SLASHER MONTH: Bride of Chucky (1998)

Written by Don Mancini and directed by Ronny Yu — the same person who directed The Bride with White Hair and would go on to direct Freddy vs. Jason — this movie may not have doen well with critics, but it introduced a very essential part of the Child’s Play series: Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly), a former lover of Charles Lee Ray who ends up trapped in a doll just like him. Now, she has to dig up Chucky’s human body and get an amulet which will allow them to possess her neightbors Jesse and Jade (Nick Stabil and Katherine Heigl).

Have you ever wanted to see John Ritter get nails driven into his face? Good news. This movie is ready to deliver.

Mancini referred to this as “part horror, part comedy, part romance and part road movie” and that’s why it works. Fans may have been upset that Andy Barclay wasn’t back, but they’d be won over soon enough. Inspired by Bride of Frankenstein, they went all in on finding a mate for Chucky who could live up to his love of killing. They succeeded. They also pushed the series into campier territory instead of the nearly straight slasher and supernatural vibe of the first three movies. After all, it was pretty wild to have a child’s doll killing so many people. They leaned in here and went for the laugh, not just the jugular.

This also comes from the era where every slasher had a soundtrack worth buying. Beyond Blondie’s “Call Me,” this has Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl” and his band White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65,” as well as Monster Magnet’s “See You In Hell,” Motörhead’s “Love for Sale,” Bruce Dickinson’s “Trumpets of Jericho,” Powerman 5000’s Machine Man inspired “The Son of X-51,” Kidneythieves covering “Crazy,” the song Willie Nelson wrote for Patsy Cline, plus Slayer’s “Human Disease,” Coal Chamber’s “Blisters” and Stabbing Westward — yes, it was 1998 — performing “So Wrong.”

This movie was hyped on the October 12, 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro when Chucky interrupted Gene Okerlund and Rick Steiner to tell the Dogfaced Gremlin that his brother Scott would win their feud. The SyFy version of Chucky would show up in NXT in 2021 and even cut a promo on Rick’s son Bron Breakker.

Bride of Chucky also got in a visual gag that the creators had wanted since the second movie: an evidence locker has Michael Myers’ mask, Jason’s mask, Leatherface’s chainsaw, Freddy’s glove and Fluffy’s crate from Creepshow.

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