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Movie review: 'Seed of Chucky'

1 star (out of 4)

Little tip for Don Mancini, creator of Chucky the killer doll, and writer-director of "Seed of Chucky": Don't make jokes about Ed Wood -- the "worst director in the history of Hollywood" -- if you can't do better.

Mancini has made a career of cranking out the Chucky cheese, and this latest, the fifth film in the slasher series, came with such low expectations that the people who write the checks let him direct it. At least they had a sense of humor.

Chucky, the stitched-up doll with the serial killer's soul (Brad Dourif does the voice) comes to Hollywood for this film. He and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) are mere animatronics, stars in the latest Chucky film. They only come to life when somebody punches a button.

Until, that is, their spawn, whose stage name is unprintable, hears about them in Britain.

Voiced by Billy Boyd, he's a tormented doll kept by a sadistic ventriloquist who locks him in a cage. The doll flies to the plastic arms of his folks, says the magic spell to bring them back to life and reluctantly starts to learn the family business -- stabbing, burning and strangling humans. They can't figure out what to call him (he's gender neutral), "Glen or Glenda."

Ed Wood fans and aficionados of bad movies will get that. The rest of you, consider yourselves lucky.

The novel twist here is that Tilly ("Bound," "Bullets Over Broadway") also plays herself in the movie, an aging, profane and supremely ticked off one-time Oscar-nominee with a weight problem. Her star is setting. Julia Roberts is getting all the good parts. And she can't stop eating.

"No fan mail. No paparazzi. No stalkers."

She's so desperate to restart her career that she'll sleep with rapper/director Redman to land the role of the Virgin Mary in his new Jesus movie.

And then the puppets start killing cast and crew, and Jennifer's famous again. Or infamous. Maybe she's the one doing the killing.

That might be a clever conceit in any second-year film student's hands.

Mancini was content to make a plastic puppet movie, with endless gruesome shots of entrails and faces melting. He doesn't even try to scare anybody. His one-liner-riddled script only manages a couple of tepid laughs.

And Tilly, even at her Tilliest, can't make it funny.

"Seed of Chucky"

Directed by Don Mancini; written by Mancini; original songs by Pino Donaggio, Eminem, Big Pun; executive producer, Guy J. Louthan; produced by David Kirschner, Laura Moskowitz, Corey Sienega; a Rogue Pictures presentation; opened Friday. Running time: 1:20. MPAA rating: R (strong horror violence/gore, sexual content and language).

Tiffany/Herself - Jennifer Tilly
Chucky - Brad Dourif
Himself - Redman
Glen - Billy Boyd

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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