to inform you the position of THE definitive Coppola Vietnam War flick has been filled

  70. I know perfectly well that the other Vietnam flick with Laurence Fishburne and Sam Bottoms have a slightly higher standing among movie fans. I was going for something along the lines of “when THE Coppola makes another Vietnam War film people tend to take notice”.

  71. Well, since you twist my arm. In the movie we now all know exists, GARDENS OF STONE, James Caan’s successfull comeback after 5 years absence from acting, there’s a scene where James Earl Jones’ Sergeant Major comes to inspect everybodys locker. And you have to have your shit in order, or he’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks. The bear gets you. But if you, like D.B. Sweeney’s character, have polished your boots to perfection, he will respect you. You have beaten the bear.

    Over the years I’ve seen a lot of young men come to this sight with their lockers in full view, but without the proper shoe shining techniques. And they have been beaten, in some cases eaten, by the bear. You may say that for some it has become sort of an obsession, to beat the bear.

    And now that I have had to explain one of my references I must go and hide in a cave somewhere and never return to the Wonderful World of Vern.

  72. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is envious of your first hand memories of 70s and 80s pop culture. Some 60s ones would be nice too.

    Anyway, GARDEN OF STONE is on YouTube for anyone who wants to catch up.

  73. You guys, I’m probably not telling anybody here something new because I most likely am the last one who saw it, but the CHUCKY TV show is as good as the last two movies!

    Yeah, after the first two episodes I was willing to side with Majestyk on it. Too much of the usual High School bullying stuff that we see everywhere these days (and sadly not as well told as in COBRA KAI), plus none of the protagonists, especially the male Zendaya lookalike who was the main one, seemed interesting enough. But then the story quickly picked up steam, went into some interesting directions, wasn’t afraid to confuse the hell out of the casual viewer who probably didn’t know that they made more movies after BRIDE, even some of the characters grew on me (Not Mandaya, though, despite his badass moment in the last episode.) and it ended in one hell of a season finale.

    Yeah, the flashbacks were completely unnecessary (although at least they gave Fiona Dourif a once-in-a-lifetime acting opportunity) and even if the ending implied otherwise, I hope season 2 will move away from Hackensack and the survivors of season 1, but holy shit, am I glad that Don Mancini keeps telling CHUCKY stories in his unique way of mixing disturbing horror with random humor and complete weird story distractions. Also god bless Jennifer Tilly.

  74. I forgot to come back and say that the CHUCKY show eventually won me over by episode 4 or so. I have since resolved to not even try watching a TV show unless at least four episodes are available, because waiting a week in between the tedious table-setting of the first three episodes of nearly any show is just going to make me angry.

    I would still throw every episode into the sun if it meant we got more movies, but only if we could keep literally everything Fiona Dourif does in this series.

  75. Fiona Dourif gets some great stuff to do in the Chucky TV series. But as I complained about above, her character of Nica continually draws the short straw. That girl needs a win.

  76. I do agree, but after THAT cliffhanger, things can only get better for Nica. I hope.

  77. I think Mancini just enjoys giving her acting challenges. She’s hit everything he’s thrown at her out of the park so I can’t imagine her operatic torment will stop anytime soon.

    I do hope she SPOILER gets her limbs back somehow, though. They’re nice limbs.

  78. For once I was with The Majelodon in acknowledging the limitations of a TV show. Where a Child’s Play MOVIE would make you wait a max of 40 mins before the Chuckster’s Knife grazes flesh, a Child’s Play TV SHOW makes you wait like 3 freaking episodes for a solid Chucky kill.

    But I did enjoy it overall.

    Plus: A nice reversal on the traditional Mean Girl Archetype, the return of the Movie Alumni (Tiffany, Andy, Kyle, Nica), a genuinely sweet friendship and burgeoning romance between 2 young boys, Brad Dourif as always phenomenal as Chucky (the dude’s voice simply hasn’t aged!), and yeah, when the blood finally does flow, they don’t skimp on the gore

    Minus: So…now if Chucky can successfully Inception a murder on young minds…he can multiply??? Ok..
    The fate of Nica….boo! Really, after giving her such a cool ending in Cult??
    And finally, for a writer who portrays a genuinely sweet and convincing attraction between 2 young boys (helps that Mancini is gay himself), the depiction of the female mayor as a shrewish harridan who’s also a little dumb is 2 big steps back.

  79. I agree with cinematic supremacy but I do think that the mean girl turning sympathetic and the cousin turning psycho both worked better as TV than they would’ve in a movie. Neither is the most original thing to do but they really made them work, I thought, by taking their time. She was such a jerk at first and became my favorite non-doll character. (The little sister who loves Chucky is pretty funny too though.)

    Oh, also all the moms getting horribly murdered seemed more fucked up spread across episodes than if they’d had to happen within 90 minutes. Really increased Chucky’s aura of total-bastardness.

  80. That I agree. CURSE, CULT and CHUCKY can take a collective bow for restoring to the Chuckster his sheer malevolence where BRIDE & SEED did their darndest best to take it away.

  81. It’s been months but it still pisses me off that the only well adjusted father on the show; a role that redeemed the actor from the douchebag role in the last movie btw got done like that. You just can’t win in the chuckyverse.

  82. “a Child’s Play TV SHOW makes you wait like 3 freaking episodes for a solid Chucky kill.”

    Come on, that’s not true. There was at least one kill in every episode and even if you don’t care for the electrocution in episode 1, the next one started with the dishwasher “accident”. In fact, I can’t remember one kill on the show that didn’t have at least a creative or fun touch.

  83. The line about the knives pointing up in the dishwasher was great. (Do people really think that, or did they make that up?)

  84. As a man who never owned a dishwasher in his life, I can see myself totally putting the knives in with their blades up to have them cleaned better. Of course not anymore, after Chucky taught me why I shouldn’t do it.

  85. Problem is, CJ, it just kinda felt slow although it may not have been. I chalk it up to having revisited ALL Child Play movies (including the much maligned Non-Mancini one) before watching the show. So the movie-to-TV transition just slowed the pace down, whereas the reverse naturally happened when I went from the WU ASSASSINS TV show to the FISTFUL OF VENGEANCE movie. I’m still up for CHUCKY SEASON 2 though, if only to see if my gal Nica finally catches a break!

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