Marking his directorial debut, creator Don Mancini continues the legacy of Chucky in Seed of Chucky, a totally bonkers, twisted horror comedy that still makes me laugh after all these years. It's a completely loony, weirdly eccentric fifth installment that leans into the excessively silly debauchery and trashy, raunchy humor of the story, diving head-first into self-referential parody and cultural lampoon. Chucky spreads his seed on the 4K Ultra HD bed with a great-looking Dolby Vision HDR video, an excellent DTS-HD MA track and a pair of new bonuses. Overall, this UHD edition is a Recommended addition to the 4K UHD family.
Like Tiffany (voiced once again by Jennifer Tilly who also has a live-action starring role opposite . . . well, herself) trying to beat her addiction to murder and mayhem, I probably need to admit I have a problem and should join some 12-step program because I rather like Seed of Chucky. I know the fifth installment is largely a travesty and just plain stupid in several areas, but it also manages to entertain me, garnering various laughs throughout, as only guilty pleasures can. It's a bonkers, twisted horror comedy that I revisit every once in a while, just to see Chucky run Britney Spears off the road or hear Tilly make fun of her acting career. Julia Roberts should have made an appearance while Redman talks about his reimagining the Christ story like he was some sort of Mel Gibson.
I suppose what ultimately sells part five for me is that last bit, making it an enthusiastically debauched feature that dives head-first into self-referential parody and cultural lampoon. Some gags are blatantly obvious, like the whole movie-within-movie theme while others are so incredibly subtle that they can easily go over the heads of many viewers, such as Redman directing a religious film or the fact that Jason Flemyng dressed as Santa Claus looks suspiciously similar to the crazed killer from the Tales from the Crypt episode, "And All Through the House." Billy Boyd, who's best known as Pippin from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, providing the voice of Chucky and Tiffany's son also makes for a good laugh, but the doll being an over-the-top campy spoof of Ed Wood's Glen or Glenda is ridiculous comedy gold. That, and the fantastically memorable death scene of John Waters as an annoyingly creepy paparazzi will forever live rent-free in my head.
I'm probably over-selling the movie, but as you can see, I find something worth enjoying in Seed of Chucky. Its excessive and mostly imprudent silliness has me laughing, yet I can admit it's not up to the level of the others in the franchise. In his directorial debut, writer and creator Don Mancini does surprisingly well with the material he's given . . . which, actually, he wrote. He brings a dark visual style that plays with the energy and humor of the story, but there's no denying certain aspects of the plot fall flat. Tilly's fight with her assistant (Hannah Spearritt) makes absolutely no difference to the story, and Tilly's budding romance with her limo driver (Steve Lawton) is lame and unfunny. The final moments are also a mix of stupid and disappointing. However, if you can't already tell, I largely overlook those weaker parts and concentrate on the areas that make me laugh, enjoying the fifth entry in all its stupid glory.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Scream Factory brings Seed of Chucky to 4K Ultra HD as a two-disc Collector's Edition combo pack. The triple-layered, UHD100 disc sits comfortably opposite a Region A locked, BD50 disc on the opposing panel. The Blu-ray disc also contains the 87-minute theatrical cut of the movie and the 88-minute unrated version, and both discs are housed inside the standard black keepcase with a cardboard slipcover. At startup, the disc goes straight to a static screen with the usual selection along the bottom left side of the screen and music playing in the background.
Chucky spreads his seed all over Ultra HD with a great-looking and largely satisfying HEVC H.265 encode, which was struck from a remaster of the original 35mm camera negatives. The native 4K transfer enjoys a welcomed uptick in overall clarity and definition, but it's not quite a night and day difference from its Blu-ray predecessor. Granted, fine lines and various objects decorating the background are cleaner and more discrete while the textural details of the dolls are sharper and better defined. However, much of the photography falls on the softer side, which is likely the result of the original cinematography. Nevertheless, an improved contrast and brightness balance supplies clean, crisp whites and rich midnight blacks with excellent shadow delineation, and specular highlights add a tight, radiant sparkle in the hottest spots and along metallic surfaces. The Dolby Vision HDR presentation also enjoys a fuller, bolder palette, especially the warmer golden-yellow hues bathing Jennifer Tilly's house and the vivid, animated reds of the gore and blood, and facial complexions appear healthy and highly revealing. Awash in a fine layer of grain, the 1.85:1 image is a welcomed improvement with an attractive film-like quality. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 82/100)
Like the previous movie, the fifth installment arrives on UHD with an excellent, terrifically entertaining DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, immersing the listener with discrete activity in the surrounds, like the sudden cracks of thunder and lightning. Pino Donaggio's score also bleeds into the rears while exhibiting impressive definition and warmth in the mid-range, which maintains outstanding clarity during the loudest, action-packed moments. And with the receiver's Dolby Surround or DTS: Neural:X up-mixing functionality turned on, some of those atmospherics echo into the overheads with appreciable effectiveness, generating a convincingly immersive soundfield. Imaging feels broad and engaging with well-balanced channel separation and convincing off-screen effects that bleed into the top heights, and the low-end supplies a strong, palpable punch to the music and visuals. With excellent, precise dialogue reproduction in the center, the lossless mix makes for a great listen at home. (Audio Rating: 84/100)
Along with the unrated version of the movie, the accompanying Blu-ray disc houses the same set of supplements as the previous release and offers two new additions worth checking out.
In spite of its drawbacks and several misses, of which there are many, I still have a soft spot for Seed of Chucky, a totally bonkers, twisted horror comedy that continues to make me laugh after all these years. Marking his directorial debut, creator Don Mancini brings a dark visual style that leans into the excessively silly debauchery and trashy, raunchy humor of the story, diving head-first into self-referential parody and cultural lampoon. Chucky spreads his seed on the 4K Ultra HD bed with a great-looking Dolby Vision HDR presentation and an excellent DTS-HD MA soundtrack, offering a welcomed improvement over its Blu-ray counterpart. Along with the same set of supplements, Scream Factory seduces fans with a pair of new bonuses and the unrated version of the movie. Overall, this UHD edition is a Recommended addition to the 4K family.
All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about the gear used for this review.